Notes from Bola’s presentation:

  • Andrew Ng started AI Fund. He’s a former Stanford professor, founder of Google Brain, and co-founder of Coursera.
  • AI Fund is a $175M fund, with an average check size of $1M.
  • Their pre-seed teams are domain experts with deep technical knowledge, often coming from academia. They also have a unique distribution advantage or perspective.
  • They believe their LPs are some of the best in silicon valley.
  • AI Fund invests in AI across any vertical.
  • Top founders like partnering with AI Fund because of the advisors provided. For example, a fintech portfolio company may be advised by the former co-founder of a billion dollar fintech company.
  • AI Fund also sometimes incubates companies
  • We’re currently in an AI goldrush. In 2023 so far, $18B has been invested in AI.
    • How can startups win in this ecosystem? Customer led differentiation:
      1. Technical differentiation:
        1. proprietary data
        2. more efficient models
        3. safer or more compliant models
        4. open models.
      2. Non technical differentiation:
        1. Find a great niche with little competition
        2. onboard well by embedding onboarding into the workflow
        3. make sure the platform works well
        4. leverage regulatory certification approach like FDA certification
        5. distribution advantage
        6. geographical focus, like focusing on a specific region


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