We are Bossa Nova veterans who built and scaled robots and cloud AI in 600 Walmart Supercenters. We learned hard lessons that we would have loved to avoid, if only we knew then what we know now.

So we created this initiative to share lessons learned and best practices with other startups to help them see around the corner and better run their business.

Sarjoun Skaff

Bossa Nova Founder

Sarjoun Skaff is a technology entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience in robotics, AI and retail. He was the founder and CEO of Bossa Nova, a company that pioneered the automation of on-shelf inventory management through the deployment of autonomous robots and cloud AI in retail stores. 

Bossa Nova's automated inventory solution comprised the deployment of robots in 600 Walmart Supercenters, where they scanned shelves daily to increase inventory accuracy, and guided associates in restocking missing items to increase sales. This was a seven year effort that comprised raising $120M of venture capital, generating $90M+ of revenue, and building a 230-strong operation that delivered fundamental innovation and technical and operational excellence.

Skaff's pioneering foray in retail saw him collaborating with the world's top retailers and learning best practices in using data to increase on-shelf availability; integrating computer vision and location into perpetual inventory and automated replenishment systems; and weaving AI into store operations workflows.

In addition, Skaff has expertise in running several types of businesses and operations, namely cloud-based enterprise software, hardware, manufacturing, and field operations. He is also a technology leader in robotics, AI, and cloud operations.

His leadership philosophy embraces the leader-leader approach that empowers individuals and pushes them to operate one level up. He constantly seeks to maximise collective consciousness through extensive communication and clear goals. He leads by articulating a clear vision, creating empowered and high-functioning teams, and securing the resources they need to win.

Skaff holds a PhD in Robotics from Carnegie Mellon University, is fluent in English, French, and Arabic, has won numerous awards and is an inventor of more than ten patents.

Robotics Institute Seminar

Deep Dive on Bossa Nova

Mar 2020

Mike Graen Podcast

Update on Bossa Nova and views on retail innovation

Apr 2024