How to switch role at a Startup from hands to leadership (strategy, vision)

Hi,

While ago was promoted to leadership position, if we can call it like this.

Personally, find it somewhat hard to switch from hands on to strategy, vision role. There are always tasks, issues popping up that need my technical guidance, skills. Some are "ghosts from the past" , when I did something well, and now it comes back again with new, more work.

I try to delegate as much as I can, but sometimes it is hard due to lack of skills, knowledge, experience, other work, maybe even motivation in my team.

Is it even possible in a Startup (200 employees) to do only vision, strategy? Or we all have to be all hands on deck, doing things that needs to be done.

How does agile methodology sees it? How should one work in the agile organization I that aspect? Strive for? I also worked in Corporation, there it seemed like it was very structured, also mindset was different. People would not challenge things that much, do their thing etc. It was clear who does what, management, leadership leads, manages, employees do the work, tasks.

Thanks,

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Buildots raises $16M to bring computer vision to construction management

Buildots, a Tel Aviv and London-based startup that is using computer vision to modernize the construction management industry, today announced that it has raised $ 16 million in total funding. This includes a $ 3 million seed round that was previously unreported and a $ 13 million Series A round, both led by TLV Partners. Other investors include Innogy Ventures, Tidhar Construction Group, Ziv Aviram (co-founder of Mobileye & OrCam), Magma Ventures head Zvika Limon, serial entrepreneurs Benny Schnaider and  Avigdor Willenz, as well as Tidhar chairman Gil Geva.

The idea behind Buildots is pretty straightforward. The team is using hardhat-mounted 360-degree cameras to allow project managers at construction sites to get an overview of the state of a project and whether it remains on schedule. The company’s software creates a digital twin of the construction site, using the architectural plans and schedule as its basis, and then uses computer vision to compare what the plans say to the reality that its tools are seeing. With this, Buildots can immediately detect when there’s a power outlet missing in a room or whether there’s a sink that still needs to be installed in a kitchen, for example.

“Buildots have been able to solve a challenge that for many seemed unconquerable, delivering huge potential for changing the way we complete our projects,” said Tidhar’s Geva in a statement. “The combination of an ambitious vision, great team and strong execution abilities quickly led us from being a customer to joining as an investor to take part in their journey.”

The company was co-founded in 2018 by Roy Danon, Aviv Leibovici and Yakir Sundry. Like so many Israeli startups, the founders met during their time in the Israeli Defense Forces, where they graduated from the Talpiot unit.

“At some point, like many of our friends, we had the urge to do something together — to build a company, to start something from scratch,” said Danon, the company’s CEO. “For us, we like getting our hands dirty. We saw most of our friends going into the most standard industries like cloud and cyber and storage and things that obviously people like us feel more comfortable in, but for some reason we had like a bug that said, ‘we want to do something that is a bit harder, that has a bigger impact on the world.’ ”

So the team started looking into how it could bring technology to traditional industries like agriculture, finance and medicine, but then settled upon construction thanks to a chance meeting with a construction company. For the first six months, the team mostly did research in both Israel and London to understand where it could provide value.

Danon argues that the construction industry is essentially a manufacturing industry, but with very outdated control and process management systems that still often relies on Excel to track progress.

Image Credits: Buildots

Construction sites obviously pose their own problems. There’s often no Wi-Fi, for example, so contractors generally still have to upload their videos manually to Buildots’ servers. They are also three dimensional, so the team had to develop systems to understand on what floor a video was taken, for example, and for large indoor spaces, GPS won’t work either.

The teams tells me that before the COVID-19 lockdowns, it was mostly focused on Israel and the U.K., but the pandemic actually accelerated its push into other geographies. It just started work on a large project in Poland and is scheduled to work on another one in Japan next month.

Because the construction industry is very project-driven, sales often start with getting one project manager on board. That project manager also usually owns the budget for the project, so they can often also sign the check, Danon noted. And once that works out, then the general contractor often wants to talk to the company about a larger enterprise deal.

As for the funding, the company’s Series A round came together just before the lockdowns started. The company managed to bring together an interesting mix of investors from both the construction and technology industries.

Now, the plan is to scale the company, which currently has 35 employees, and figure out even more ways to use the data the service collects and make it useful for its users. “We have a long journey to turn all the data we have into supporting all the workflows on a construction site,” said Danon. “There are so many more things to do and so many more roles to support.”

Image Credits: Buildots

Startups – TechCrunch

[Zebra in Business Wire] Zebra Medical Vision Secures its First FDA Clearance in Oncology, Boosting Early Detection of Breast Cancer in Mammograms

This latest clearance makes Zebra Medical the first AI startup with six FDA clearances across three different modalities under its belt. In initial testing Zebra-Med conducted, a number of cases which were originally missed were alerted by Zebra Medical’s ‘HealthMammo’ algorithm and the patients were recalled and confirmed.

Read more here.

The post [Zebra in Business Wire] Zebra Medical Vision Secures its First FDA Clearance in Oncology, Boosting Early Detection of Breast Cancer in Mammograms appeared first on OurCrowd Blog.

