Hey! Let’s talk about your AI startup! #AI #Startups #ArtificialIntelligence

“Jase, I’ve been told all the money is in AI now so I’m off to go and create a company…..”

Not the first time….

…I’ve heard this over the last couple of months. And said with all the same eager puppy excitement when chatbots were going to take over the world, literally the week before.

So my natural reaction, with humility and grace has been the same….


I’m not going to sit here and say, “don’t do it”, it’s not my place to. I do have my opinions though. Firstly….

The Big Boys Have Been There For Years

Yes, I’m sorry to say that the big companies have been working on this for a long long time already but because it wasn’t in the tech press no one really took much notice. Well a few of us did and even then didn’t act on it because the big boys were doing it.

So Amazon, Google, Facebook et al have been beavering away in the quiet and not really saying much. In stealth if you will…. remember that phrase, a lot of us used to use it in times gone by.

Investment Levels in Northern Ireland….

Too low, just simply too low. The plain fact of the matter, go to the US. As of December 2015 90% of the deals done in AI investment were into US companies. If you insist on staying here then close a $5m round at least. Staffing is going to be hard, real hard, and find folk who know how the numbers work. Using a API or third party potentially can hit you hard later on, remeber KISS? Keep It Separate Stupid!

Let’s talk data.

You probably don’t have it. So you need to generate it but you’re already too late unless you’re generating tons of the stuff and storing it. And words ringing in my when asked on a panel, “If I gave you £100 to invest what would you put it in”, I said put it into data mining. If you had been saving the data over the last six years then you’d have something to predict….. but you probably haven’t and for good AI training you’ll need a s**t load of it.


I’ve said my bit on neural networks a long while ago. It still stands, it’s early days and many don’t know the work needed, the big guys did and in that time they’ve got the data, the skills and the money.

What’s Your Edge?

Do you have one? The simple rule of thumb is the same as John Kelley, the Kelly formula is really simple.


What’s the likelihood of you getting the payday, divided by the odds against you. With over 900 AI startups invested on the planet and you having a slither of an edge.

0.01/900 = 0.000011% of you getting the payday.

I know it won’t stop you…… good luck.




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