Entrepreneurship and Strategies for AI Startups

June 5, 2:15 – 5:45
Location: Santa Clara II

 This workshop is organized by IEEE Entrepreneurship

IEEE Entrepreneurship

While at IEEE CAI 2023 be sure to attend this workshop being arranged by IEEE Entrepreneurship! The workshop includes eight speakers focusing on three main themes: 1) the transformation of academic research in AI into a startup company, 2) an assessment of different forms of entrepreneurial funding that is available in the AI/tech community, and 3) the creation of strategies for digital transformation, especially towards markets that assist the aging as an example. All of these speakers are included with conference registration. Come learn how you too can convert your research into a startup towards the rapidly growing AI software market. The workshop is being arranged by Joanne Wong and Tom Monaco of IEEE Entrepreneurship .

The Artificial Intelligence (AI) software market is expected to reach $126 Billion by 2025. In 2019, Gartner surveyed CIOs and found 37 Percent of organizations have implemented AI in some form. AI is digitally transforming the way we work as AI is now pervasive in many industry sectors. In the last decades, AI research has been booming and leading the way of many innovations that has created many start-ups. AI Entrepreneurship continues to be the force in innovation for academic and commercial applications, gaining much interest and investments.

Target Audiences:

  • Scientists, engineers, and researchers interested in learning about how to develop their own startup.
  • Entrepreneurs interested in networking and sharing experiences.
  • Investors interested in finding opportunities in the field of AI.
  • Companies interested in broadening its field of interest to AI.

Introduction & Welcome

Workshop Session Moderator: Gena Lindsay, Principal, Neuvation Ventures

As Principal, Gena Lindsay leads deal origination, due diligence and term negotiations for Neuvation Ventures, an Early-Stage USA based Fund Redesigning the act of innovation for Brain Health. She is former accelerator director of strategy.  She coached and advised founders on fundraising, growth strategy, financial modeling and securing non diluted and VC capital.  Previously at Journey Venture Partners she built infrastructure for the CVC fund. Gena holds an MBA and a MA in Economics. She is with IEEE Entrepreneurship investors committee, on the steering committee for Emerging Women Fund Managers, and is a mentor in the htm.elle and ShelovesTech programs.

Joanne Wong is General Partner of REDDS Capital, a Californian based VC firm investing in global early-stage IT startups. She was the Executive Director of a healthcare charity startup, providing free green access to high performance computational resources for cancer researchers. Joanne is the 2022-23 Chair of IEEE Entrepreneurship, connecting tech entrepreneurs to an engineering-driven global innovation network. She is a mentor/advisor for multiple startups. Joanne has served on several boards, including the Government of Canada ICT sector council, setting research and advising on ICT policy for the country. 

        IEEE Entrepreneurship

Session 1: Transforming AI Academic Research to AI Startups

The speakers in this session will share their journey and best practices on how they, as academic researchers, emerged as AI entrepreneurs through university tech transfer negotiation, Intellectual Property protection, technology development as a startup vs a research lab, equity distribution, fundraising, etc.

Speakers include:
Utkan Demirci, Stanford University School of Medicine

Dr. Utkan Demirci is a tenured professor at Stanford University School of Medicine and currently serves as the interim director and division chief at the Canary Center for Cancer Early Detection in the Department of Radiology. Read more…


Ladan Golshanara, Founder & CTO, Waveshaper AI

Ladan Golshanara, the visionary Founder and CTO of Waveshaper AI ( ), leads the charge in revolutionizing real-time audio processing through the power of deep learning. As a distinguished machine learning and data researcher, she boasts a PhD in computer science from SUNY Buffalo. Read more…

Session 2: Accessing Different Types of Funding

Each speaker in this session will discuss how they select and work with AI start-ups as the startups navigate the funding foray whether that be from VCs or from government grants.  Each speaker will provide their insight as to how they evaluate multiple aspects of a startup such as valuation, people, IP, technology, etc.

Speakers include: 

Kevin Dunlap, Co-Founder & Managing Partner of Calibrate Ventures

Kevin Dunlap is co-founder and managing partner at Calibrate Ventures. He has been partnering with exceptional founders for over 15 years to help them grow their businesses from the earliest seeds of ideas through to successful billion-dollar exits. Read more…

Stephen C. Liu, Managing Director (Marketing & Business Development),

Stephen C. Liu is an award-winning tech entrepreneur, mentor, and connector. Currently, he serves as a Managing Director (Marketing/Business Development) of the Read more…

Darwin Ling, Founding General Partner, Good AI Capital

Darwin Ling is the founding general partner of Good AI Capital, a mission-driven venture fund focusing on early-stage AI companies in Fintech, Healthcare, Enterprise Software, and Robotics Automation. Read more…

Session 3: Creating Age Friendly Digital Transformation Strategies

The aging population is a highly diverse group – geographically, demographically, and socio-economically. They are the fastest growing population with a significant demand for tools and resources to support emotional, physical, mental and daily life challenges with diminishing access to human caregivers.

Moving the aging towards digital transformation is more than just technology innovation; it will take a village. This session will highlight the following points:

  • Trends in AI innovation in new mobile and at-home devices to assist the aging
  • The need to embed inclusivity-by-design approach into technology innovation for the aging
  • Real-world perspectives from tech start-ups in the space seeking to address the many diverse needs for the aging population with responsible innovation 


Maria Palombini, MBA, Director, Healthcare & Life Sciences Global Practice Lead, IEEE Standards Association

As the practice leader, Maria is focused on engaging and leading a global community of multi-disciplinary stakeholders to openly collaborate and develop solutions to enable trust in and validation of breakthrough technologies/applications that will enable sustainable equitable access to quality care, privacy, and protection for ALL individuals. Read more