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Capital Efficient Entrepreneurship: Neil Vaswani, CEO of Corestream (Part 1)

Posted on Monday, Oct 22nd 2018

Neil has turned a $3M investment into a ~$10M annual revenue company by addressing a cumbersome piece of workflow in benefits management. Read on to learn how.

Sramana Mitra: Let’s start at the very beginning of your journey. Where are you from? Where were you born, raised, and in what kind of background?

Neil Vaswani: I was born in New York and lived there for a part of my life. My parents are from India. I did live in India for a while and spent some time in Europe. I went to school at Babson College and then moved back to New York City right around 2000. I started Corestream probably about 2006. >>>

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1Mby1M Virtual Accelerator Investor Forum: With Ankit Jain of Gradient Ventures (Part 4)

Posted on Monday, Oct 22nd 2018

Sramana Mitra: How are the companies in the Valley that you’re investing in? Are they using offshore development centers where there is AI talent available?

Ankit Jain: Even in the last year, it has changed a lot. There is a lot of interesting AI development being done out of Ukraine. Both Pakistan and India have teams that are starting to specialize in AI. At least, one of our startups has a team out of Pakistan that is doing a lot of their AI development.

Sramana Mitra: Interesting. I have never heard that before. Let’s talk about your portfolio companies. Talk about some of the highlights. Especially talk about what stage you get them in. How did you encounter them? What did 

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Billion Dollar Unicorns: Indian B2B Marketplace Udaan Flies In

Posted on Monday, Oct 22nd 2018

According to a 2016 report by Deloitte and the Confederation of Indian Industry, the B2B e-commerce market is expected to reach $700 billion by 2020 and is becoming a hot destination for venture capital. About $200 million was raised in 2017 for startups in the sector, up from $115 million in 2016 and $30 million in 2015. B2B e-commerce platform Udaan became one of the fastest startups to enter the Billion Dollar Unicorn Club after it recently raised $225 million. >>>

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Building a Fast Growth, Cutting-Edge Insurance Brokerage: Karn Saroya, CEO of Cover (Part 1)

Posted on Monday, Oct 22nd 2018

This is a terrific story of a team that has tremendous expertise in building and acquiring customers for consumer apps, and how they applied that unfair advantage to disrupt a domain (insurance).

Sramana Mitra: Let’s start at the very beginning of your journey. Where are you from? Where were you born, raised, and in what kind of background?

Karn Saroya: I’m a Canadian living in Silicon Valley. I was born in Canada in Vancouver. I was born and raised there. I went to Queens and eventually MIT. >>>

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Catching Up On Readings: Top 10 Strategic Tech Trends 2019

Posted on Sunday, Oct 21st 2018

This feature from Gartner highlights the top ten strategic technology trends that oranizations need to explore in 2019. These include automation using AI, augmented analytics using ML, AI-driven development, digital twins, edge computing, immersive experience, immersive experiences using VR and AR, blockchain, smart spaces, digital ethics and privacy, and quantum computing. For this week’s posts, click on the paragraph links. >>>

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1Mby1M Virtual Accelerator Investor Forum: With Ankit Jain of Gradient Ventures (Part 3)

Posted on Sunday, Oct 21st 2018

Sramana Mitra: I was talking to a friend at a party last weekend. He’s very experienced and successful serial entrepreneur. He has invested in an AI company that is doing very well. But this question of hiring AI talent is very serious right now. Let me ask you the geography question. What is your footprint? Where do you like to invest?

Ankit Jain: Before we get to that, let’s go back to the recruiting point because I think it’s a very important point. Valley folklore and reality has been that the best companies are built with the best people. If it’s okay with you, we can spend a couple of minutes on the recruiting aspect. >>>

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1Mby1M Virtual Accelerator Investor Forum: With Ankit Jain of Gradient Ventures (Part 2)

Posted on Saturday, Oct 20th 2018

Sramana Mitra: Double-click down for me on your definition of early stage. You said check size is from $1 million to $10 million. What is your definition of early stage? What does an AI startup need to show to be able to convince you that is has enough validation that there is something there?

Ankit Jain: That’s a very interesting question. I wish I had a clear answer of, “These are the things that you need to convince any investor that you are fundable.” Every investor has his view on this. We have a few things that we look for. They change by the stage of the company. At the seed stage, we’re looking for a strong core team that we think can execute in a given market, what people would refer to as >>>

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1Mby1M Virtual Accelerator Investor Forum: With Ankit Jain of Gradient Ventures (Part 1)

Posted on Friday, Oct 19th 2018

Responding to a popular request, we are now sharing transcripts of our investor podcast interviews in this new series. The following interview with Ankit Jain was recorded in May 2018.

Ankit Jain is Founding Partner at Gradient Ventures, Google’s AI venture fund.

Sramana Mitra: Let’s introduce you to our audience. Tell us about yourself a bit and introduce us to Gradient Ventures. What is the focus of the fund? How big is the fund?

Ankit Jain: Gradient Ventures is Google’s AI-focused early-stage venture fund. We invest $1 million to $10 million in companies that >>>

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