Flashback to our Latest BootstrapLabs Applied AI Insiders Series | Applied AI and Climate & Energy

BootstrapLabs has built a community of more than 40,000 people from over 60 countries who care about applying Artificial Intelligence to solve the hardest problems of our society.

The BootstrapLabs Applied AI Insiders Series brings together the brightest and most experienced experts in the field of AI for an immersive time of learning, discussion, and connection.

We have released the video from our last event on BootstrapWorks to share the knowledge around the diverse topics covered by our experts on stage.


Michelle Moore, CEO of Groundswell – a non-profit that is focused on building community power, and Fabio Ficano, Head of BootstrapLabs Venture Studio for Climate & Energy, discussed how Artificial Intelligence could be applied to address some of the major challenges and opportunities facing us as we transition to clean energy infrastructure, decarbonization, and a circular economy for a more sustainable future.

There has never been more awareness, anticipation or support for innovation and technology to drive a cleaner, more sustainable future. Venture capitalists alone have invested over $53Bn last year in Climate & Energy technologies, making it one of the fastest growing segments of the market. This is 2.5x more than pre-pandemic levels, and 23x more than a decade ago.


The US’ decision to rejoin the Paris Agreement, followed by COP26, the highest profile meeting of its kind in history, combined with massive public awareness and pressure for countries and companies to make firm and ambitious commitments has raised the stakes for Climate Tech, aka CleanTech, like never before. Especially with the recent passages of the Chips & Science Act and the Inflation Reduction Act, federal funding is rapidly increasing in this area with multiple new eligible programs from the NSF, NIST, DOD, DOE, and others.

BootstrapLabs was among the first to track how AI would impact the Climate & Energy sectors, but sometimes innovation is not coming fast enough. So, in addition to allocating capital from our new Applied AI Fund III into startups tackling these problems, we have decided to launch our own venture studio to form new companies addressing untapped opportunities in the Climate & Energy space.


Host: Nicolai Wadstrom, CEO, Founder, and General Partner, BootstrapLabs.

Moderator: Ben Levy, Co-Founder & General Partner, BootstrapLabs.

Panelists: Michelle Moore, CEO of Groundswell; Fabio Ficano, Head of BootstrapLabs Venture Studio for Climate & Energy.


The Future of Work – What Is It, Really?

The Future of Work – What Is It, Really?

“So, what is ‘future of work’?”

As the Head of the BootstrapLabs Venture Studio for Future of Work (phew, that’s a long title), I’ve been getting that question a lot lately. The term “future of work” is broad and covers a wide range of areas. To understand where work is heading, you have to ask yourself questions like: “What are the big trends that impact how we work?”, “What do we want from work?” and even “What is work, really?”.

Big and broad questions. Maybe there is another way to approach it? A reasonable starting point is to at least agree on a fundamental definition of work itself. I like this one:

Activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result.

Things get messier when we start talking about organized work and we have multiple people coming together to achieve a shared goal. We use constructs like companies to set the legal and mental frameworks for collaborating. In the book “The Next Rules of Work“, Gary A. Bolles writes:

The purpose of the organization is as a platform for channeling human energy.

We live in a free market system where those companies that can best achieve desirable results for their stakeholders (primarily customers and owners but also employees, partners, society, and the ecosystem) survive in an ever evolving game of competition. We can put the two sentences above together and form a sort of optimization target for companies:

The organisation that can best channel human energy to focus mental or physical effort to achieve results for its stakeholders will win.

Notice how words like “salary”, “employment” or “office” is absent from this sentence. And what does a silly little statement like this tell us about the future of work? Isn’t it obvious that the best organizations win?

The reason I would like to take a step back, and ask basic questions like the ones above, is because we are in the middle of a paradigm shift and when those happen it’s a good idea to look at the bigger picture. While inside a particular paradigm, improvements and changes are incremental, but when moving from one paradigm to the next a lot of what we believed were fundamental truths turn out to be just side effects of the current paradigm.

The office is a perfect example of this.

