Forward

Dawn

On Forward we talk to founders leveraging AI to transform industries and solve the world's biggest challenges. read less

Glean AI’s Ankur Patel on helping businesses manage costs with AI, culture at Bridgewater, running an AI-powered hedge fund, and offering spend analytics as an API
5d ago
Glean AI’s Ankur Patel on helping businesses manage costs with AI, culture at Bridgewater, running an AI-powered hedge fund, and offering spend analytics as an API
We sat down with Glean AI’s Ankur Patel to discuss managing business costs with AI, running an AI-powered hedge fund, culture at Bridgewater, building the remote-first company, and the future generative AI.  Ankur is a co-founder and head of data at Glean AI. Glean uses natural language processing to deliver vendor spend intelligence within an accounts payable solution. Before founding Glean, Ankur was the vice president of data science at 7Park Data, a Vista Equity Partners portfolio company.  Ankur used alternative data to build data products for hedge funds and developed a natural language processing-based entity recognition, resolution, and linking platform for enterprise clients. Before 7Park Data, Ankur led data science efforts in New York City for Israeli artificial intelligence firm ThetaRay, a pioneer in applied unsupervised learning.  Ankur began his career as an analyst at J.P. Morgan and then became the lead emerging markets sovereign credit trader for Bridgewater Associates, the world's largest global macro hedge fund. He later founded and managed R-Squared Macro, a machine learning-based hedge fund.  Ankur is the author of Hands-on Unsupervised Learning Using Python and Applied Natural Language Processing in the Enterprise, both O’Reilly Media publications.  Glean is backed by Contour Venture Partners, Infinity Ventures, B Capital, Portage Ventures, Amex Ventures, and other prominent venture funds and fintech angels.  The audio version is available everywhere you listen to podcasts: https://anchor.fm/forward-by-dawn/  0:00 - Why start a career on Wall Street  03:55 - Key takeaways from Bridgewater's approach to culture  05:55 - How to build an AI-powered hedge fund  08:25 - Can a data edge be sustainable for a hedge fund  10:35 - Data-driven hedge fund horizon  13:30 - How should an individual investor think about the market and edge  17:10 - How Glean helps organizations manage expenses with peer intelligence  24:10 - Scaling spend analytics   29:00 - Offering Glean functionality as a set of APIs  36:00 - AI technologies powering Glean  40:35 - Solving the “cold start” problem with training data  43:30 - Raising a multi-million seed round pre-product and pre-revenue  48:00 - Managing the growth, fighting the pressure of growth-at-all-costs  52:20 - To build a strong culture focus on what motivates people  56:00 - Adapting the culture to the remote-first environment   1:00:00 - Think about how acquiring data makes a product better  1:05:00 - The future of generative AI and multi-modal models  Company: https://www.glean.ai/   Twitter: https://twitter.com/aapatel09   Newsletter: https://www.ankursnewsletter.com/   At Dawn, we invest in visionary leaders who move the world forward. Learn more at https://dawn-gv.com    With questions about Forward contact us at forward@dawnglobalventures.com
Regression Games Aaron Vontell on building AI bots to compete in games, raising a $4M seed in a week from NEA and A16Z, and the future of AI in gaming
Jan 16 2023
Regression Games Aaron Vontell on building AI bots to compete in games, raising a $4M seed in a week from NEA and A16Z, and the future of AI in gaming
We sat down with Aaron to talk about building bots to compete in games, Raising a $4M seed in a week from NEA and A16z, building an AI-powered company, and the future of AI in gaming.   Aaron is the Founder and CEO of Regression Games, a company making artificial intelligence in games and esports accessible and enjoyable for everyone. He was previously an early engineer at Instabase, working on low-code machine-learning products. He received his Bachelors and Masters from MIT, where he helped develop Battlecode, MIT's annual AI gaming competition.   