Updated: Sep 12, 2022
For my first post-MBA role, I joined Untether AI to lead and grow it’s Technical Marketing team. I will be based in Toronto, Canada where the company is headquartered.
Many people have asked me why would I join a startup, that too a hardware startup, where I have no background. I respond by saying that joining Untether AI fits my goals, and it is an attractive company as well.
My long term goal has always been working on commercial deployment of cutting edge technologies. The technology I focus on is Artificial Intelligence. While the world has already seen a lot of potential AI applications, there are several others which haven't been feasible due to resource-constrained nature of the world we live in. Take the example of autonomous vehicles - to make it a reality, AI systems need to carry out massive computations in real-time while not drawing too much energy that could have extended your electric vehicle's range. Untether AI's technology can solve this issue.
There are three things that make a company attractive: it’s potential customer base, investors and senior management. Untether AI sells artificial intelligence (AI) accelerators that make AI inference faster. The key-technology is called "at-memory" compute where we move the compute element to where the data is stored, reducing the power consumption for data transfer by 6 times. The potential customers include data centers, HPC clusters, autonomous vehicles etc. Having worked in the autonomous vehicles industry and strong familiarity with other use cases, I know the market already exists and is expected to grow rapidly.
Untether AI’s last round was oversubscribed. The investors include Intel Capital, Tracker, Radical Ventures and CPPIB. I have immense respect for Radical Ventures as they are one of the biggest AI focused funds in the world. In fact I got the job because of my contacts at Radical.
Lastly, the senior management include semiconductor industry veterans such as Arun Iyengar, the CEO, and Robert Beachler, the VP of Product. They have decades of scaling semi-conductor companies to billions of dollars of revenue in between them.
The role itself is indeed something I haven’t done before. The role allows me to practice sales and marketing skills while remaining technical. As they say, the case method and the whole HBS curriculum is designed to prepare for executive leadership later in the career. And the most executive leaders I admire have sales and marketing background.