Before the pandemic, not having an office seemed like a crazy idea. Today, many companies are asking why they pay overpriced rents for central locations that no one visits. It turns out that the office was a relic from the days before video meetings and internet based work. It was a paradigm specific “false” truth that you have to have an office. (I do think that physical meeting spaces have great value for people, but it is at least very different from what it used to be. How is it different? Well, to answer that you have to understand why we meet to begin with, so you have to understand the fundamental truths.)

There are many false truths like that and if you want to understand the Future of Work, you have to ask yourself what are the paradigm specific false truths and what are the fundamental truths?

I plan to post a series of blog posts digging in to this question, because it where the fundamental truths meet the new opportunities provided by a new paradigm that a huge potential for value creation in the form of new startups opens up, so make sure to stick around.

And of course, feel free to connect if you want to continue the conversation about Future of Work!

Erik Starck

Congratulations to Alex Holub, Abhik Majumdar, and Philip West – Vidora acquired by mParticle

BootstrapLabs is pleased to announce that on August 3rd, 2022, our portfolio company Vidora was acquired by mParticle, the leader in customer data infrastructure.

The worldwide acceleration of digital transformation is creating an explosion of new data that creates exciting new opportunities for automation and artificial intelligence applications. Vidora’s Cortex platform enables fast deployment of Machine Learning, which processes business data pipelines without a deep bench of data scientists and engineers. In fact, many of their larger enterprises have scaled out their deployment of automation and Machine Learning without needing large engineering and data science teams. Cortex democratizes and accelerates the adaptation, deployment and constant improvement of AI models.

BootstrapLabs was one of the first institutional Investors in Vidora in 2017, and since then, has worked closely with founders Alex Holub, Abhik Majumdar and Philip West to support them in building Vidora. The acquisition is a recognition of their team’s incredible talent and perseverance.

“When we started Vidora, we were fanatical about making AI models accessible and self-service for business users. We couldn’t be more excited to join forces with mParticle to expand our impact and help the world’s most innovative brands deliver the best customer experiences with data and AI.” said Vidora Co-Founder and CEO Alex Holub.

“By incorporating AI into the data layer, teams can improve the value they get out of their customer data, their data pipelines, and their customer engagement toolset. The end result is unmatched performance without sacrificing scale” said mParticle CEO Michael Katz.

“Vidora was among the first startups to apply AutoML to help enterprise leaders make better decisions with customer data. Despite being extremely technical, the founders understood the importance of abstracting complexity, increasing explainability, and ultimately making the platform easily accessible to anyone in the enterprise” said Benjamin Levy, Co-founder & General Partner of BootstrapLabs. “We are thrilled that Vidora’s software will be integrated as part of mParticle’s broader enterprise marketing solution and believe their customers will greatly benefit from it.”

Below you can read the full press release:

NEW YORK, Aug. 3, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — mParticle, a leader in customer data infrastructure, announced today that it has acquired Vidora, an AI personalization platform for customer data. Read More. 

Flashback to our Last BootstrapLabs Applied AI Insiders Series | Applied AI & Supply Chain

BootstrapLabs has built a community of more than 40,000 people from over 60 countries who care about applying Artificial Intelligence to solve the hardest problems of our society.

The BootstrapLabs Applied AI Insiders Series brings together the brightest and most experienced experts in the field of AI for an immersive time of learning, discussion, and connection.

We have released the video from our last event on BootstrapWorks to share the knowledge around the diverse topics covered by our experts on stage.


Karen Johnson, Director Supply Chain at Hayden.ai, and Channa Ranatunga, Co-Founder & CEO at Rabot, talk about how Artificial Intelligence is helping businesses in the Supply Chain and Logistics sector face some of their vulnerabilities, increase workers’ performance, and ultimately contribute to the recovery of the global economy.

The Supply Chain and Logistics sector is an enormous market that accounts for nearly $10 Trillion globally, or 10% of the global GDP. Last year, venture capital investments in the supply chain sector reached an all time high of $11.3B and 2022 shows no sign of slowing down as the next generation of supply chain technology and infrastructure is being re-invented.

The lack of visibility and historically slow adoption of automation in the sector created dramatic delays across all industries, which were only magnified by government lockdowns and labor shortages during the pandemic.



