This conference summary and recording is your exclusive ticket to the world of investments towards innovation fueled by AI with insights from recognized leaders and domain experts from five continents. The three-hour conference was facilitated by SwissCognitive, World-Leading AI Network, and propelled by its Co-Founders, the Swiss AI Power Couple, Dalith Steiger and Andy Fitze


For the conference details, agenda, speaker line-up, and handouts CLICK HERE.
For the conference recording CLICK HERE
“Groundbreaking Expert Insights: Generative AI – a New Frontier for AI Investments”

Through thought-provoking panel discussions, illuminating keynotes, and transparent interviews, we uncovered the elusive characteristics of tomorrow’s AI leaders, explored audacious strategies, discovered secret evaluation criteria employed by seasoned venture capitalists, and immersed ourselves in the realm of child-centered AI for a more equitable future. It can be said with certainty, Venture Capital investments in the startup ecosystem drive innovation, business growth, and sustainable development worldwide across industries.

“It is our moral obligation to embrace the development and widespread use of AI.”
Dalith Steiger

With limitless potential, AI is not only attracting public attention but also that of leaders, experts and VC investors. Interestingly, investors not only invest in AI-focused innovative startups to foster business growth and development, but they also use AI themselves to optimize their choices for investments. To explore this landscape, we gathered 20 renowned experts from five continents. Through panel discussions, keynotes, real-world examples, and interviews, we delved into topics such as the traits of future leaders in AI investment, breaking away from conventional thinking, professional investment strategies, child-centered AI for equitable outcomes, and the symbiotic relationship between VCs and AI. Read on to find out about the most outstanding takeaways and listen into the recording for the details.

“Venture capital investments directed towards AI have a significant impact on propelling innovation and driving sustainable development across industries worldwide.”
Andy Fitze

Investing in AI: Characteristics of Tomorrow’s Leaders
With inputs from Caroline Hultman

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First and foremost, if AI has gained attention already in the 1950s, how come investors are getting excited about this technology only today? The answer is simple. Good things take time. The available data, accommodating infrastructure, and the advancement of this groundbreaking technology took long decades to get to where it is today– providing clear foundations for sustainable development in almost any domain and industry. With these technological transformations what also changes is leadership. In this new era, Venture Capitalists look not only for pioneering startups & ideas and innovative technologies, but also for community building visionary leaders. As investors play a significant role in shaping the future, it is not only important where their investments go, but also who the investors themselves are, with gender diversity being crucial for an inclusive future. Currently, only 10% of investors are women, making GAIN’s mission of promoting gender diversity in the VC ecosystem all the more relevant.

“AI will touch everybody’s lives. You cannot avoid it. You just have to accept it. It’s like surfing. If the wave comes, you should learn to surf and not run away from the wave.”
Thomas Dübendorfer

The Investment Revolution – Thinking Beyond the Atypical
With inputs from Lisa Cohen, Stéphan-Eloïse Gras, Cédric Waldburger, Alexander Stoeckel, and Thomas Dübendorfer

A thought-provoking panel discussion explored the challenges and opportunities, as well as enterprise applications of Generative AI, not only in the Western world but also in the global south. We heard how important it is that private VCs educate themselves on the regulations around AI, as regulations will determine to a certain extent the potential success of the startup that VCs invest in. Furthermore, VCs these days not only have the opportunity to invest in AI-propelled innovative startups that fuel advancement and welfare worldwide but also use the technology to optimize their own work processes and decisions.

“Education is better than regulation.”
Cédric Waldburger

Invest Like a Pro

With Jim O’Shaughnessy

There is almost no better person to talk about the change in the investment landscape than Jim O’Shaughnessy. Jim’s book “What Works on Wall Street – The Classic Guide to the Best-Performing Investment Strategies of All Time” which came out in 1998 laid the foundation for 4 more books which are heavily focusing on investing.

Jim revealed how he sees the investment landscape changing over the decades, and looking at the latest technological developments, especially in the last months. Jim used the anecdote of wifi, how amazed people were when it became available on planes, and how fast people actually got used to having it at their fingertips 10’000m high in the air.

This very same story is unfolding right before our eyes with AI and Generative AI as well. Jim also took us into the rules of investing in 2023, where the key is to able to see a little bit further and a little bit faster, and being able to have the courage to abandon the paths for those which show to be a much better bet going forward.

“Have the courage to abandon the paths for those which show to be a much better bet going forward.”
Jim O’Shaughnessy

Top Secret Evaluation Criteria from Venture Capitalists
With Yorai Fainmesser, Gali Bloch Liran, Assaf Araki, Heinrich Zetlmayer, and Benjamin Levy

With all the noise out there, in today’s world of AI as a VC it is hard to know which direction to take. All the developments and happenings can be very confusing. In fact, right now, at the intersection of AI and VCs, it is a bit like taking out the compass on the Noth Pole and trying to rely on it. It is impossible. You just have to decide on the direction that you believe is right and move forward – without a compass. The same applies to startups. In the AI era, it is not just about using AI. Using the latest technologies alone will not lead to success.