OurCrowd Blog

Advertima: Swiss 3D computer vision startup that visually interprets human behaviour in physical spaces gets €15M funding

Advertima, a 3D computer vision platform provider founded in 2016, has secured €15 million Series A investment round led by existing shareholder Swiss real estate company, Fortimo Group. 

According to the company, this investment will enable the startup to further develop its platform on a global scale and strengthen its position as a critical player in the wider ecosystem of smart space environments.  

“We’ll be investing €25 million in the further development of our smart retail solutions over the next two years. €10 million of this investment will be financed by our revenues so this €15 million round is a crucial milestone to help us achieve our vision for how the world will look by 2030,” says Advertima Co-Founder and CEO Iman Nahvi. “We see a world where the physical and digital layers are merged to enhance our daily professional and private lives. Advertima’s Human Data Layer will be one of the irreplaceable components in this whole ecosystem of applications and technologies that will build the foundation of our future lives.”

Human Data Layer

Advertima has created the ‘Human Data Layer’, which visually interprets human behaviour in physical spaces, through computer vision, machine learning, and artificial intelligence (AI)

By providing a real-time and easily accessible data stream, the platform gives the ability for the smart spaces of the future to interact with people in a seamless and meaningful way.

Eyes on grocery retail amid COVID-19

Headquartered in St.Gallen, Switzerland, the first sector that Advertima has set its sights on is grocery retail. The company offers smart inventory management and autonomous checkout while also providing engaging and relevant content on smart digital screens throughout the in-store shopping journey of every customer. 

By making retail spaces smart, grocers maximise the efficiency of their stores, increase their revenues, and generate greater returns per square meter.

Advertima’s smart retail portfolio has been developed with Switzerland’s largest retailer, Migros, and the international grocer SPAR. The technology is already being used by 14 companies across eight different countries. 

“It is clear that the rapid digitalisation of our society is going to have an impact on consumer habits, especially in the retail sector,” says Fortimo Group Founder Remo Bienz. “Advertima is at the cutting-edge of technology in the retail space. As a long-standing shareholder, we know how visionary their technology is, but also how it has been successfully adopted by major, global organisations and already generated significant revenues. We’re excited to be part of Advertima’s journey.” 

“Since its founding in 2016, our Swiss start-up has had a global technology vision. This funding round brings our vision nearer to reality,” says Damir Bogdan, Advertima Seed Investor and President of the Board.

Main image credits: Advertima

The post Advertima: Swiss 3D computer vision startup that visually interprets human behaviour in physical spaces gets €15M funding appeared first on Silicon Canals .

Startups – Silicon Canals

“Computer vision can have a big impact on the fashion industry”: Interview with FashionTech entrepreneur Svetlana Kordumova, CEO of Pixyle.ai

In the post-corona virus era, one of the industries that is undoubtedly incorporating advanced technologies at a much faster speed than ever before is Fashion. Thanks to AI and computer vision powered tools, a new and engaging experience is being born for both retailers and consumers. One of the players in this league is Pixyle.ai, a North Macedonian startup founded in 2017, which provides AI-powered image recognition software for a better shopping experience.

Founded by Svetlana Kordumova, who combined her passion for technology and fashion with her desire to innovate and solve real problems, this startup is helping the industry reshape its look.

Svetlana is a PhD holder in Multimedia and Artificial Intelligence, a part-time university professor, and an entrepreneur. We had the pleasure to talk to her and find out more about how her startup is changing the shopping experience, her views on the current and future industry and work trends, as well as her work-life balance. 

Hi Svetlana, thank you for joining us! To start with, could you tell us your story? What got you into entrepreneurship?

What attracted me to get into entrepreneurship is most probably the energy and the dynamic that this profession brings. I’m a person that always wants to explore new things, who loves working in teams and creating new innovative products. Innovation is the reason that I did my PhD in AI at the University in Amsterdam, and my willingness to work on products that solve real problems is why I founded Pixyle.ai. 

AI has always been my passion, and now we live in an era where the AI technologies are advanced to a level where they can make smart decisions, improve our everyday life experiences, help us in our everyday work, automate many tasks we had to do repeatedly by ourselves before, and improve businesses altogether. It’s a shame to keep this technology only in scientific papers. So I set myself a big challenge to combine AI with my other passion – fashion, and build a product that will make an impact on the fashion industry.

Could you tell us what is Pixyle.ai all about?

Pixyle.ai provides AI-powered image recognition software for fashion retailers that enables them to provide a better shopping experience for their customers. With our Visual AI software, they can automate time-consuming catalogue management processes, improve efficiency and shorten their time-to-market. How do we achieve this? Pixyle.ai has developed an intelligent system that can understand fashion in images. Our AI technology can localize where in the image a fashion item appears (a dress, jeans or shoes, etc.) and in addition to that, it can also tell you the details of that fashion item (like color, pattern, length, sleeves type, neckline type etc.) We took this technology, and packed it in three solutions: Automatic Tagging (to provide better filter and product discovery); Visual Search (to search for products with any image); and, Similar Recommendations (to show visually similar items of what customers are looking for).

Pixyle.ai is a B2B SaaS company. Our visual AI technology integrates seamlessly within any e-commerce platform, and it is built on top of powerful deep learning models. 

