Morgante Pell is a seasoned professional in software development and computer science. He embarked on his career to develop new products and push technology forward, while trying to avoid getting weighed down by editing endless lines of code. But maintaining and enhancing existing software is critical, as neglect can lead to security vulnerabilities and degraded performance.
To tackle this challenge, he launched Grit, which uses artificial intelligence to automate software maintenance. With Grit, tasks that might take months are finished in days — and developers are free to focus on more strategic and innovative work.
“Software doesn’t stand still. Technology doesn’t stand still. Companies must keep tools up-to-date, and that requires maintenance and modernization — but that’s often not fundamentally interesting to developers. Grit provides AI-based capabilities to automate all that work.”
— Morgante Pell
The New York-based startup had a busy year in 2023. It announced a $7 million seed round of venture capital funding and expanded its client base. A significant milestone was its participation in the Comcast NBCUniversal LIFT Labs Accelerator: Enterprise AI. The six-week program connected Grit and nine other startups with leaders at Comcast and other enterprises to develop potential partnerships and offer the founders deep insights into corporate perspectives on code maintenance and AI integration.
“The Comcast NBCUniversal LIFT Labs accelerator provided us with a broad view of the technology landscape at a large corporation,” said Pell. “Such insights are hard to come by for startups, but LIFT Labs helped facilitate the crucial connections necessary for us to get that level of understanding.”
Another advantage of the accelerator was the opportunity to collaborate with the nine other participating startup teams. They developed friendships, shared ideas, and exchanged strategies for enterprise sales and other important initiatives.
“I really liked spending time with the other founders in our cohort,” said Pell. “Discussing how they tackle similar issues and their philosophy for selling to enterprise customers was enlightening.”
The Road to Grit and a Mission of Great Software for All
Before launching Grit, Pell had an impressive track record, including work with Google’s cloud service and the launch of his own web app development company. He identified a significant gap in the market: the need for efficient software maintenance and modernization tools. They wondered: Why should only the largest organizations with deep rosters of software engineers have the resources to maintain their software systems? And how could they help the process be more efficient?
“Our whole economy runs on software now. There’s no reason to have vast differences in software quality across organizations,” said Pell. “That’s why he built Grit. Every organization deserves great software and we help them do that by automating the most challenging parts of the process.”
“I had been working on this for a long time, but I had to introduce people to the concept of language models and what you can do with AI,” said Pell. “Now, almost every organization we talk to has strategic initiatives to embrace AI and it really changed the conversation. They know they want to embrace AI; it’s just a question of how.”
Looking ahead, Grit is focused on expanding its supported programming languages, adding to its roster of clients, and publishing success stories. As time goes on, Pell envisions Grit becoming an indispensable tool for development teams.