TechCrunch+ Roundup: Building an AI Core Team, Brazil’s CVC Climate, Remote Work Rituals

About every third restaurant will go out of business in the first year. For construction companies, this figure rises to 53%.

But AI projects are the real heartthrobs: A Gartner study found that 85% are destined to fail “due to bias in data, algorithms, or the teams responsible for managing them.”

Unfortunately, the deep fear of missing out is causing many companies to jump into AI projects with both feet even though they don’t fully appreciate the scope of the work involved.

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“The best way to ensure you’re on the right AI development path is to start your AI project without thinking about the models,” recommends Eran Shlomo, co-founder and CEO of Dataloop.

“Most of the data that the AI ​​needs to perform at its best is not available to the development team,” he writes. “This creates a ‘chicken or egg’ problem: companies need production data to provide a functional model, but the model must exist in order to go into production.”

In a post aimed at non-technical managers and senior developers, he presents a framework for building a core team composed of data scientists, domain experts, and data engineers who can build a system that can iteratively learn from its mistakes.

By working together, “AI provides automation, speed, and low cost” while the team “steers the AI ​​to a correct result in an ever-changing environment.”

According to Shlomo, working along these lines creates a flywheel for machine learning data, “essentially planning a learning system and not an AI model that’s working properly at a given point in time.”

Thanks for reading,

Walter Thompson
Editor-in-Chief, TechCrunch+

Despite the downturn, CVC is gaining traction in the Brazilian startup ecosystem

Brazil vector flag, virtual 3D abstract object made of triangular polygons on blue background

Photo credit: Alex Sholom (opens in a new window) /Getty Images

Brazil’s corporate venture scene is still in its infancy, but in recent years companies from industries such as mining, telecoms and retail have come into play.

“These CVCs should be structurally advantageous for Brazil’s startup ecosystem as they introduce a stable pool of intermediate-term dry powder that could reduce volatility,” says Matheus Tavares Dos Santos, hedge fund investment analyst.

Gatik’s Gautam Narang on the importance of knowing your customers

Gautam Narang Gatik

Photo credit: Bryce Durbin

As the toxic East Palestine, OH train derailment demonstrates, an overhaul of our vulnerable supply chains is long overdue.

Autonomous vehicle startup Gatik operates about 40 driverless heavy-duty semi-trucks on routes up to 300 miles long, connecting distribution centers to smaller hubs.

Rebecca Bellan interviewed Gatik CEO and Co-Founder Gautam Narang to learn more about the company’s operations, investor expectations and the impact of a lack of human drivers on growth.

“We’ve never done free shipping before,” he says. “We’ve been doing commercial deliveries since 2019, which means we’ve been paid for every trip we’ve taken.”

If you have more than one business model, you have no business model

Four white arrows and one yellow arrow on a blue background.

Photo credit: Oberfeldwebel (opens in a new window) /Getty Images

Unless your startup has a clearly defined business model — and no backup in case the first one fails — it’s unlikely to get funded.

Haje Jan Kamps defines it as “the whole stack of how your business works: how you use your resources (money and people) to develop products and acquire paying customers, and how you keep those customers.”

You don’t have to grope in the dark: Founders in the seed phase can largely rely on LTV and CAC to shape the strategy, because identifying a “repeatable business model” is task one.

“The most important thing is to narrow the focus of your business model and how you direct your attention throughout your product’s sales cycle,” he writes.

Create remote work rituals that stay

A group of ants working as a team to form a three-dimensional geometric sculpture out of glue and matchsticks.  The ants dip matchstick ends in glue dripping from a glue bottle and place them in position to form the shape on a marble countertop.

Photo credit: look (opens in a new window) /Getty Images (image has been modified)

Remote teams are very flexible about when and how they work, but adding some structure can improve productivity and transparency without sacrificing freedom.

“Ultimately, asynchronous work only serves you if you split work phases with your team,” says Stefanie Palomino, Chief Product Officer and General Manager at ROOM3D.

This post provides several tips that can help managers use active listening techniques that will drive engagement, improve communication, and ideally, reduce the number of meetings that take place.

“The routines that people create are negotiated over time, but it’s something we take for granted.”

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