Forging the Future goes on the road to Austin for this special mash-up episode at South by Southwest. In short yet insightful interviews with Carrie Colbert, Rob Meadows, and Susan Davenport, host Chris Howard gets a taste of the hot tech topics making waves at this year’s event. From artificial intelligence to startup innovation, banking controversies to up-and-coming technology, this episode tackles big topics on a bite-sized scale and introduces a few of the movers and shakers at SXSW.
Visit Carrie Colbert on LinkedIn.
Learn more about the AI Foundation on the AI Foundation website.
Visit Susan Davenport on LinkedIn.
Connect with Chris Howard on LinkedIn.
[00:00] Podcast begins - SXSW Pt 1: Trending Topics Mashup
[00:10] Unpacking the Silicon Valley Bank failure with Carrie Colbert
[07:25] Learning to expect the unexpected in entrepreneurship
[13:30] Trusting AI to predict your next search with Rob Meadows
[18:23] Utilizing AI technology in a startup setting
[22:54] Driving innovation in Houston with Susan Davenport
[29:25] Reflecting on Houston’s economic growth for the last five years
Interview 1: Carrie Colbert, Curate Capital
How is what happened with Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) an important lesson for entrepreneurs?
The failure of the Silicon Valley Bank represents the uncertainty of entrepreneurship, according to Carrie Colbert of Curate Capital. Planning for the unexpected is part of the entrepreneurial journey, and dealing with the consequences of not planning for the unexpected is a part of the roller coaster of starting your own business. When investors and clients got spooked, SVB suffered greatly and the companies associated with them nearly lost everything. Carrie hopes that a main takeaway from such a cataclysmic event like this is that entrepreneurs keep in mind how things can truly change on a dime.
“I think we saw a self-fulfilling prophecy, right? When people started to see those red flags, then everyone started getting spooked and urging their companies to pull money out, which then became a prisoner's dilemma. There's literally no upside to keeping your money [in SVB].”
Interview 2: Rob Meadows, AI Foundation
If I’m in a startup currently, how can I best take advantage of new AI technology?
Artificial intelligence is one of the hottest topics in tech today, but Rob Meadows of the AI Foundation wants entrepreneurs to be aware of when and how they can use AI effectively. Instead of shoving software where it doesn’t belong, Rob reassures that artificial intelligence systems should be treated just like other tech tools in an entrepreneur's arsenal; use AI where and when it makes sense for your company-- and don’t be afraid to not use AI in your startup if the technology doesn’t work for you or your audience. When implementing AI, be smart about the partnerships you develop and make sure that you're getting expert advice during your brainstorming process.
“There are use cases where AI makes sense, but not everything needs to do machine learning, there's just not enough data in most startups to do that. I would get familiar with the generative AI technologies out there and think about that as just another tool.”
Interview 3: Susan Davenport, Greater Houston Partnership
What appealed to you about coming to Houston to be a member of GHP and drive this innovation initiative?
Returning to Houston and becoming a part of the Greater Houston Partnership was a no-brainer for Susan Davenport, who first fell in love with Houston as a young professional. The culture and diversity make Houston an exciting place for anyone to live, but Susan emphasizes that the financial growth and technological innovations of recent years are transforming the way young professionals see the city and its surrounding areas. Getting the opportunity to contribute positively to the economic growth of Houston excites Susan greatly, and she can’t wait to see Houston continue to transition from the oil and gas capital to the energy capital of the world.
“What Houston has to offer now is really incredible. When you think about energy transition and how that speaks to this young talented workforce and speaks to the talent base that we have had around traditional energy, what a great combination to build these solutions for the future.”