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Artificial Intelligence: Picking Start-ups to Invest in With AI and ML

By Dick Weisinger

Artificial Intelligence is increasingly being used by businesses to help make decisions. That decision-making ability is expected to move to the world of investments very soon. Gartner predicts that over the next four years that venture capitalists will begin relying heavily on AI and ML to help select start-up companies as candidates for investment.

Patrick Stakenas, senior research director at Gartner, said that “successful investors are purported to have a good “gut feel” — the ability to make sound financial decisions from mostly qualitative information alongside the quantitative data provided by the technology company. However, this “impossible to quantify inner voice” grown from personal experience is decreasingly playing a role in investment decision making. The traditional pitch experience will significantly shift by 2025 and tech CEOs will need to face investors with AI-enabled models and simulations as traditional pitch decks and financials will be insufficient.”

Stakenas said that “the personality traits and work patterns required for success will be quantified in the same manner that the product and its use in the market, market size and financial details are currently measured. AI tools will be used to determine how likely a leadership team is to succeed based on employment history, field expertise and previous business success.”

It’s already happening. The San Francisco venture company called Signalfire uses a program called Beacon to analyze the performance of more than 6 million companies. The program scours 10 million data sources, like academic publications, patent registrations, open source contributions, regulatory documents, web pages, sales data, and social networks. Using Beacon, Signalfire is able to identify a list of possible investment opportunities.

A second example is the company Correlation Ventures which uses AI to build a predictive model that helps reduce the amount of time needed for investment research. It helps to determine company viability and whether existing strategies could be successful.

The Gartner report found that venture businesses using AI have systems that are “capable of running terabytes of signals through complex models to determine whether a deal is right for them and then apply that to enhance the decision making for each investment opportunity.”

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