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Cylance Co-Founder McClure Launches New AI Startup

The best way to boost workplace efficiency is through understanding team dynamics, according to Stuart McClure.

McClure’s Newport Beach-based startup company Wethos AI, founded in 2023, uses artificial intelligence to make insights about employees based on their work habits and behavior, then give suggestions on how to improve performance.

“The way that you most affect productivity is to truly understand yourself, your teammates and the company in a very intimate, detailed way, so that you can all work together,” McClure told the Business Journal.

It’s the latest venture from McClure, co-founder of internet security company Cylance Inc., which he sold to Canada-based BlackBerry Ltd. (NYSE: BB) for $1.5 billion in 2019.

Wethos AI is one of the first companies to come out of McClure’s business incubator and Newport Beach-based accelerator NumberOneAI.

NumberOneAI was founded in 2021 and raised $13 million to back companies focused on artificial intelligence and machine learning (for more on what Orange County companies are doing with AI, see page 1).

Copilot Platform

Wethos AI’s Copilot platform visualizes data about an organization’s team such as soft skills and cognitive biases.

The platform, using both predictive and generative AI, builds a digital twin of an employee and continuously gathers real-time information through interactions with co-workers.

A potential use for the platform includes finding who will collaborate the best on a project, according to McClure.

“Quantifying these traits and then exposing that not just to yourself, but to your teammates and the company, destigmatizes weakness,” McClure said. “Then you get true collaboration and teams that are highly effective.”

In response to a common concern about AI replacing jobs, McClure said Wethos AI does the opposite.

“It’s enhancing the people that you have,” he said.

The company currently offers two subscription plans priced at $150 and $500 a year on its website.

Future of AI

McClure came up with the idea to build a platform for increasing productivity while he was CEO at Cylance.

“Towards the end, we made a lot of mistakes,” McClure said.

To meet the “hyper-growth” and customer demand at the time, he said the company made quick hires without understanding their strengths or how they worked.

“It was that challenge that really sparked my interest,” McClure said.

He served as president of BlackBerry Cylance—later renamed BlackBerry Cybersecurity—for eight months following the Cylance sale before joining another cybersecurity company called Qwiet AI as CEO in 2022.

The San Jose-based firm, previously known as ShiftLeft, aims to prevent cyberattacks by identifying vulnerabilities in code.

When asked about an eventual exit from Qwiet, McClure said he “always considers either an IPO or sale,” but wants to achieve strong growth over the next five to 10 years before doing so.

“As an entrepreneur, you never ignore the phone,” McClure said.

McClure believes that the future of artificial intelligence lies in combining predictive and generative AI together.

“The predictive side has sort of been lost by all this generative excitement because you can interact with it, but it’s going to eventually come together,” he said. ­

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Sonia Chung
Sonia Chung
Sonia Chung joined the Orange County Business Journal in 2021 as their Marketing Creative Director. In her role she creates all visual content as it relates to the marketing needs for the sales and events teams. Her responsibilities include the creation of marketing materials for six annual corporate events, weekly print advertisements, sales flyers in correspondence to the editorial calendar, social media graphics, PowerPoint presentation decks, e-blasts, and maintains the online presence for Orange County Business Journal’s corporate events.

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