Don Gooding

Introspective Systems, a Portland startup working on cutting-edge artificial intelligence applications, on Thursday named Don Gooding as chairman of its board.

Gooding was one of Introspective Systems’ first angel investors, having participated in the company’s first angel investment round in 2013 when he was vice chair of the Maine Angels. Gooding has continued to increase his stake to become the company’s largest outside investor.

Gooding, former director of the Maine Center for Entrepreneurs, has been serving as an informal advisor to the company, helping co-founders Kay Aikin and Caryl Johnson through their so-called “Valley of Death” when its innovation was ahead of the market. But his appointment to board chairman is his first official position with the company.

“Personally, it’s an investment of my time that I see yielding significant returns because of the amazing progress the company has made this year, and the enormous opportunities I see now that I didn’t see clearly a year ago,” Gooding tells Maine Startups Insider.

Among his tasks will be to help the company as it prepares to raise equity capital, identify market opportunities and potential investors, and provide leadership counsel to help accelerate the company’s growth.

“Don’s experience, connections, know-how, and support are exactly what we need to take Introspective Systems to the next level,” Aikin, who serves as CEO, said in a statement. “We could not ask for a better guide and champion than Don, and we are thrilled that he has formally joined our team.”

Introspective Systems is on the cutting edge of technology developments in the fields of artificial intelligence. It has developed a collaborative AI platform it calls xGraph, which is designed to accomplish complex digital challenges posed by distributed and disparate systems, and the massive and increasing amounts of data generated as more and more products—thermostats, refrigerators, cars, etc.—are connected to the internet.

“xGraph has emerged as a powerful platform for solving complex digital problems and I am excited to be a part of helping Introspective Systems accelerate to catch today’s huge waves of ‘AI Everywhere’ and ‘Edge Computing,’” Gooding said in a statement.

Gooding, a former research partner at Accel Partners, has a long involvement with Maine’s local entrepreneurial community. He’s been a member of Maine Angels since 2005, including as its vice chair. At the Maine Center for Entrepreneurs, which he joined as director in 2011, he helped grow the organization’s programming and geographic reach, specifically expanding its Top Gun entrepreneurial-training program from a single location in Portland to four locations throughout the state. Since leaving the Maine Center for Entrepreneurs in 2016, Gooding has also founded Four Colors of Money for Entrepreneurs, a consultancy to help young and growing businesses understand and choose the right financing options.