Moderator: Ben Levy, Co-Founder & General Partner, BootstrapLabs.

Panelists: Karen Johnson, Director Supply Chain, Hayden.ai; Channa Ranatunga, Co-Founder & CEO, Rabot.


Why Artificial Intelligence is the catalyst

Artificial Intelligence is likely one of the biggest disruptions we have seen in modern times (and I have been building technology since the 80ies), it will have a bigger impact than the Internet, Mobile Computing and Cloud Computing.

Congratulations to Rahul Chipalkatty and Jay M. Wong – Southie Autonomy Secures $2.5 Million Seed Funding Round Led by BootstrapLabs to Support Growth.

BootstrapLabs is pleased to share that our portfolio company Southie Autonomy secured $2.5 million in seed funding and an additional $5 million in venture leasing to support Southie’s disruptive robot-as-a-service business model. Southie will use the new funding to accelerate customer acquisition and build out their network of distribution partners. In addition, Southie will scale its operations and expand their commercial and technical teams. BootstrapLabs led the seed round, and welcomed Ocean Azul and Kineo Finance (who also provided the venture leasing facility), in the round as strategic and value-add co-investors.

BootstrapLabs has been tracking the industrial robotic space, but was not interested in customized robots. We liked the Southie team’s software approach to robotics and had been tracking their progress. We now believe that Southie Autonomy is ideally positioned to capture the $30Bn dollar opportunity represented by Robotic Process Automation by 2030.

“We are thrilled to have investors that are pioneers in understanding how AI is changing our world and their support will enable Southie Autonomy to scale rapidly.”

Rahul Chipalkatty, Founder and CEO, Southie Autonomy.

Southie Autonomy’s no-code robotic arm software solution provides fast and flexible automation in the supply chain disruption, creating a turnkey cell that can adapt to fluctuating demands and improve efficiency and margins. Manufacturers no longer need additional programming and engineering expertise to integrate and manage the automation. The platform utilizes artificial intelligence and augmented reality to automate highly variable contract packaging activities spanning kitting, packing to palletization, and enabling daily line changeovers. The robotic arm can be configured within minutes, eliminating the setup burden, and can operate safely beside workers. The software is compatible with any robotic hardware and is currently being deployed by a handful of customers.

“This is a pivotal moment for the industry, and with its Robot-as-a-Service business model, Southie is poised to accelerate the adoption of collaborative robots across new industries and types of organizations.”

Benjamin Levy, Co-founder and General Partner, BootstrapLabs.

You can read the full press release below:

BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Southie Autonomy, a developer of intelligent robotic automation, today announced it has raised $2.5 million in seed funding led by BootstrapLabs, a venture capital firm focused on applied artificial intelligence, and with the participation of Ocean Azul. Read More.


Southie Autonomy has been a BootstrapLabs portfolio company since 2022.

Announcing our first Venture Studio and welcoming Erik Starck

At BootstrapLabs we are excited to welcome Erik Starck, as our Head of BootstrapLabs Venture Studio for Future of Work. Below you can find some short insights about our recently announced Venture Studio and learn more about Erik`s vision. 

Erik, why did you decide to join BootstrapLabs? 

A few months ago I decided to join my longtime friend and AI investor Nicolai Wadstrom at BootstrapLabs, to lead the new Venture Studio, and to explore and implement new cutting edge solutions to increase productivity by leveraging artificial intelligence technologies. BootstrapLabs has been pioneering Applied AI investments, and is uniquely positioned in the world of AI.    

It took me only 1 week to accept their offer. Nicolai and his team have built one of the highest quality communities of AI experts, invested in some of the top emerging category leader startups, and most importantly, shared my vision: it is not about where AI will have impact, but when. Sooner or later, AI will be applied everywhere. 

Everything that can be automated will be automated — and everything that has been automated can be augmented by AI.

What does that mean for the future of work?

Many years ago I wrote an article in a Swedish magazine about a variant of the Turing test that I called “the expert Turing test”.