Start competing in Minecraft - Ultimate Collector challenge at https://play.regression.gg   Timestamps:   0:00 - Why let people build AIs that will compete in games  2:10 - Which games to use as arenas for AI bots' competition  8:10 - First tournament - Minecraft Ultimate Collector  10:46 - RG approach vs. other companies applying AI in games  16:40 - The toolset to program bots  18:33 - Leveling the field for players with various programming skills  21:00 - Origins: First robotics, MIT Battlecode, Instabase  31:00 - Applying Natural Language and LLMs to programming bots  35:10 - How to monetize AI bots  38:15 - Starting RG as a solo founder, first steps, NEA, A16z, Roosh  41:00 - Navigating the venture ecosystem as a first-time founder  45:05 - Building initial team  48:37 - Future of AI gaming  52:25 - Advice to founders starting an AI company  57:05 - Future of AI in general, AI as a companion    Links:   Regression Games: https://www.regression.gg   Discord: https://discord.com/invite/925SYVse2H   Twitter: https://twitter.com/RegressionGG    At Dawn, we invest in visionary leaders who move the world forward. Learn more at https://dawn-gv.com     With questions about Forward contact us at forward@dawnglobalventures.com
Formic’s Saman Farid on reinvigorating manufacturing with robotization - Labor shortages, China, Robots as a Service, Incubating businesses, Building a $100B company
Jan 9 2023
Formic’s Saman Farid on reinvigorating manufacturing with robotization - Labor shortages, China, Robots as a Service, Incubating businesses, Building a $100B company
Our guest today is Saman Farid, the CEO and founder of Formic. Formic is accelerating the adoption of automation across small to mid-sized U.S. manufacturers and boosting productivity by removing the risk, complexity, upfront capital, and expertise that typically exist as barriers to onboarding this technology. The company’s “Robotics-as-a-Service” model delivers customized robots at a low hourly rate, with guaranteed uptime. With a full-service offering that includes everything from planning and deployment to maintenance and upgrades, Formic is creating an innovative and accessible competitive advantage for small and mid-sized factories to ensure they stay relevant and thrive in any economy. 0:00 - Manufacturing in the US 4:15 - Why labor shortages 7:52 - Robotization in the US, China, and Korea 13:47 - Opportunity for the US manufacturing automation 19:08 - Formic’s hardware, software, and financing services 24:44 - Types of customers served by Formic 30:55 - Collaborative robots 33:15 - Case study: auto parts manufacturer 39:15 - Learnings from 10 years as a VC 46:56 - How to incubate a business 54:44 - People at Formic 1:02:12 - Future of robotization in manufacturing TRIZ: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TRIZ Company: https://formic.co/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/goformic Open positions: https://formic.co/careers At Dawn, we invest in visionary leaders who move the world forward. Learn more at https://dawn-gv.com With questions about Forward contact us at forward@dawnglobalventures.com
Winn AI’s Eldad Postan-Koren on guiding sales teams in real-time to win more deals
Nov 21 2022
Winn AI’s Eldad Postan-Koren on guiding sales teams in real-time to win more deals
We sat down with Eldad to talk about boosting sales teams' win rates with real-time AI guidance, approaching 200 sales leaders to build the product, and lessons from the Israeli Navy. Real-time guidance is the future of professional communications and Winn is an excellent case study on starting a vertical AI company. Eldad Postan-Koren is the CEO and founder of Winn AI. Winn offers a real-time AI assistant that helps sales teams win more deals with less hassle. The Winn.AI real-time assistant acts as an extra pair of hands during meetings, giving salespeople the freedom to focus their attention entirely on the customer. For account executives, this means a stronger, more authentic conversation with their prospects and less administrative hassle. For sales leaders, it means more passionate AEs, stronger brand voices, faster onboarding, and, most importantly - increased sales. Before starting Winn with his co-founder Bar Haleva, Eldad was the COO of DreaMed Diabetes, responsible for the company’s initial commercialization efforts, and worked at OurCrowd - a company enabling accredited investors to invest in startups. Eldad also founded two NGOs (Shavot and The Sky is the Limit) and is a proud veteran Naval Officer. In this episode, we talk about Winn’s approach to helping sales teams win more deals, and make salespeople happier. We also talked about how reaching out to 200 people for customer development before starting Winn helped Eldad in unforeseen ways, and what lessons from the Israel Navy he currently applies as a founder. Winn AI: https://winn.ai/ Eldad on Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/eldad-postan/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/winn_sales/ Jobs: https://www.linkedin.com/company/winnai/jobs/ Shavot: http://shavot.org Contact us at forward@dawnglobalventures.com
