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Fellows Fund Gathers Top Minds to Fund AI Breakthroughs

·4 min read

MIAMI & SUNNYVALE, Calif., July 12, 2021--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Motivated to help AI researchers and engineers successfully launch category-defining companies, 10 leaders in the field have formed Fellows Fund. The platform expects to support a half dozen companies this year by, among other things, facilitating talent acquisitions, customer introductions, and spearheading investor outreach.

Recent Significant Milestones:

  • April 2021: Fellows Fund debuts its game-changing expert-led approach to VC investing; with a selective tech and AI fellow community

  • May 2021: First 10 Fellows recruited as Fund partners who hold executive leadership positions at Microsoft, Twitter, ServiceNow, Instacart, Adobe, and Stanford Children’s Health

  • June 2021: The Fund selects its first portfolio company: InsightFinder.com, a groundbreaking AI Ops company with patented technology to predict, diagnose, and avoid costly data center outages. We led a $2M investment alongside the founder of a $100B+ software company as well as over a dozen tech managers at Facebook, Uber, Pinterest, Amazon, and Airbnb

Why did we build this?

Some of the greatest commercial outcomes in tech began in a lab or an adjacent garage - most notably Google, Apple, HP, and Cisco. The Fellows are uniquely situated to recognize promising breakout technologies, foster the talent behind the inventions, and facilitate strategic industry connections to build great companies.

However, timely identification and commercialization of AI breakthroughs has lagged behind the needs of today’s business and deprived AI innovators of the entrepreneurial opportunities and networks they merit.

As tenured professors and C-Level executives at the most distinguished universities and technology companies, the Fellows have noticed predictable failure modes and confidence gaps that prevent highly skilled technical talent from establishing companies and growing them.

Fellows join us from C-Level and VP leadership positions at Microsoft, ServiceNow, Twitter, Instacart, Adobe, and Stanford Children’s Health, each introduced below. Our investments are also supported by top talent recruiting firm TalentSeer.com, which has deployed for over 100 AI companies in the past 5 years and has the expertise to grow and fortify engineering and sales organizations in the AI era.

Initial Portfolio Company Exemplifies Fellows Fund Synergies

InsightFinder.com, an AI Ops company which seeks to make data center outages something of the past, is our first investment. The company’s founder and CEO, Dr. Helen Gu, is a professor of computer science at North Carolina State University who holds multiple patents on unsupervised learning approaches to identify root causes of potential failures in complex computing environments. InsightFinder has built a business around preventing these issues before they cause catastrophic and costly service failures. Based on InsightFinder’s strong customer traction, defensible technology, and promising growth strategy, we led and closed a $2M investment in the company.

This investment demonstrates the strong network advantages the Fund offers to entrepreneurs and investors alike. InsightFinder was sourced through our network of Fellows. Its groundbreaking approach was vetted by the experts in the field, and the Fellows’ network and connections are poised to foster the company’s success.

We Proudly Introduce an AI Brain Trust of Founding Fellows and Managing Partners

Distinguished Fellows:

Stefano Corazza:
Head of Augmented Reality, VP & Fellow at Adobe; Founder and CEO of Mixamo (Acquired by Adobe).

Charles Elkan:
Professor of Computer Science at the University of California, San Diego; Former Managing Director and Global Head of Machine Learning at Goldman Sachs; Former Amazon Fellow.

Xuedong Huang:
Chief Technology Officer, and Technical Fellow at Microsoft Azure AI, IEEE Fellow, ACM Fellow.

Gang Hua:
Vice President and Chief Scientist at Wormpex AI Research: Blibee; former Chief Technical Advisor to Corporate Vice President and Director of Computer Vision Science at Microsoft; IEEE Fellow.

Vijay Narayanan:
Senior Vice President of Engineering, Chief AI Officer, and Head of Advanced Technology Group at ServiceNow; former Head of Content and Discovery Engineering at Pinterest.

Anshul Pande:
Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at Stanford Children’s Health; former Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of ProMedica.

Haixun Wang:
VP of Engineering, Distinguished Scientist at Instacart; IEEE Fellow.

Lei Yang:
Vice President of Engineering at Twitter; former Head of Engineering at Quora.

Managing Partners

Alex Ren:
Managing Partner at Fellows Fund; Founder and CEO at TalentSeer.com, CrossMinds.ai.

Andrew Grinalds:
Managing partner at Fellows Fund; Chief Business Officer at TalentSeer.com; Deal Team at A16z and General Catalyst. Insurtech Founder.

"We witnessed the successes and failures of over 300 AI startups in the last 5 years. Looking forward, we believe AI entrepreneurs must be backed by a fresh approach to venture capital, one providing capital support as well as the relevant insight and critical expertise to guide entrepreneurs through technical and commercial development."
-- Alex Ren, Fellows Fund Managing Partner

"I am excited to be among the first cohort of distinguished fellows at Fellows Fund. The Fellowship launches a new model and trend in venture capital, where investors provide support to portfolio companies that goes far beyond funding. I am certain the collective experience and insight from the Fellows council would be a great asset to any entrepreneur."
--Gang Hua, Fellows Fund Fellow

To learn more about Fellows Fund, please visit fellowsfundvc.com.

View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210712005536/en/

Contacts

Sarah Grinalds
Marketing Manager
pr@Fellows Fund

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