20 VC: Dennis Mortensen

Posted on 24th June 2016 by Harry
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Dennis Mortensen is the CEO and Founder of X.ai, the artificial intelligence driven personal assistant that lets people schedule meetings using plain English and nothing more than a CC to amy@x.ai. Their female persona Amy is so lifelike that users have asked her on a date at a rate of one request per month! X.ai is now one of the best funded AI startups having raised over $30m from our friends at FirstMark and a big thanks to Matt Turck for making the intro and from DCM, who also helped us with some of the questions for Dennis!
In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Dennis came to found X.ai and what the a-ha moment was for him?

2.) What did the training look like for X.ai? How long did it take? How much data did you have to painstakingly annotate? What is more important; data or algorithms?

3.) Many VCs are concerned about large incumbents having proprietary data sets. Does this concern Dennis and what can be done to mitigate this

4.) Question from David Cheg @ DCM: How will AI startups interact with giant corporates also investing heavily in AI research?

5.) How was the fundraising journey for Dennis? How did he approach it strategically? What challenges did he face? How did he go about choosing his investors?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode: 

Dennis’ Fave Book: How To Get Rich by Felix Dennis

Dennis’ Fave Blog: Wait But Why

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Dennis on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!
If you are looking to make your move into the world of VC or improve your investing skills,  Venture Capital Unlocked: Secrets of Silicon Valley Investing is a must! It is a 2 week crash course at Stanford run by Stanford Professional Development Centre and 500 Startups. You will learn the mechanics of all things Silicon Valley investing, check it out here.
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