Naveen Rao on building the world’s first AI chip and bringing Machine Learning to every industry
Nov 14 2022
Naveen Rao on building the world’s first AI chip and bringing Machine Learning to every industry
Our guest today is Naveen Rao, the CEO and founder of Mosaic ML. The MosaicML Cloud makes it easy to train models of any size on any number of GPUs, helping teams achieve more accurate results faster and seamlessly scale workloads with distributed training methods. Naveen previously built the first AI-chip company Nervana Systems, which was acquired by Intel in 2016. He then joined Intel and started and ran Intel’s AI division. What we discussed (with timestamps): 8.12 It really came down to, I want to find my purpose in life, in this world… - on returning to academia. 9.50 I came with a focus, I didn’t meander. - on completing a Ph.D. ahead of time while having one of the most amazing times of his life. 15:15 We started seeing hints that this was something much bigger than just a new toy. - on Neural Networks. 17.01 Entrepreneurs and founders are zealots. -  on the difference between the founders and professional managers. 19.50 He made this company an AI company by his sheer will… - on Nvidia’s Jenson. 24.01 I was like, man… that’s having your back - on venture investors. 24.47 It hurt, it felt like I got dumped by my girlfriend… as a young engineer, when this stuff happens to you, it leaves a mark - on living through the dot-com bubble. 28.03 We came in and it was like, we’re on pause. - on building at Intel. 33.23 Oh shoot, they’re going to kill us - on Nvidia’s reaction on Nervana's acquisition by Intel. 35.44 I think they tried to reach too far… and couldn’t hit it. - on Intel vs. TSMC. 42.00 The H100 - it uses 2x the power, has 2x the performance and it costs 2x the price. We’re not seeing More’s Law. - Why focus on efficiency at Mosaic? 56.52 - You get something that performs way better - on training a model on PubMed and testing against the Medical Licensing Exam. 1.02.13 - Do I want to be in the foxhole with this person? - on partnering with a co-founder. 1.04.00 - I’m not doing anything, just thinking about this problem… - on getting a term sheet from LUX. 1.09.07 - You have to be irrational! - on building a team 1.17.26 - Trying your best to not have to fire someone should be what you really looking for… - on hiring execs. 1.23.36 - There will be a thing, where you generate stuff for various industries… and it’s completely untouched! - on opportunities in AI today. 1.33.46 - Building synthetic intelligences capable of processing vast amounts of data is how we’re going to make future scientific breakthroughs. - on the future of AI. Links: Twitter: @NaveenGRao Twitter: @MosaicML Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/mosaicml/ The lottery ticket hypothesis https://arxiv.org/abs/1912.05671 Opensource composer https://github.com/mosaicml/composer GPT-3 training https://www.mosaicml.com/blog/gpt-3-quality-for-500k MLPerf Image Classification https://www.mosaicml.com/blog/mlperf-2022 MLPerf NLP https://www.mosaicml.com/blog/mlperf-nlp-nov2022 A newsletter with the AI papers summaries https://dblalock.substack.com/ Contact us at forward@dawnglobalventures.com
Neural Concept’s Pierre Baqué on reimagining industrial design with generative AI
Nov 7 2022
Neural Concept’s Pierre Baqué on reimagining industrial design with generative AI
Our guest today is Pierre Baqué, the CEO and founder of Neural Concept. Neural Concept uses Deep Learning to provide industrial companies with lightning-fast numerical simulations and radically innovative designs. Where traditional physical solvers would take days or weeks to evaluate a single design, their neural network-based predictive models allow engineers to test and optimize design ideas in real time. Pierre received an engineering degree in Applied Mathematics and a Master's degree in Operations Research from Ecole Polytechnique in France. Before co-founding Neural Concept he worked as an optimization and machine learning engineer at Credit-Suisse in London, and as a researcher at the Computer Vision Laboratory at