A Conversation on Startup Co-Creation with T. M. Ravi of The Hive
by T.M. Ravi, Managing Director, The Hive and Katie Fritsch, Director of Marketing, The Hive
The Hive today announced its next co-creation fund for creation of 7+ AI based enterprise companies. LPs include Verizon, GE, Software AG, Rockwell Automation and March Capital.
K: How did you develop the idea to build a co-creation studio?
R: In Silicon Valley there is an imbalance between capital and quality startups. There is far too much capital chasing few quality startups. The Hive is an unique equity value creation structure, highly differentiated from VCs and incubators, to create companies. We create these companies in collaboration with entrepreneurs, and sometimes in collaboration with corporations. The Hive is very selective with the ideas it pursues and engages with exceptional teams to build startups around the ideas. The Hive has a high touch model and applies its deep entrepreneurial and business expertise to help startups move through company building, business design and go-to-market. The Hive helps the startups with recruiting talent, technology development, strategy, and introduction to customers. To support this co-creation model The Hive has a team consisting of successful serial entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and operating people. Uniquely The Hive team has a Chief Product Officer (CPO) and a Chief Technology Officer (CTO) who work alongside entrepreneurs to curate and build companies for billion dollar outcomes.
K: Why did you focus on AI when The Hive was started?
R: In late 2012 when we started The Hive we had a point of view that impact of data and AI would be orders of magnitude bigger than that of the Internet. We are focused on AI in the enterprise where we see the transformation towards the Autonomous Enterprise resulting in hundred of billions of dollars of new equity value.
K. What was the journey like from building The Hive I, to The Hive II and now The Hive III?
R: In The Hive I we pioneered and developed the co-creation model and in The Hive II we scaled the model. We expanded our focus in The Hive II beyond the general enterprise to include the industrial segment and built strong relationships with virtually every major industrial vendor. We also expanded our focus to include blockchain. In The Hive III we are exploring other industries such as Financial Services, Insurance and Health. As we have fine tuned the co-creation process focusing on larger investments where we spend our time actively curating companies and minimizing small seed investments. We have done 24 companies so far with a number of fast growing companies and 6 exits. Based on the success of the model we started The Hive India and The Hive Brazil to fund and launch startups based in India and Brazil respectively.
K: What was the most exciting part of the journey thus far?
R: AI is changing the world and being in the center of the revolution is thrilling. Being involved at the creation of two to three companies a year and seeing businesses develop and grow out of nothing is the most exciting part of the journey.
K: What are you looking forward to over this year?
R: This week we are hosting The Hive Annual Summit in Palo Alto with over 300 investors, CxOs and thought leaders. It will feature industry thought leaders speaking on the theme of ‘AI in the Enterprise’ and on topics including 5G, health, business processes, blockchain, space exploration, and considerate AI.
We are expanding The Hive Think Tank that has over 10,000 members and fosters thought leadership in AI to now include a content platform in addition to an event platform. In collaboration with corporations we are also creating dedicated thought leadership tracks on AI, Enterprise, Blockchain, 5G, IOT, FinTech & InsureTech, Health, & Entrepreneurship.
Some of the areas that we are focused on in 2018 for co-creation are reimagining business processes with AI, rewiring global commerce with blockchain, new workflows that leverage ambient intelligence, and digital service ecosystems for smart industrial machines.