Mission & Values
We’re on a mission to build the future of formulation 🧪.
Potion is building an AI-powered platform to help 👩🏽🔬R&D teams formulate products like cosmetics 💄and paints 🎨. Companies currently go through years of trial and error in the lab to develop such goods—with Potion, they can now automate this process.
You can think of formulas like recipes. Chefs (or chemists, in this case) go through countless iterations, manually trying and testing different measurements and combinations of ingredients (chemicals) before finding the perfect recipe. The entire process often takes years and is riddled with failure. We're using data and deep learning to fix that. Our platform allows our customers to collect R&D data, simulate lab experiments, and create entire optimized formulas.
The three co-founders have been friends for over a decade, have experience applying AI commercially, and became intimately familiar with the (painful) process of product formulation after trying to start their own skincare brand, 🌻Ochre. Potion works closely with scientific advisors who together have 40+ years' experience formulating across several product categories.
Potion is an SF-based YC company that just raised $5.3M and is backed by Offline Ventures, 776 Ventures, Tribe Capital, Axial VC, Hawktail Management, Gwyneth Paltrow (Founder of Goop), Matt Ocko & Zach Bogue (Founders of Data Collective VC), Tim Young (President of Dropbox), and a number of other family offices / angels.
Potion’s near-term goals include:
- Hiring smart, curious, and motivated people
- Continuing to increase the ability and accuracy of our AI models
- Further building out and scaling our web application
- Building a wet lab through which we can begin generating our own data to augment our algorithms
Our current focus is on the beauty & personal care industry, where we're already working with some of the world's biggest brands. It's worth noting, however, that the science, process, and value chain behind the formulation of many other goods—paints, insecticides, food, detergents, adhesives, etc.—is the largely the same. Our vision is to become the default formulation platform for all of them, helping turn chemicals (i.e., ingredients) into products (i.e., formulas).
We are currently a team of 3 and a handful of contractors:
- Hejab Malik, Co-Founder: Hejab was previously a senior designer working for clients ranging from startups (Vice Media, Refinery29) to Fortune 500 companies (Google, eBay). She believes in design as a critical function of any business and leads product at Potion.
- Yahya Syed, Co-Founder: Yahya's background is in private equity and investment banking. After years of advising and investing in companies across consumer, industrials, and technology, he realized the imminent need for better R&D solutions.
- Alex Stec, Co-Founder: Alex has a PhD in Applied Math from Northwestern University with a focus in deep learning. He’s worked at Oath/Yahoo and Allstate Insurance and is interested in the vast potential of novel neural network architectures and techniques to solve problems in the physical world.
As a small team, we have a flat organizational structure with weekly 1-1s with the cofounders. We plan to double in the next year and are hiring in San Francisco and remote in the U.S.
Benefits & Perks
- 🩺 Medical and Dental: We cover 100% premium for all of our Aetna health & dental insurance plans
- 🧘 Mental Health & Wellbeing: We provide out-of-pocket reimbursement for mental health-related expenses (up to $200 per session for out-of-network therapy, 4X a month)
- 💪🏽 Physical Health & Wellbeing: We provide a gym / physical wellness stipend of up to $200 per month
- 📚 Education: With our education stipend, sign up for classes, buy books, attend events that will contribute to your personal and professional growth at Potion
- 🏝 Unlimited Paid Time Off: We want to encourage everyone to take the R&R they need. In fact, we'll contribute up to $2,500 a year towards your time off / vacation
- 🥗 Lunch on Us
- 💻 Stipend for best-in-class equipment in-office and at home
- 🚊 Commuter benefits
- 🚛 Relocation bonus
Initial Intro: Introductory call with Yahya and/or Hejab to establish mutual interest and make sure we’re on the same page about the company/role.
Interviews: After that, we’d love to chat with you for a bit longer and start defining your role at Potion and discuss how we can support your career aspirations.
Collaboration: A (compensated) coworking period where we all work together on a current company initiative. Depending on your desire / availability this could be done in a single day or spread out over the course of a week. We think this is a great way to provide transparency around our company culture and help all of us evaluate if we would enjoy working together.Note: engineering roles will also have a take-home technical assessment as part of the interview process
If the above doesn’t work for you for any reason, we are open to other ideas or a more typical interview process.