EPFL. In this episode, we talk about the evolution of simulation techniques in industrial design, and how the design cycle can be completely transformed with AI-powered simulations and design generation. We also talk about the future of human-machine collaboration in design and how to break world records with AI. Website: https://www.neuralconcept.com/ Blog: https://www.neuralconcept.com/resources LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/neuralconcept/ Open positions: https://www.neuralconcept.com/careers Bike: https://www.neuralconcept.com/post/speed-bicycle-our-optimized-aero-bike-broke-two-world-records Boat: https://www.neuralconcept.com/post/on-the-quest-to-break-the-world-record-sp80-and-neural-concept-are-collaborating-to-optimize-ventilated-hydrofoils-profiles Contact us at forward@dawnglobalventures.com
Jarvis ML's Rakesh Yadav on applying AI lessons from Google to boost revenues in ecommerce, hospitality, and beyond
Oct 27 2022
Jarvis ML's Rakesh Yadav on applying AI lessons from Google to boost revenues in ecommerce, hospitality, and beyond
Our guest today is Rakesh Yadav, the CEO and founder of Jarvis ML. Jarvis ML’s mission is to be the most accessible and easy-to-use end-to-end machine learning platform. As a fully managed MLaaS solution, Jarvis ML enables companies to deploy a revenue-generating intelligence engine to their businesses and products within minutes. Before founding Jarvis Rakesh led Machine Learning Operations platform development for Google Ads and Payments. Jarvis is funded by Dell Technologies Capital, SHAKTI, and more than a dozen veteran Silicon Valley technologists and business leaders. In this episode we talk about boosting revenues at ecommerce and hospitality businesses, applying the lessons Rakesh learned at Google, building a horizontal platform vertical by vertical, and combining deep learning with other techniques to maximize business results. We also talk about the reasons why Jarvis' team is spread across the globe, and why finding time to paint is important to Rakesh. For hospitality or eCommerce companies looking to learn more about Jarvis ML, the products, and request information, visit  www.jarvisml.com For people looking to build and evangelize world-class technology as part of an amazing team, see open positions at www.jarvisml.com -> [Careers] Jarvis ML on Social media:  Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/jarvis-ml Twitter: https://twitter.com/jarvismlinc  Lessons learned: https://yadavrakesh.com/2021/08/01/lessons-learnt/ Data Commons: https://www.datacommons.org/ Join us as a guest on Forward: https://dawnglobalventures.com/forward-guest Contact us at forward@dawnglobalventures.com
Graft’s Adam Oliner on accelerating AI adoption by embracing the Modern AI paradigm
Oct 12 2022
Graft’s Adam Oliner on accelerating AI adoption by embracing the Modern AI paradigm
Our guest today is Adam Oliner, the CEO and founder of Graft. Graft is a cloud-native platform that empowers organizations to leverage the most advanced AI techniques to unlock the value of text, images, video, audio, and graphs.  Before co-founding Graft, Adam was a Head of Machine Learning at Slack and Director of Engineering at Splunk. Before that Adam co-founded Kuro Labs, which commercialized battery analytics technology. He was a postdoctoral scholar in the EECS Department at UC Berkeley, working in the AMP Lab, which specialized in cloud computing and Big Data. He earned a Ph.D. in computer science from Stanford University and a Master of Engineering from MIT, where he also earned degrees in computer science and mathematics. In this episode, we talk about Modern AI and how Graft empowers organizations to build AI systems in a way it is done by the top technology companies, cutting the time to value from months to days or even minutes. We also talk about what to look for in your future co-founder, why failing is an essential part of entrepreneurship, and how generative AI will change the way we treat video content on the internet. Adam’s Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ajoliner/ You can also reach Adam at: adam /at/ graft.com Graft website: https://graft.com/ Join us as a guest on Forward https://dawnglobalventures.com/forward-guest Contact us at forward@dawnglobalventures.com
Cornerstone AI’s Mike Elashoff on using AI to produce high quality data in healthcare.
Oct 4 2022
Cornerstone AI’s Mike Elashoff on using AI to produce high quality data in healthcare.
