Leslie Cohen Cohort 2 Companies (Apr 2016 to Jul 2016), Companies

Banter is a Palo Alto-based startup revolutionizing the way customers interact with businesses. Their technology enables customers to contact businesses over direct messaging channels (e.g. SMS). Using both Artificial Intelligence and human agents, customers can make purchases and receive assistance in real time. Banter is currently focused on retail companies, but will expand into the travel and restaurant industries over time.

Joe Beninato is a repeat entrepreneur building his eighth startup company, Banter. He was most recently the General Manager, Digital Wallet for Urban Airship after the acquisition of his startup, Tello. Over the past 25 years in Silicon Valley, he’s been a founder, employee, investor, or advisor for dozens of companies including Ofoto, Presto, S3,, and many others.

Frank VanZile is a highly experienced technologist and entrepreneur leading software development for Banter. He was most recently the founder and CTO of Twist, a mobile technology startup in San Francisco. Frank’s been an early lead engineer or founder of many startups including Netscape, RemarQ and Good Technology.