It's that time of the year again, the sun is out and VCs are planning to go on their season-long annual break after long months of working. It may sound like bad news for startups eager to get a helping hand from venture capitalists. However, they should have no fear, because Artificial Intelligence has them covered. Very recently, tech enthusiasts have come up with a mockery of AI and Venture Capital, launching the AIVC, a firm, that claims to be entirely powered by AI technology, and aims to provide investment consulting for startups.
They describe themselves as having collaborated with leading research universities to develop a platform that advises entrepreneurs and provides funding solutions. The experience is comparable to chatting to Siri, but focused on building a 'killer startup'. So how does it work?
Firstly, a startup needs to reveal its name to the AI bot and then start describing a problem a startup team is trying to solve, which is how they usually start their pitch the real investors. Similar to a real investor, the bot will require the simplest description of the problem, and by using pattern recognition (a branch of machine learning), it is able to understand a speaker, therefore, clarity is critical. After that, a decision must be made on which hot innovation space best suits a startup, could be VR, fintech, AI, the bot will make sure the company is focussing on the hottest fields. After generating growth projections, a startup goes to the next level or AI may think that it needs to pivot, suggesting better strategy solutions. Once a startup is successful, there is no need for term-sheets, the only thing needed is an electronic signature and a tweet about the new investment that the AI platform estimated for the startup.
Even though the platform is open to giving entertaining advice on investment and pitching, it is very secretive about its creators. Although the project is satire-orientated, it tries to deliver a very important message: 'We're not overly idealistic - investors are necessary and hugely enable innovation, and getting founders to be thoughtful about taking money is simply good company building. We're hoping that AIVC will start an organic conversation about these issues.' Despite the platform not having the 'unicorn identification capabilities' as it may mention during the conversation with the bot, young companies should consider being more thoughtful and serious about the money they are raising from investors.
One of the reasons startups fail is a poor understanding of ROI, which can result in raising too much capital, but then, not returning the capital. Such mistakes often lead to failure, and most importantly, to the loss of trust from investors. It's worth pitching your idea to AIVC, but bear in mind that in real life, there is nothing better than a well-thought out business plan.