The Turing test as described on Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turing_test)

For those not familiar with the Turing test, it is meant to test a computer for general intelligence, by asking questions using a terminal to a computer and a human behind two locked doors. If it’s not possible to distinguish between the computer and the human, the computer has “won”. It is to be considered equally intelligent (perhaps even conscious — but that’s another debate) as the human.

In my variant of the test, I exchanged the computer with a human using an internet connected computer in one room and an expert on a certain topic in the other. The human with the internet computer is a complete novice on the same topic.

When it’s not possible to distinguish the expert from the novice-with-computer, the novice “wins”.

The idea is that the human mind is augmented by the computer, to the level where even an amateur can perform certain tasks like a pro. The “expert Turing test” is thus a kind of IA test — as in Intelligence Augmentation — rather than AI (Artificial Intelligence).

Back in the ‘80s, Steve Jobs called the computer “a bicycle for the mind” due to how the computer makes the mind more efficient. Well, thanks to AI, this decade we will leave the bicycle stage (perhaps we already have?). Computers are becoming more like rocket ships for the mind than bicycles!

Computers have already made certain jobs obsolete, but it has also created new ones. Many more will come as the economy transforms into one driven by a new kind of operating system of apps and services that greatly enhances human capabilities.

This transition creates huge opportunities to create better co-workers, better teams, and better organisations (something I will be exploring as the Head of BootstrapLabs Venture Studio for Future of Work). This decade is going to bring amazing progress and we will look back on the early ‘20s as just the beginning. Exciting times.

Flashback: BootstrapLabs Applied AI Conference – On the Road to Artificial General Intelligence

The BootstrapLabs Applied Artificial Intelligence Conference 2019 #AAI19 brought together the brightest and most experienced experts in the field of AI for an immersive day of learning, discussion, and connection.

On BootstrapWorks we have released the videos from this past conference to relive the moments and spread the knowledge around the diverse topics covered by our experts on stage. 

BootstrapLabs has built a community of more than 40,000 people from over 60 countries who care about applying Artificial Intelligence to solve the hardest problems of our society.

Get access to practical wisdom on Applied AI methodologies and take advantage of AI’s powerful potential, sign up here to receive the videos directly into your inbox. 

Danny LangeVP of AI and Machine Learning at Unity Technologies, brings his vast expertise in AI to illuminate the path technology is on and where it is headed. Danny discusses how the AI community is working to improve algorithms, the role of intelligence in biological evolution and learning, and the relationship between intelligence and the senses. Danny goes on to explain why game engines with a spatial (3D) environment in conjunction with a physics engine (gravity, inertia, and collision) are the perfect virtual biodomes for AI’s evolution, as they are fast, scalable, controlled, and self-sufficient ecosystems that closely replicate the natural environment. In conclusion, he shares new developments in reinforcement learning and the positive effect they will have on a variety of industries. Watch the video below to gain first-hand insights.


Speaker: Danny Lange, VP of AI & ML, Unity Technologies

Some of the key takeaways from the session are:

  • Intelligence in biological systems provides the models for AGI.
  • Game engines are virtual biodomes that are used by researchers to play with different aspects of intelligence because they replicate parts of nature
  • Nature’s learning method is reinforcement (loop: observe, action, reward). This is why reward signals are used to teach Machine Learning agents.
  • Currently ML-agents are trained with more and more biological models, e.g. creating an algorithm for curiosity to accelerate the learning process.
  • The long-term goal is to get from the biological to the cultural evolution of the homo sapiens: The human brain was stable for the last 30,000 years, but things like emergence, language, collaboration and anticipation changed. When ML agents can learn methods themselves and from each other, this will create powerful Artificial General Intelligence.

About Danny Lange:
Dr. Danny Lange is VP of AI and ML at Unity Technologies. As the former Head of ML at Uber, he led an effort to build the world’s most versatile ML platform to support Uber’s rapid growth. Previously, Danny was the General Manager of Amazon ML, an AWS product that offers ML as a Cloud Service. Prior to Amazon, Danny was Principal Development Manager at Microsoft, where he was leading a product team focused on large-scale ML for Big Data. Danny started his career as a Computer Scientist at IBM Research and has a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the Technical University of Denmark.


To sign up for our mailing list, click here.


Coffee Break Series – AEye


On Wednesday May 26th, BootstrapLabs Co-Founder Benjamin Levy moderated our latest Coffee Break Series on Applied AI and Autonomous Transportation. Together with AEye Co-Founder and VP of Corporate Development, Jordan Greene, and Chief Scientist, Allan Steinhardt, they discussed how AEye is revolutionizing autonomous mobility using its active, high-performance LiDAR, called iDAR™ (Intelligent Detection and Ranging). 

Using the principles of automated targeting systems and biomimicry, AEye’s iDAR is able to intelligently focus on what matters in its surroundings, while not missing anything, in  order to enable machines to make safer, smarter, and faster decisions in complex scenarios. 

BootstrapLabs was among the first investors in AEye, and on February 17, 2021 the company announced a SPAC deal (Nasdaq: CFAC) to scale its operations and expand internationally.



Some of the key takeaways from the session are:

  • AEye’s goal has always been to create a LiDAR system that is better than human perception. Its iDAR system mimics the way the human eye and visual cortex process information – effectively merging 3D into 2D data, and  focusing on the collection of salient information for radically improved accuracy and performance. 
  • In the near future, AEye technology will be found in everything that moves, not only in the automotive driving market, but also – for example – in aerospace, mining and rail.
  • LIDAR is a secular trend and it is fast becoming the core technology that will allow us to bridge the gap between the physical world and digital world, and in doing so, create the necessary feedback-loop to build, measure, learn, and impact the physical world.


To sign up for our mailing list, click here.

Flashback: BootstrapLabs Applied AI Conference – AI National Plans, State Funding and Geopolitical Implications

The BootstrapLabs Applied Artificial Intelligence Conference 2019 #AAI19 brought together the brightest and most experienced experts in the field of AI for an immersive day of learning, discussion, and connection.

On BootstrapWorks we have released the videos from this past conference to relive the moments and spread the knowledge around the diverse topics covered by our experts on stage. 

BootstrapLabs has built a community of more than 40,000 people from over 60 countries who care about applying Artificial Intelligence to solve the hardest problems of our society.

Get access to practical wisdom on Applied AI methodologies and take advantage of AI’s powerful potential, sign up here to receive the videos directly into your inbox. 

How governments and the private sector engage with AI may very well dictate their future economic strength and security posture. While many states are active in AI, only a few have a planned national strategy for employing the technology. This keynote and fireside chat bring together experts from FutureGrasp, an advisory firm founded by the first National Intelligence Officer for Technology (NIO/TECH) with the National Intelligence Council (NIC) in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), the United Nations Interregional Crime & Justice Research Institute (UNICRI), and the World Economic Forum (WEF) to provide unique insights into what AI means for the future of geopolitics. Specifically, panelists address national plans and government investments into AI, and their respective geopolitical implications.

Presenter: Tom Campbell, Founder & President FutureGrasp LLC

Panelists: Irakli Beridze, Head of the Centre for AI & Robotics, United Nations; Kay Firth-Butterfield, Head of AI & ML, World Economic Forum

Some of the key takeaways from the session are:

  • FutureGrasp created a report on AI National Plans around the world that will be published in the months after the conference: So far only 14 states developed an AI national plan and further 19 states expressed interest in doing so.
  • An estimated total of $646B has been invested in unclassified AI activities around the world led by Saudi Arabia, China, UAE and the US. Research is the most popular sector by number of states invested and most funds are allocated to Infrastructure and Industrial Strategy.
  • The World Economic Forum (WEF) is currently creating guidelines for procurement of artificial intelligence for the UK. This is an opportunity to shape the use of AI.
  • UNICRI explores how AI can be used by criminals and how to counter this threat by empowering law-enforcement agencies.
  • Countries should develop a national AI strategy because of the tremendous opportunity of the advancements in AI as well as the development of a deeper understanding of the threats posed by the technology in order to mitigate risk. This is why Europe has required all of their countries to develop national AI strategies.
  • Countries have the power to channel AI talent towards meaningful applications like sustainable development through investments and events.
  • Collaboration between the private sector and institutions like the WEF or the UN are essential to solve problems on a global scale.

About Tom Campbell:
Thomas A. Campbell, Ph.D. is founder and president of FutureGrasp, LLC, which advises organizations on trends and implications of emerging technologies. He is also a special advisor to BootstrapLabs, a senior fellow with the Council on Competitiveness, and a member of the steering/program committee for the AI Pioneers Forum. From 2015 to 2017, Tom was the first National Intelligence Officer for Technology with the National Intelligence Council in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. His career encompasses national and international experience in government, academia, industry, startups and national laboratories.

About Irakli Beridze:
Irakli Beridze is Head Head of the Centre for AI and Robotics at the United Nations, UNICRI. He initiated and managed the first UN Programme on AI and Robotics and organized several high-level events at the United Nations General Assembly. He is a member of various international task forces and working groups advising governments and international organizations on numerous issues related to international security, scientific and technological developments, emerging technologies, innovation and disruptive potential of new technologies, particularly advances in automation, on labour markets and on the jobs of the future. He is a recipient of recognition on the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to the OPCW in 2013.

About Kay Firth-Butterfield:
Kay Firth-Butterfield is Head, AI & ML at the World Economic Forum and Barrister-at-Law and former part-time Judge in the United Kingdom and Professor of Law. She is an Associate Fellow of the Centre for the Future of Intelligence at the University of Cambridge, and Fellow of the Robert E. Strauss Center on international Security and Law at the University of Texas. She is Vice-Chair of the IEEE Initiative on Ethical Considerations in AI and Autonomous Systems. She is one of Robohub’s top 25 Women in Robotics in 2017 and co-founded AI-Austin, AI-Global and the Consortium for Law and Policy of AI and Robotics.

To sign up for our mailing list, click here.

Congratulations to Karim Galil and Wael Salloum – Mendel Raises $18M in Series A Funding

BootstrapLabs is pleased to share that our portfolio company Mendel.ai raised $18M in a Series A funding round. The new funding will go towards accelerating its growth and the development of a “clinical data marketplace” for people to not just organize, but also to share and exchange data for research purposes. The Series A round is being led by DCM, with OliveTree, Zola Global, MTVLP, and previous backers Launch Capital, SOSV, BootstrapLabs and chairman of UCSF Health Hub, Mark Goldstein, also participating.

“Since our platform became commercially available last year, our revenue has increased by 15X. It’s clear that our customers see Mendel’s value as we’ve had a 100% conversion rate from our pilot program to multi-year agreements. This funding will help us grow the team and reach the next phase of our business.”

Karim Galil, Co-Founder and CEO at Mendel.ai

Artificial Intelligence holds the promise to deliver orders of magnitude of efficiency increases for the healthcare industry. But in spite of large investments in the space by players such as IBM, Amazon, and others, the healthcare industry has yet to reap the full benefits of Artificial Intelligence.

The potential efficiencies for the healthcare industry include the ability to: collect the right data, anonymize the data (to be HIPAA compliant), extract meaning and facts, and then organize that data in a way that allows easy and efficient consumption and integration to numerous processes, workflows and automation.

Today, AI companies like Mendel.ai not only help large pharmaceutical companies to “fail fast” to better identify new treatments, but they are also having a big impact in improving the health system infrastructure by eliminating many of the current inefficiencies.

Starting from making data (from claims, faxes, PDFs, texts, etc.) “readable” by machines, Mendel.ai enables the whole healthcare ecosystem with their novel AI infrastructure for clinical data. 

In 2020, after 3 years of R&D, Mendel.ai launched a beta version of their new “Clinical-AI in a box” platform, which enables the work of data analysts, engineers, and epidemiologists across the healthcare data ecosystem.

Karim Galil and his team spent over 15 years developing novel AI approaches. With over 25 published papers, 350 citations and patent-pending models, Mendel.ai is accessing over 1 million patients’ clinical data, and saving lives, and aims to become the Twillio of healthcare.

Mendel.ai has been a BootstrapLabs portfolio company since 2017.

Karim Galil is Co-Founder and CEO at Mendel.ai. Karim has prior experience as a founder (KryptonWorx) and as a General Physician in Cairo, Egypt. He received a Bachelor of Medicine and a Bachelor of Surgery at Ain Shams University.

Wael Salloum is Co-Founder and CTO at Mendel.ai. Wael has over 10 years of experience in technology startups – and is 3x startup founder. He received a PhD in Computational Linguistics at Columbia University and a Masters of Science in Computer Science at Columbia University.


You can read the full press release below:

SAN JOSE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today, Mendel, the company behind the clinical AI platform that understands the unstructured, natural language content within medical documents, announced it has raised $18 million in Series A funding. Read More.


To sign up for our mailing list, click here.

Flashback: BootstrapLabs Applied AI Conference – AI and National Security

The BootstrapLabs Applied Artificial Intelligence Conference 2019 #AAI19 brought together the brightest and most experienced experts in the field of AI for an immersive day of learning, discussion, and connection.

On BootstrapWorks we have released the videos from this past conference to relive the moments and spread the knowledge around the diverse topics covered by our experts on stage. 

BootstrapLabs has built a community of more than 40,000 people from over 60 countries who care about applying Artificial Intelligence to solve the hardest problems of our society.

Get access to practical wisdom on Applied AI methodologies and take advantage of AI’s powerful potential, sign up here to receive the videos directly into your inbox. 

As tensions between super-powers mount on the international stage, trade tensions escalate, and the frequency and severity of cyber attacks amplify, it has never been so important to remind citizens of what is at stake. Panelists from the Technology for Global SecurityU.S. Department of Homeland Security, and Defense Innovation Unit discuss key topics covered in the annual unclassified US National Intelligence Report and what they are doing within their respective organizations to accelerate the discovery, development, vetting, adoption, and deployment of AI and other new technologies in service of protecting American lives and interests around the world.

Moderator: Philip Reiner, Executive Director, Technology for Global Security

Panelists: Melissa Oh, Managing Director, Silicon Valley Innovation Program, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, S&T; David Rothzeid, Director, Acquisition Pathways, Defense Innovation Unit

Some of the key takeaways from the session are:

  • The applicability of AI has matured in recent years and it has plenty of opportunity to make data-informed decisions for (military) missions but it is important to know how to apply AI to the national security sector.
  • Currently it is used to support international border agencies to pre-screen travelers to help other countries conduct risk-assessments with predictive modeling and data visualization. It improves identity resolution to streamline passenger flow thus increasing efficiencies while keeping the country safe.
  • Other examples include:
    • A radar company focused on autonomous vehicles works on collision avoidance for small consumer drones to prevent them from intervening with helicopter operations.
    • The DIU sourced algorithms from the community to help prioritize where to distribute national disaster recovery personnel in case of an event.
    • Further, it is leveraging AI by using data of maintenance logs of legacy aircraft to support predictive maintenance.
  • In government, R&D cycles are very long, but nowadays the technology is not born in military labs anymore. The question is how the DIU and the DHS can engage with DevOps to take advantage of the speed of innovation in the tech ecosystem to learn and integrate into their processes and systems.
  • The ability to work with companies is a tremendous opportunity to generate significant deal flow and solve hard problems.
  • In order to incentivize collaboration with the government, the DIU and the DHS lowered the barrier to entry: They host industry engagement events or post a generic problem statement online and companies can submit a 5-15 page whitepaper to propose a solution from the tech-companies’ perspective. Then follows an evaluation process with a pitch and proposal and ultimately results in a prototype project. If successful, it will be scaled into a full rate production contract. The DoD has an annual budget of $700B to reach national security objectives which represents opportunities for companies to tap into government budget and work on complex technical problems.

About Philip Reiner:
Philip Reiner is the Executive Director of Technology for Global Security, a global non-profit that bridges technology and policy makers to fix tech-driven emerging security threats. He previously served in the Obama White House as Senior Director for South Asia on the National Security Council staff; as a civil servant in the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Policy at the Pentagon; and worked for a number of years at Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems, in their Electronic Warfare, Remote Sensing, and Vision Systems units. He routinely guest lectures on emerging international security risks at UC Berkeley and Stanford University.

