Pixie dust and pitch decks: What AI-driven startups need to remember

Nov 22, 2017

Artificial intelligence and machine-learning and applications are moving into every corner of our lives, from entertainment services that learn from your choices to chat-bots that handle customer inquiries. It’s arguably the hottest area in tech: across Canada, there are hundreds of startup ventures offering new ways to harness some form of AI.

But, as many startup hopefuls are learning, even the magic of AI needs to come with a real business case.

Earlier this year, in a Toronto event space, more than 20 budding tech entrepreneurs pitched their ideas to about 250 people - including active investors - at NextAI Venture Day. It was the climax of an 8-month boot camp and launch pad for AI-based startups operated by Next AI, supported by Scotiabank as a founding partner. The founders paced the stage and pushed through their PowerPoints with promises to revolutionize everything from stocking supermarket produce to processing mortgage renewals. Up for grabs were bragging rights and networking opportunities with venture capitalists.

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