April 30, 2018

CEO Center Stage: T.M. Ravi, Founder and Managing Director of The Hive

Congrats on your new fund, The Hive III! How will the fund help The Hive continue its co-creation mission?
Thank you! The Hive III allows us to step up our co-creation mission. There are lots of funding entities and VCs here in Silicon Valley, but what makes The Hive distinct is our unique model as a co-creation studio. The Hive collaborates with entrepreneurs to explore themes and develop product and business concepts for new startups. A startup concept is fine-tuned and validated by engaging with thought leaders, customers and partners in the market.

Once there is strong feedback that the startup has a billion-dollar potential and that its approach is differentiated, we help start the company and fund it as well as help the startup through all the steps of company building. This includes completing the founding team, hiring the first 15-20 employees, guiding the technology and product development, business design and go-to-market strategy. The Hive plays an integral role in introducing the startup to early customers and partners so that the solution is developed in the customer context and to address customer needs.

In addition to collaborating with entrepreneurs, The Hive also collaborates closely with corporations to co-create and launch startups. This allows corporations to innovate faster than their competitors and to participate in cutting edge innovation in areas where they have deep expertise.

How many companies have you co-created so far? What are some of your biggest successes?
Since late 2012, The Hive has created 24 startups of which 6 have been acquired. Kosei, that was acquired by Pinterest, has helped drive Pinterest’s monetization strategy. We pioneered the IoT edge space with the creation of FogHorn, which is working closely with GE, Bosch, Honeywell, Google, Intel, Dell, Yokogawa, Saudi Aramco, and other partners. Decision Engines has pioneered the Intelligent Process Automation (IPA) market to provide a human-bot collaboration platform for end-to-end business process automation.

In your opinion, what do you think is the biggest impact of artificial intelligence and machine learning in the enterprise?
Artificial intelligence (AI) impacts enterprises in two key ways: 1) By enabling product and services to drive new revenue streams and, 2) By transforming the business processes of the enterprise to improve agility, responsiveness and efficiency. Every corporation needs an AI strategy to be relevant in the future.

What does it mean to be an “autonomous enterprise”? How is The Hive helping enterprises achieve this?
The Hive’s vision is that in the long-term AI will enable the ‘autonomous enterprise’ where decision making is largely automated, operations are data-driven and humans are primarily focused on policy making and exception handling. The Hive is launching startups focused on business process automation and transformation, enterprise chatbots to automate interaction with people, and cognitive enterprise applications that are key steps towards the autonomous enterprise.

What’s on the horizon for The Hive in 2018?
Key themes for The Hive in 2018 are reimagining business processes with AI, rewiring global trade and commerce with blockchain, new workflows that leverage humans interacting in ambient physical spaces, and digital service ecosystems for smart industrial machines.

Tags: Machine Learning , Andrew Der , The Hive , Accelerator , Artificial Intelligence , Entrepreneur Spotlight , AI , CEO Center Stage