Sanne Fouquet founded Melon AI, an AI startup in the neighborhood of Mistral – quite deliberately. “Paris is so open: I've only been living here a few months and I already feel like I have a better network than I ever had in London – even though I don't speak French yet.” €œ

Click here to listen to the text:

Sanne Fouquet is not quite 30 yet, but has already lived five completely different lives. She grew up as the middle of three children in StÃ¥ngby Kyrkby, a village with 98 inhabitants in southwest Sweden – a Bullerbü life, or what's trending on Instagram under #cottagecore. “I had a really nice childhood,†Fouquet recalls, “but I always had the need to go somewhere else.â€

Now Sanne Fouquet is the founder of an AI startup in Paris. Where they think you have to be if you want to do something with AI these days. London wasn't “thriving and growing” enough for her, she says. There hasn't been much development since Brexit, Paris is the AI ​​epicenter, of course because of Mistral. “And I want Melon to grow in this environment.”

1.4 million pre-seed for second brain app

Melon AI is the name of their startup and the product, an app called Melon, wants to be a digital twin of the brains of its GenZ users. “Bring your second brain to life,” is the claim. In October 2022, the startup received preseed financing of around 1.4 million euros, including from the venture capitalist Peak from the Netherlands, Antler and the Scandinavian fund Inventure. And with that, Fouquet now wants one thing above all: The Making second brain app smarter and smarter and smarter.

Read too

Artificial Intelligence: How AI increases your productivity

Sanne Foquet's previous life took place all over Europe: straight after school she went to Stockholm, studied computer science and mathematics, and became a programmer. An internship brings her into banking. “I thought: Finance, this is great. Because that means I can work in London and that's how I get out of Sweden.†She went to Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. In 2017 she decided against a job as an investment banker and studied machine learning again. “My parents didn’t quite understand that.†And then she became a product manager at Palantir, the always somewhat mysterious data analysis company that, among other things, provides military and secret services with software. However, Foquet worked for the commercial sector, she says. Her job takes her around a lot; she is often in Germany, offering data analysis software to pharmaceutical companies

Numerous career pivots – that's how it happens for many people

During the conversation with Gründerszene, Foquet sits in a classic Parisian-looking apartment – judging by what you can see in the background of the video call. Bookshelf, fresh flowers, elegant lamp. “I was constantly pivoting my career,†she says. And that's nothing unusual in her generation; no one her age expects to do the same job for 15 years. Starting something new, changing more quickly, reinventing yourself – that's just how the young professional world is. She actually always taught herself everything. “Basically, you can learn anything if you just have an internet connection.”

Of course she's right: Cat videos, young women baking bread in beautiful country houses and otherworldly fitness tips aside, you can find an endless amount of deep, substantive information on the Internet. Knowledge, teaching, everything. You could educate yourself endlessly, deepen yourself, become smarter and better – if only there wasn't this excessive amount of constant distractions and too much of everything. “While the amount of information we consume has increased exponentially, the processing power of our brains has remained the same over the last thousand years,†says Fouquet. “It’s high time we got help.†More brains for everyone!

Tiktok videos, Linkedin advice, Instagram wisdom: off to the second brain

This is how the founder pitches her startup Melon: It's too much for one brain – that's why it would be practical to have a second one. On the phone. As an app. Melon stores what no longer fits in the brain, explains the founder. Can you find a great time management hack on Tiktok? Push it to your Melon app. Do you stumble across a convincing personal finance influencer on Insta? Push, to Melon.Â

Her product is aimed primarily – not exclusively, of course – at Gen Z. Also because she is part of it herself, says Fouquet. But does Gen Z no longer know traditional bookmarking apps like Evernote or Pocket? There, too, you collect things that you want to read later, that you want to remember

“Saving things is just the first step. And: That's not learning yet!†says Fouquet. Conventional bookmarking apps are, she smiles charmingly, “information graveyards,” if you’re honest. You never read what you put there, you forget it straight away. Melon is much more of a tool that actively encourages users to engage with saved content

Read too

The new “iPhone moment” for the tech industry?  Generative artificial intelligence like ChatGPT raises great hopes among founders.

“Working hours almost halved” – This is how startups use ChatGPT in their daily business

Melon sorts content and sometimes asks users: What have you already learned?

First, Melon sorts what you put into the app. The founder calls it “automated knowledge management.” This is where AI comes into play: it recognizes what it is about from unstructured content, be it text or a Tiktok video, and organizes stored content independently

And secondly, Melon creates small quizzes from the saved content, which the app sends to the user via push, reminding him or her to look at the content again. Learn playfully. This makes Melon a “sounding board,” says Fouquet, which can be geared toward individual learning goals

And their idea goes even further: in the future, Melon users should be able to network. The AI ​​recognizes who wants to further educate themselves in the same areas. Then you could ask the AI: What else am I missing? What have others learned who are interested in the same topics? And Melon could make offers

Of course, the big question remains: Does Melon know whether everything that users find online is true? Fouquet shakes his head: Like other AIs, Melon can't check sources – but at least her AI gives sources and shows which stored information her knowledge relates to

Read too

This is how chatbots like ChatGPT work

Classic freemium model

Foquet relies on a conventional freemium model for Melon, as she says: The app itself is free, but users then have to pay for more storage space. Insight into the brains of Gen Z, their preferences and interests, is not a marketable asset for them, she says

Anyone who turns the topics of lifelong learning and career twists into a business doesn't really need to be asked whether he or she could imagine doing something else. Of course! Maybe one day Sanne Fouquet will even see herself again in the village of 98 people in Sweden. “In my early twenties I couldn’t understand why my parents chose this life – now I get it: it was a fantastic childhood. It's beautiful there. But it is not yet time for me to return.â€


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *