Venture capitalists are investing heavily in technology, but what about deep-technology and AI companies? In today’s show, we speak to Jason Schoettler and Kevin Dunlap, both veterans in the technology sector. They have both worked in a range of areas within technology, such as working on the Mars Rover, with most of their focus on robotics and AI. They then made a career change and integrated their vast technological experience and their passion for innovation to form Calibrate Ventures, a venture capitalist company investing in advanced, emerging technologies that reshape industries and the future.
In today’s conversation, we learn about Jason and Kevin’s career backgrounds, the potential that the deep technology sector has, what ideas excite them the most, the challenges when investing in AI-based companies, what kind of technology is easily understood by the consumer, what makes a technological innovation successful, and much more.
Key Points From This Episode:
- Background and professional paths that led Jason and Kevin to their current roles.
- Reasons behind starting Calibrate Ventures and originally entering the sector.
- How the deep-technology sector can solve current problems.
- What kind of new technology and innovation they get most excited about.
- The most essential quality of innovative technology: what people want.
- Rundown of the diverse, experienced, and talented team they work with.
- Jason shares an example of a technological innovation that solved a real-world problem.
- How they differentiate the approach when investing in AI companies.
- What influences the longer sale cycles in the AI technology sector.
- An example of the challenges when integrating AI technology with the business side.
- The benefits that Jason and Kevin’s experience adds to the company.
- Some examples of the kind of technology that translates well to the consumer.
- We find out what their opinion is about automation and augmentation.
- We wrap up the show with some advice from Jason and Kevin for AI entrepreneurs.
“I think for me personally, the cycle-time was very long. You work on projects for a very long time. As an investor, I get to see new ideas and new concepts every day. From an intellectual curiosity standpoint, there couldn’t be a better job.” — Kevin Dunlap [0:05:17]
“So that lights me up. When I hear somebody talk about a problem that they are looking to solve and how their technology can do it uniquely with some type of competitive or differentiated advantage we think is sustainable.” — Jason Schoettler [0:08:14]
“The things that really excite us are not, where can we do better than humans but first, where are there not humans work right now where we need humans doing work.” — Jason Schoettler [0:20:44]
“Anytime that someone is doing a job that is dangerous, that is able to be solved with technology, I think we owe it to ourselves to do that.” — Kevin Dunlap [0:22:39]
Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode: