From the “ROAD”

Issue 22 - The End of VC as We Know It

The content and distribution of Azafran’s INSIGHTS newsletter is focused to our LP, incubator, research, investment and partner ecosystem. As we look to build a two-way dialogue benefitting our collective efforts, each month we highlight important news and our approach to the emerging intersection of deep technology, end to end solutions and platforms driven by voice, acoustics/sensory and imagery.

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From the “ROAD”

The Azafran team continues to be active in virtual conferences, pitch days, and online events

As we shift to attending and hosting virtual events, this dynamic continues to be a crucial element helping us to deliver on the Azafran investment thesis. Through this work, our team stays on top of the latest trends, companies, and partner opportunities.

SXSW Goes Virtual

The content, speakers and production were all spot on and super high quality but the cultural and creative pieces were difficult to translate, of course and that is what provides a lot of the magic at SXSW. The Azafran team attended many great sessions and one observation that ties in with this issue of INSIGHTS is the myriad of diversity, inclusion and equity panels in and around VC and PE + funding in general.

Of course we were able to enjoy some of the extracurriculars like new bands and movie premieres, but we’re looking forward to SXSW bringing back the live show and heading to Austin in 2022!

AI For Good / Innovation Factory 2021 Pitch Day

Also tying in well with this issue of INSIGHTS, the 6 finalist startups pitching in the recent AI for Good Innovation Factory 2021 Pitch Day were all top notch. The event is a UN-led pitching platform to help startups grow and scale their innovative AI-powered and SDG-driven solutions, by connecting them to potential business partners, investors, governments, big IT companies and more. The 6 finalists that pitched were all top notch.

WSJ AI Executive Forum

Many companies have had to hit fast forward on their plans for adopting new digital technologies. Now what? This was a question of focus through the many candid interviews with experts, case studies and collaboration that went on at the 2021 WSJ Pro AI Executive Forum. One valuable lesson that resonated with our team were a number of testimonials from corporate machine learning implementations & the lessons learned that the data needs to be high quality and reliably sourced & is the base layer/foundation of any fruitful ML effort.

500 Startups Demo Day

Always a highlight for our team, the latest Batch from 500 Startups did not disappoint.

Some of our team has participated in an earlier 500 batch and pitching 3 minutes live to 500 VCs in the Valley is nerve wracking to say the least. So probably not as much sleep lost in this format but much more efficient and we definitely are looking closely at a few of the companies that presented.

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