About Melissa Oh:
Melissa Oh is the Managing Director for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science & Technology Directorate (S&T) Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP). She is responsible for engaging entrepreneurs and innovators to help them better understand DHS’s mission and widen the pipeline of technologies addressing our most difficult homeland security challenges. Mrs. Oh has been at DHS since December 2002 and at S&T since September 2004 serving in several positions, prior to her current role, in Business and Finance Operations and Program Management across the Cyber Security and Border & Maritime Security Divisions. Mrs. Oh holds a B.S. in Cognitive Science, specializing in Neuroscience, from the University of California at San Diego and a M.S. in Systems Engineering from George Washington University.

About David Rothzeid:
Major David Rothzeid is an Acquisition Officer in the United States Air Force, currently assigned to Defense Innovation Unit, as the Director of Acquisition Pathways located in Mountain View, CA. Previous assignments include: Air Force Materiel Command, Hanscom AFB, MA; United States Special Operations Command, MacDill AFB, FL; Air Force Space Command, Peterson AFB, CO. He deployed a member of Special Operations Command in 2014 to Bagram AB, Afghanistan. He has a BA in Economics from Miami University, OH; and MBA in Management from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs.

To sign up for our mailing list, click here.

BootstrapLabs at the AAIC 2021 – Europe


On May 25th, BootstrapLabs Founder and CEO Nicolai Wadstrom participated in the European Applied AI Conference 2021, which was based in Vienna, Austria, but held virtually.

At this year’s conference, discussions focused on how to integrate AI into your business & organization, what are some of the best practices from corporations around the world, “Make or buy?” investments & corporate venture capital in AI, and ecosystem deep dives in France, Bulgaria, and the US.

In the session “Applied AI in the USA”, panelists Colin Parris, SVP & CTO at GE Digital, Christoph Braunsberger, CFO & President US at Anyline, and Nicolai Wadstrom, Founder & CEO at BootstrapLabs discussed what is happening in the largest and most active market in AI, from the perspective of a corporate (GE Digital), an Austrian scale-up that completed a successful market entry (Anyline) and a pillar of the AI ecosystem + VC firm specializing in AI (BootstrapLabs).

Nicolai also delivered a keynote on “Linking the US and Europe” and how AI disruption is the next $30 trillion market cap. He shared his story and explained how BootstrapLabs has become a leading Venture Capital firm in Applied Artificial Intelligence. 

More about BootstrapLabs:

BootstrapLabs invests in mission-driven founders who want to shape a better future by applying artificial intelligence to solve some of the world’s most important and valuable opportunities in sectors such as Mobility, Enterprise Productivity, Cyber, Health, Finance, Energy and Climate. BootstrapLabs is often the first institutional capital and acts as a lead investor at the early stages, with follow-on capital for the later stages. Founded by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs, the firm has built a large community of Applied AI experts, founders, and executives to support its portfolio companies, and strives to be the most helpful and strategic investor, from product-market fit advisory to recruiting, business development, go-to-market strategy, and fundraising.

More about Nicolai Wadstrom: 

Nicolai is the Founder, CEO, and General Partner of BootstrapLabs, a leading venture capital firm, based in Silicon Valley and focused on Applied Artificial Intelligence and one of the most active firms in the Applied Artificial Intelligence space.

Nicolai launched his first business at 15, first tech startup in his early 20’s and has been launching and building companies throughout his professional career. He llaunched BootstrapLabs in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2008. He brings 25+ years of operational experience as a founding CEO & CTO scaling software technology platforms in VR, Internet, Financial Trading Systems (publicly listed on NASDAQ:OMX), Enterprise Software, etc. Through BootstrapLabs he has invested in, advised, and mentored 35+ companies and founding teams, helping them successfully build and scale proprietary technology, products, teams and operations.

He is applying a lifetime of operational, entrepreneurial and technology product development experience to support the BootstrapLabs portfolio companies to build and scale. He is also a frequent speaker and mentor at top Universities and Conferences in the US and Europe on topics such as Artificial Intelligence, Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Disruption, Startups and Venture Capital.

To sign up for our mailing list, click here.