“People are willing to tolerate human mistakes that are accurate in 50%, but less tolerant towards mistakes made by machines that are accurate in 80%.”
Assaf Araki

Nobody is going to buy your product because you are using AI. You have to have a clear direction – a solution to a specific problem, and you need to demonstrate a clearly scalable product-market-fit – all backed with a dynamic team. You have to have a team that is agile and has a good mix of world-class experts and outstanding entrepreneurs. And you have to have a product where the human factor stays highly relevant. In fact, the number one reason why startups fail can be attributed to team dynamics.

“As a founder, you are a shepherd of the future. You are building the future. So don’t build a future where humans are irrelevant.”
Benjamin Levy

A good example of the usage of AI is healthcare, and more specifically mental health. Generative AI has huge potential there. It is important to embrace and understand the opportunities that AI offers, but at the same time be clear about its restrictions.

“Investors look for teams and founders that are resilient and agile.”
Gali Bloch Liran

“Right now, at the intersection of AI and VCs, with the rise of Generative AI, it is a bit like taking out the compass on the North Pole and trying to rely on it. It is impossible. VCs are re-calculating investments thesis and look for valid moat and uniqueness.”
Yorai Fainmesser

How to Invest in Child-Centred AI for More Equitable Future Returns
With Bo Percival and David Casillas

We gained insights into the work of the UNICEF Venture Fund which works in collaboration with local innovators in 190 countries to develop and experiment with new solutions at a fast pace, in order to address the ever-changing challenges that children face.

As said by Bo Percival, they are risk takers, trail breakers, and map makers – l to the benefit of the most vulnerable children in the world, where equity is not necessarily about dollars, but is about accessibility to new technologies across the globe.

With David Casillas, we got to know Pixframe Studios, a Mexican company that partnered with UNICEF, and with 10 years of experience transforming the education of children, youth, and adults through innovation. The company uses AI to provide personalized learning experience for children, and data-driven insights & optimized workload for teachers.

“We use AI to provide specific learning paths and also feedback to the teachers about the abilities and the knowledge that the child has during a specific period of time.”
David Casillas

AI needs VCs and VCs need AI
With Beny Rubinstein, Jacqueline Ruedin Rüsch, Danielle Gifford, Philipp Stauffer, Massimo Buonomo

Investments from venture capital in the field of AI have a profound influence on fostering innovation and promoting sustainable development. The benefits of AI in this space is twofold. By leveraging the analytical capabilities of AI, VCs can gain valuable data-driven insights into global trends, industry demands, challenges, and opportunities. This aids in identifying promising startups, innovative technologies, future prospects, and VCs to navigate the investment landscape, mitigate risks, and allocate resources effectively and efficiently.

During this discussion, we also heard how important timing and scalability are. On the whole, a good idea stays a good idea unless it has a catalyst to make that idea visible at scale. And this is what exactly happened with AI in the past months. It has been also highlighted, that investing in generative AI is attractive for venture capitalists due to technological innovation, market potential, and industry disruption.

“AI is like the Force in Star Wars. If you have it, you can do good and become a Jedi, or you can do bad and join the dark side.”
Philipp Stauffer

It positions them at the forefront of cutting-edge technology, allows them to tap into a rapidly growing market, and offers opportunities for substantial returns on investment. VCs also have a role in shaping the development of AI to businesses’ and societies’ advantage. But VCs can only do so much. A lot lies in rules, regulations and policies. But to be fair, so far, we haven’t seen any case around AI that wouldn’t be covered by current law. The final insights on this panel we got into the challenges around AI being biased, which is, at the end of the day humans being biased.

“Best is to invest in something that others don’t see or believe yet; and do that right before the tipping point. The tipping point is easy to recognize after it happens but hard to see when you are in front of it.”
Philipp Stauffer

Venture Industrialist: Harnessing the Power of AI for a Sustainable Industrial Future
With Ken Forster

In the last keynote and use case of the conference, we found out how AI-based solutions in manufacturing can achieve 18% energy savings and 50% scrap reductions while also reducing emissions by 77%, and this data is based on only one plant over a 3.5 months period! On an annual basis, this means 900 tons of CO2 and EUR 1mill saved. Furthermore, how AI can optimize processes in the USD 3 trillion textile industry, where nearly 10% of textiles produced are discarded due to defects that are not caught until later production stages – creating over a hundred billion in waste annually. AI-propelled solutions augment human inspectors with a system of smart cameras that detects defects in real time on the production machine and immediately stops the production of defective products. This solution saves millions of liters of water, millions of kilowatt hours of electricity, and tons of CO2. In the final minutes of the conference, we found out why Switzerland is ideal for investors. These include the country’s central geographic location, skilled & educated workforce, and healthy political system with friendly tax conditions.

“Investments into AI creates huge returns, not only for the providing companies and their clients and their consumers but also for the people worldwide and for our planet.”
Ken Forster

If you missed our “Beyond Efficiency: AI’s Creative Potential” virtual conference, here you can find the video recording:

For the conference details, agenda, speaker line-up and handouts CLICK HERE