Foresight – Fall 2020

Page 32

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A Homegrown Entrepreneurial Spirit

PHOTO BY BEN WINCKLER PHOTOGRAPHY

New start-up business, Flowstate, is creating machine learning software aiming to solve the problem of pipeline leak detection. We sat down with their COO, Angie Schrader (BSME ’00), a Riverton native, to discuss the present and future opportunities of this exciting new enterprise.

Q: What piqued your interest about Flowstate and becoming a part of its founding team? For the past seven years, I had been working for Autodesk, a global Fortune 500 company – which was very exciting. What piqued my interest about Flowstate though was the opportunity to develop a groundbreaking technology for the energy industry and to do it here in Wyoming. Q: How is Flowstate different than current and/or traditional methods? The simple answer – we offer a new approach in machine learning, which is something that has not found a lot of application in this industry. Many existing solutions for leak detection are cumbersome, outdated, and inflexible. The combination of these barriers has meant that many pipelines have inadequate monitoring. We are working to build a solution that meets those needs. Q: How do you define success at Flowstate? Success will be defined largely by two metrics. First, we deliver a solution that helps to ensure that more of the pipelines across our lands are monitored with accurate and reliable leak detection. Secondly, that we have built a successful tech company in the heart of Wyoming. Q: Since you became co-founder and COO in 2019, Flowstate has really picked up speed. What challenges come with that amount of growth, and how can leaders help overcome those challenges?

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We have seen a lot of growth and it has been very exciting. One challenge with that kind of growth at this stage is knowing when to keep on the accelerator and when to pump the brakes. As a leader, it is important always to be a steward of the company, the product, and the people behind it. Q: How is Flowstate innovative and creative? One thing that makes us innovative and creative by nature is being a startup. Our team is all new – so we are all bringing new ideas, perspectives and experiences to the table. Teams or companies that have been around for years sometimes have to be very deliberate in working to cultivate that kind of fresh perspective or diverse contribution. Q: What do you value most about Flowstate’s culture and vision? What excites me about our culture and vision is the opportunity to join software development and data science with a generations-old industry like oil and gas. It’s exciting to talk to people who are ready to try new things or explore new technologies. And, have I mentioned, we’re proud to be doing this in Wyoming? Q: How do you raise the bar as co-founder and COO at Flowstate? One way my co-founder, Jerad Stack, and I are looking to raise the bar is to bring more cutting-edge technology to Wyoming. It is common for people to think that technology like ours comes from large companies or start-ups in large cities and we have seen our homegrown talent leave the


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