Our guest today is Mike Elashoff, the co-founder and CEO of Cornerstone AI. Cornerstone’s goal is to give everyone the data science superpower of clean data, without the manual work it takes to get there. They are focused on empowering the healthcare industry by using machine learning to convert raw data into analysis-ready data. The vast majority of healthcare data is either human-generated or human-entered and prone to errors. Incorrect data leads to mistaken insights and often adverse consequences. Cornerstone’s platform yields higher quality data than the manual approaches data science teams employ today, and it does so an order of magnitude faster, compressing months to days and days to hours or even seconds. Before founding Cornerstone with his co-founder Andrew Howland, Mike worked at several biotech companies, including CardioDx, where he developed the Corus CAD test, the first blood-based molecular diagnostic for coronary disease, and Medidata, which has the largest clinical trial database in the world. He previously founded a machine learning startup called Patient Profiles which was acquired by Medidata. Mike was also a reviewer and a team leader at the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. He received an undergraduate degree in Statistics from the University of California at Berkeley and a Ph.D. in Biostatistics from the Harvard University School of Public Health. In this episode, we talk about the challenges healthcare organizations face managing their data, what new requirements to data are introduced by AI, how Cornerstone applies machine learning technologies to address these challenges, and what best practices organizations can implement to improve data management. We also talk about their work on COVID-19, why off-the-shelve ML models do not work for them, how to put together a great founding team, and why self-reliance can be treacherous. Cornerstone AI website https://cornerstone.ai/ Mike’s LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/michael-elashoff-4096681/ Join us as a guest on Forward https://dawnglobalventures.com/forward-guest Contact us at forward@dawnglobalventures.com
Cogniteam’s Yehuda Elmaliah on building autonomous robots faster.
Oct 4 2022
Cogniteam’s Yehuda Elmaliah on building autonomous robots faster.
Our guest today is Dr. Yehuda Elmaliah, the founder and CEO of CogniTeam. CogniTeam is based in Petach Tikva, Israel, and has been developing artificial intelligence technologies for robots for over ten years, working with world-leading companies on mapping, navigation, and autonomous decision-making. Over the years CogniTeam developed a unique set of Robotic AI software working with Intel, Amazon, Mitsubishi, Siemens, and other blue chip companies. They have recently packaged this set of technologies in Nimbus, bringing a unique cloud-based robotic artificial intelligence solution in one easy-to-use platform. Yehuda holds a Ph.D. in computer science specializing in multi-robot systems and is a leading expert on algorithms for robot autonomy. He spent seven years as a Dean of the computer science school at COMAS before starting CogniTeam with his co-founder Dr. Nachum Kaminka. In this episode, we talk about why it takes many years to get an autonomous robot to market, how to speed this process up, what Cogniteam learned about building robots from their work with Intel, Amazon, and DARPA, and what is the next big step for autonomous robotics as a field. We also talk about why having happy team members is important for Yehuda, and what makes him feel like a dolphin. Nimbus website: https://www.cognimbus.com/ Nimbus Demo and Trial: https://app.cognimbus.com/signup Yehuda’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/yehuda-elmaliah-01037b12/ SayCan paper by Robotics at Google and Everyday Robots: https://arxiv.org/pdf/2204.01691.pdf Join us as a guest on Forward: https://dawnglobalventures.com/forward-guest Contact us at forward@dawnglobalventures.com
Quin AI’s Gonca Gulser on boosting e-commerce revenues with AI.
Oct 4 2022
Quin AI’s Gonca Gulser on boosting e-commerce revenues with AI.
Our guest today is Gonca Gulsar, the co-founder of Quin AI. Quin is an Audience Engine that understands real customers, their needs and their intentions, Quin helps merchants to drive conversion and increase revenue. E-commerce is an industry rich with real-time data, but processing it efficiently remains a significant challenge. Quin leverages behavioral customer data to deliver targeted actionable insights and the strongest possible conversion to the merchants. Gonca studied Organizational research at the London School of Economics and worked as a data scientist at various organizations for 20 years before starting Quin with her sister Gulsha. While running Quinn, Gonca still finds time to work as a part-time instructor at Bogazici University. In this episode we talk about the challenges e-commerce merchants face when leveraging their data, and how applying machine learning models can boost their performance by tens of percent in weeks; what is hourly seasonality and why it is important; how COVID became the trigger to start Quin, and how 20 years of work experience instruct Gonca’s approach to designing the company’s culture. Quin AI: https://www.quinengine.com/ Gonca’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/gonca-gulser-0786403 Contact Quin’s team at: https://www.quinengine.com/contact hello@quinengine.com Join us as a guest on Forward: https://dawnglobalventures.com/forward-guest Contact us at forward@dawnglobalventures.com