Focal Systems Selected as Most Innovative AI Startup at In-Q-Tel and Silicon Valley Bank Pitch Event

Company news  |  June 21, 2018

SAN FRANCISCO –– June 21, 2018 — In-Q-Tel, Inc. (IQT) and Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), the bank of the world’s most innovative companies and their investors, today announced Focal Systems as the winner of their “AI Computing at the Edge” pitch event. Focal Systems, a smart shopping cart technology provider, was one of 12 artificial intelligence (AI) startups that presented to a panel of judges.  

Presented by CEO Francois Chaubard, Focal Systems builds deep learning computer vision solutions to automate grocery, hardware, and convenience retail. The company deploys small, inexpensive cameras that run deep learning algorithms to identify and track up to 200,000 different types of products with very high accuracy.

“The opportunities for AI at the edge are massive and we’re seeing a growing number of startups focused on creating infrastructure for a smarter edge,” said Barry O’Brien, Managing Director of Corporate Venture at Silicon Valley Bank. “Focal Systems is a great example of a company that is creating an innovative solution for the retail industry through AI and we’re excited to recognize the Focal Systems team.” 

This annual event offers startups the opportunity to pitch their technology to intelligence community representatives, as well as investors and leading companies and organizations. Twelve startups were selected from more than 70 submissions to present their businesses to a panel of government and Fortune 500 executives including GM, Cisco, Boeing, IBM, Lockheed Martin, and more. The companies selected to participate in the event included Algolux, Bragi, Focal Systems, Matroid, Mythic, NGD Systems, Pilot AI, Rafay Systems,,, Volterra, and Syntiant.

“There is a large, disruptive wave of startups leveraging AI-trained models in the cloud to affect actions, insights, and novel computing at the edge of the internet,” said George Hoyem, Managing Director at IQT. “These companies represent some of the cutting-edge examples of startups leading this disruption, and to win this event from over 70 nominations, is quite noteworthy.”


About IQT

In-Q-Tel (IQT) is the not-for-profit strategic investor that accelerates the development and delivery of cutting-edge technologies to U.S. government agencies that keep our nation safe. IQT was established in 1999 with a distinct mission: to identify and partner with startup companies developing innovative technologies that protect and preserve our nation’s security. Visit for more information.


About Silicon Valley Bank

For 35 years, Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) has helped innovative companies and their investors move bold ideas forward, fast. SVB provides targeted financial services and expertise through its offices in innovation centers around the world. With commercial, international and private banking services, SVB helps address the unique needs of innovators. Learn more at