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oratio's ChatbotConf Top 25 in 2016

2016 started off to be the year of conversational commerce. A lot happened in this space within the last year, a great community grew around bots and messaging and we have seen many new bots and startups in this space.

Due to our work with our very own ChatbotConf, which we organized the first time this year in Vienna, we always keep an eye on thought leaders, excellent bot builders and like-minded people.

Together with help from the community and friends we draftet this list of the Top 25 influencers of 2016 in this space in no particular order:

Amir Shevat

Amir Shevat

is the director of Developer Relations at Slack and helps developers and partners build great bots. He is also writing the O'Reilly book about designing conversational interfaces.
▶️ Check out Amir's ChatbotConf talk on 'Bot Anatomy'

Esther Crawford

Esther Crawford

is the CEO at olabot, a platform that makes it easy for everyone to build a personal bot. A great step towards conversational profiles.

Veronica Belmont

Veronica Belmont

is the Product Manager at Growbot, a bot that helps you track team recognition and give props in Slack and soon Microsoft Teams. She is also an admin at botwiki.org and botmakers.org, and the editor of the Bot! zine weekly newsletter.

Greg Leuch

Greg Leuch

manages product at Poncho, the witty weathercat that chats about the weather. Creating quality editorial content, character design, and experimentation have been key to Poncho's popularity across messaging, email, and mobile apps.
▶️ Watch Greg share his insights at CBC16

Mikael Yang

Mikael Yang

is the Co-founder and CEO of ManyChat, a platform which helps businesses create a Facebook Messenger bot without coding. More than 300.000 bots have been created with ManyChat already.

Igor Polyakov

Igor Polyakov

developed PokerBot together with Ruslan Almukhametov for Telegram as a pet project soon after the release of the Telegram Bot platform in August 2015. Igor is the mastermind of the core functionality of the bot while Ruslan helps wit translations and minor features. PokerBot has over 240.000 registered users and is definitely one of the most popular bots on Telegram.

Efrat Rapoport

Efrat Rapoport

is the Co-Founder and CEO of Tel Aviv based Bonobo.ai which helps chatbots to build fruitful relationships with their users by curating personalized and actionable insights from real time conversations. The platform integrates marketing automation, user insights and behavioral analytics in order to help chatbots acquire, engage and retain users.

Matt Burns

Matt Burns

has been working in AI and NLP for +10 years, and has been building conversational user interfaces since 2013. Currently he's VP of Growth at Zoom.ai, an automated virtual assistant for your workday.

Seth Louey

Seth Louey

is the Co-Founder of BotList, a community connecting humans to bots. He has also been nominated as Product Hunt Maker of the Year in 2016.

Dennis Yang

Dennis Yang

is the Co-Founder of Dashbot, a bot analytics platform with additional tools to take action on the data to help developers increase user engagement, acquisition, and monetization.

Sarah Guo

Sarah Guo

is an early-stage investor at Greylock Partners, focused on technologies that improve how we work, connect and communicate. Her blog is definitely a must read for everyone interested in the messaging space.

Chris Messina

Chris Messina

is Developer Experience Lead at Uber. He proclaimed that "2016 will be the year of conversational commerce" and is one of the early thought leaders in this space.

Thomas Schranz

Thomas Schranz

is the CEO and founder of Blossom. He recently started Lemmings I/O, an incubator focused on artificial intelligence and chatbots, who have created over 100+ bots over the summer of 2016.
▶️ Watch Lemmings I/O demo day at CBC16

Audrey Wu

Audrey Wu

is working at imperson, the company behind AI chatbots such as Miss Piggy, Zootopia (Judy Hopps) and Doc Brown from Back to the Future. She recently also built her personal AudreyBot on FB Messenger. She is focused on marketing strategies for emerging technologies including chatbots, AI and IoT.

Dmitry Dumik

Dmitry Dumik

is the CEO of Chatfuel, a platform that allows anyone to easily create AI-powered bots with no development required. Chatfuel is now counting more than 17M users and 360K bots created and is used by TechCrunch, NY Times, Buzzfeed, British Airways, Burberry and many others.

Antonia Ermacora

Antonia Ermacora

is the CEO and Co-founder of chatShopper, Europe's first fashion shopping chatbot on Facebook Messenger. She used to work as an event-organizer and e-commerce consultant. She also had her own business with an old London Routemaster bus which she converted into a mobile café. She's creative, bold and loves working on the future.

Dmitry Matskevich

Dmitry Matskevich

is one of the founders of Icon8, an artificial intelligence bot which turns your selfies into pieces of art. Icon8 is amongst the most popular bots on Telegram and Messenger.

Mikhail Larionov

Mikhail Larionov

as the Technical Lead of Facebook Messenger he is responsible for the features that over 1 billion users around the globe use on a daily. He was also the main speaker at ChatbotConf 2016.
▶️ Watch his CBC talk 'The future of the Messenger platform'

Josh Bocanegra

Josh Bocanegra

is the CEO and developer at Personabots. He created the bot for Christina Milian and is known for turning celebrities into robots, constantly writing about the ever evolving chatbot space and sharing tips on how to market a bot.

Mike Melanin

Mike Melanin

is the Co-founder of statsbot, a helpful tool that helps you track the most relevant statistics regarding your bot.

Adely Zhou

Adelyn Zhou

is an active member of the bot community and founder of the TOPBOTS newsletter, a great weekly ressource for everything chatbots.

Ilya Gelfenbein

Ilya Gelfenbeyn

is the Product Manager at API.ai, an easy-to-use conversational user experience platform which allows you to create conversation scenarios within minutes.

Ben Brown

Ben Brown

is not only a product designer and software developer, he is also the Co-founder of howdy.ai and creator of BotKit and regularly delves into the architecture and design of today's bot applications.

Paul Walsh

Paul Walsh

One of the original founders of W3C Mobile Web Initiative, vast experience in the messaging space (AIM) and founder of two bot related companies, Metacert and bCRM.

Peter M. Buch

Peter M. Buch

is CEO and co-founder of Swelly, one of the most successful bots on Messenger, Kik, Telegram and Viber. He is also host of BotWatch and BotCast.

Thank you

At this point we want to shout out a big thank you to this awesome community. We are very thankful for all the help we got from community members and mentors, some of them we are even calling friends by now.

We at oratio are thrilled to be part of this thriving bots community and we will continue to push this ecosystem and connect community members by organizing another ChatbotConf this year in Vienna, co-organizing the local Bots Meetup and organize at least one more BotsHackathon in 2017.

We wish you all the best for 2017,
your Team oratio