Co-founding for Deeptech development: it starts with an idea

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Introduction: Incrementalism is the norm in most venture financing with much of the funding going into software applications. Following the shock of the internet bubble pop, most investors steered…
Our understanding of Deeptech is that its kernel is science

Co-founding for Deeptech development: it starts with an idea FuturistLens Follow Aug 7 · 6 min read

Interview with Futuremaker: Salvatore Minetti Part II

Introduction: Incrementalism is the norm in most venture financing with much of the funding going into software applications. Following the shock of the internet bubble pop, most investors steered clear of early-stage financing and played safe by deploying their capital in later rounds after the products have been proven by customer acquisition and the sales momentum has been achieved. Incubation has been rudimentary with modest financing of accelerators at an early stage. Entrepreneurs bear much of the risk and fend for the expertise they need for the venture. In the second part of the interview with Salvatore Minetti, Kishore Jethanandani explored deep-tech investments and what it entails for risk management in venture development.

FuturistLens: What is your understanding of Deeptech? Does it span software, analytics, and hardware or is it limited to software? The applications, such as lead generation, that you have funded appear to be familiar. What makes you characterize them as Deeptech?

SM: Our understanding of Deeptech is that its kernel is science. The applications, such as lead generation by one of our ventures, Prospect, may not be novel but the engine that drives it is a cut above others.

Soffos, currently under development, is a learning and development application that is customized for the needs of each individual and their functions in the organization. The mid-and-large size corporates have bodies of tacit knowledge that they apply to functions like compliance, product development, etc. They have the information corresponding to the knowledge categories that lie in silos. Soffos aggregates that information and filters it with categories, unique for each company, to organize it for learning and development for individuals in clients' companies. By contrast, most other companies organize information as tutorials in a Q&A format.

All the six companies, three of them currently funded and another three undergoing due diligence, are software start-ups. There are others we are looking at are in robotics with both software and hardware. We expect to have more projects that include hardware. However, the core value, in any of these projects, is in artificial intelligence.

AI permeates our business and we scan for opportunities in it which helps us to look at alternative courses of action

FuturistLens: You have related entities, Fountech Solutions, and Fountech Science, which collaborate with Fountech Ventures. What are the roles they plan in your larger plan for venture development?

SM: Fountech Ventures is a standalone business, but it is part of Fountech.ai which is the mothership. Fountech.ai is a think-tank and a lobbyist for the development of the next generation of AI. In that family are a couple of subsidiaries — Fountech Ventures, where I am the CEO, is one of them.

Another one is Fountech Solutions which is a consultancy business. Its services are sought when clients want to develop an in-house capability for AI and they want to prepare a technical roadmap. After the pathway is mapped out, those organizations also seek assistance to build the technology. These are not plug-and-play AI solutions but a core competence that companies can acquire to outcompete their peers.

Fountech Science is a pure science shop funded by grants from the EU and other patrons. It assesses what is next in AI. It is staffed by Ph.ds and engineers who understand the AI landscape — the current state-of-play and what is emerging. The knowledge that it…
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