The success of an AI startup depends on not only the technology and the problem the startup seeks to solve within the market, but also the support it has from investors and venture capital firms.
One VC firm that prides itself on working closely with the founders of startups is Glasswing Ventures.
As an early VC firm, Glasswing is focused on investing in AI-enabled companies and what it calls "frontier tech" B2B companies, according to Kleida Martiro, a partner at the company.
Kleida MartiroPartner, Glasswing Ventures
"We have built strong convictions around certain areas where AI could really revolutionize certain industries," Martiro said during a Targeting AI podcast discussion. Those convictions have led Glasswing to create a mission oriented toward "connecting and protecting" building AI startups.
When in the "connect" part of the mission, the VC firm looks for startups developing smart data infrastructure and automation, and vertical applications. The "protect" part is centered around security, which includes data governance and cybersecurity.
Glasswing focuses on seed and pre-seed financing of startups in the earliest stages. It guides startups by connecting them to customers, talent and more fundraising.
"We serve as a true partner -- we get involved as much as the startup wants us to get involved, and we step aside when they don't need our help," Martiro said. "We're very much founder-first. They're part of our extended family."
Startups working with Glasswing need to demonstrate that their technology addresses a critical need in the market. The startups also need to start with real talent.
"When investing at such an early stage, it really comes down to the team," Martiro said. "Backing a team that can execute, has the vision, has the technical chops and the technical skills very much married with the business ... and backing good people who are hustlers is truly what makes it at this stage."
Esther Ajao is a TechTarget news writer covering artificial intelligence software and systems. Shaun Sutner is senior news director for TechTarget Editorial's enterprise AI, business analytics, data management, customer experience and unified communications coverage areas. Together, they host the Targeting AI podcast series.