ANN ARBOR – Tech veteran Jon Newhard joined conversational AI startup Clinc in July, five months after the company’s co-founder and former CEO Jason Mars stepped down over allegations of sexual harassment, verbal abuse and inappropriate conduct.

After Mars’ exit gained national attention and the University of Michigan suspended its recruiting relationship with the company, many were left wondering: What’s next for Clinc?

From the onset, it was an intriguing success story. A talented husband and wife team recruited by the University of Michigan’s computer science department launch their conversational AI technology and become the first company in the niche space to raise $52 million in one round of funding.

It’s easy-to-use tech and virtual assistant Finie — that gives Apple’s Siri some stiff competition — is used by some of the world’s largest banks and by Ford Motor Co.

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