20VC: Why AI Is More Artificial Than Intelligent, Why Engineering-centric Founders Are Able To Pivot Best & Why Startups Are Like Games with Alina Cohen, General Partner @ Initialized Capital

Posted on 30th August 2017 by Harry

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Alina Cohen is a General Partner @ Initialized Capital, one of Silicon Valleys leading early stage seed funds. Their portfolio includes the likes of recent unicorn, Coinbase, Flexport, Cruise Automation, OpenDoor and many more incredible companies. As for Alina, prior to Initialized, she ran tech investments for Tamares Group, the first outside investor in Palantir, and previously founded Recrec, a computer vision startup which was acquired by Facebook, where she worked on Platform and Groups. You can also check out Alina’s voice controlled Arduino/Raspberry Pi here.



In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Alina made her way from selling her computer vision startup to Facebook to GP with one of SF’s best new seed funds, Initialized?

2.) Why does Alina think gaming is so similar to start-ups? What core components are the same? What about gaming led Alina to realise there were secrets to the world of starting companies and growing startups in Silicon Valley?

3.) Why is Alina so focused on engineering-centric founders? Why does Alina feel they are the most attractive investment opportunities? Why are they the founder profile that deals best when pivots have to be made?

4.) Why does Alina think that AI is more artificial than intelligent today? If ML is a “leveraged play on data”, where are the opportunities for startups with such data incumbency? Does AI just help the big get bigger?

5.) Why is Alina so bullish on the future of personal voice computing? What does Alina think will be the catalyst to consumer adoption? What are the compelling consumer applications with voice? Why does this remind her of the early FB platform days?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Alina’s Fave Book: The Three-Body Problem

Alina’s Most Recent Investment: Fly.io

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Alina on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

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