How is computer vision transforming the fashion industry? And, what’s the role that Pixyle.ai is playing in the overall process?

Fashion is all about visuals. Even if you try to describe a dress with words, it won’t be the same as seeing a picture of it.

We humans can recognize what is in an image just with a glimpse of it. And although this might seem like an easy task, actually 60% of our brain is used to process visual signals. Now imagine a computer being able to recognize images just as we do. Computer vision is all about this, making computers understand images. And creating AI systems that can understand fashion in images, can have a big impact on the industry. For example, for many people online shopping can be frustrating. You’re just browsing and browsing, and can’t find what you’re looking for. Computer Vision AI systems can help find the products you want, in a fraction of the time that you’d normally be searching. It can bring back fun in online shopping!

The e-commerce customer experience is now completely driven with AI solutions, like online site navigation and search, targeted marketing, personalized offers, size and fit recommendation, style recommendation, analytics and many more. And here is where Pixyle.ai brings value and makes a difference. By using Computer Vision and AI, we take image pixels and we automatically generate semantic data from them, which is crucial for e-commerce stores to run successfully. Data is the new oil, and now imagine data being generated automatically with AI from images only. The insights and analytics this data can bring are useful for any fashion business to make smart decisions, improve and grow.

What trends have you seen emerging in online shopping since the crisis with the coronavirus has begun?

With the COVID-19 pandemic, the fashion industry is completely moving online and becoming digital. Even for those who were questioning whether to go online, now there is no question at all. 

How do you see AI changing your sector in the future? What new trends should we expect to see emerging?

Going completely online brings a vast number of challenges for fashion retailers in the complete value chain, from design, production, wholesale, and online sales. These challenges are also an inspiration for new innovative digital products. Clothes are now being designed with pixels, and they can only exist in the digital world. This shortens the time for sample design, and makes the design process more sustainable without any waste of materials. Now you can dress up digitally, and see how the style you choose will look on you with Augmented Reality. The wholesale process is moving completely digital, with digital showrooms on screens. 

Apart from being a founder and CEO of Pixyle.ai, you are a part-time university assistant professor and have a family. What’s your secret sauce for maintaining a life-work balance? What advice would you give to other founders?

My advice would be not to put any limits to yourself, and just go for what you want to do, but very importantly, to make a realistic plan and set the right expectations. See what you can do, what you will need help in, and plan things together with your team and personally with your family. Support is very important, and I could not have done anything without the people around me. There will be many bumps in the road, and asking for help is ok, and it’s very much needed. 

Life is a constant compromise between all that’s on our to-do list, and what works best for me – a continuous prioritization of those to-dos. There is always something that can wait, and something that needs to be done first.

With many startups going fully remote right now, ‘remote work’ is believed to be the future of work. What’s your current practice and do you plan to stay remote after the pandemic?

I must say that I am very happy with how the complete team of Pixyle.ai adapted to working remotely. We were up and running from day 2. We have daily meetings, and team members are working together on online calls throughout the whole day. I’m happy to see that the team spirit and the closeness we had in the office is still there, only online.

I believe once things are more settled, moving to the office or working remotely will be a decision that we will make together as a team. We’ll see what everyone’s preference is, and if they feel more comfortable staying home they can, if they want to come to the office that is also fine, or it can be a mix from the two. The practice showed that working from home is also as effective as being physically present in the office, so it’s definitely an option. What we will for sure come back to the office is for our Friday after work drinks. We all miss being with each other and hanging out.

What is it like to start a startup in North Macedonia? Would you recommend the country to foreign founders and why?

Having a startup in North Macedonia I would say is as challenging as in any other place. It requires a lot of work, adjustments, listening to your market, choosing the right accelerator for your business, forming the right team, finding the best advisors, pivoting in a pandemic, runway, investments, and many other things. And with everything being online these days, I would say it doesn’t even matter where you are. What is very important, is to choose the right startup accelerator for your industry and target market, taking the location into account then, because connections for your target market are very important.

From my experience, I am very happy with the team, there are a lot of smart and bright people in North Macedonia, the culture is very positive, people are open, and we have a very nice working atmosphere. The startup community and support in North Macedonia is also growing, and people are sharing experiences, so I would definitely recommend North Macedonia as a good place for startups.

EU-Startups

[Zebra in Mobile Syrup] Telus Ventures partners with Zebra Medical Vision to advance AI-based preventative care

Telus Ventures is collaborating with Israel-based Zebra Medical Vision to advance AI-based preventative healthcare in Canada.

Read more here.

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OurCrowd

[Zebra in Globe Newswire] Zebra Medical Vision collaborating with TELUS Ventures to advance AI-based preventative care in Canada

Zebra Medical Vision (https://www.zebra-med.com/), the deep-learning medical imaging analytics company, announced today it has entered a strategic collaboration with TELUS Ventures, one of Canada’s most active Corporate Venture Capital (CVC) funds. This collaboration includes an investment that will grow Zebra-Med’s presence in North America and enable the company to expand its artificial intelligence (AI) solutions to new modalities and clinical care settings.

Read more here.

The post [Zebra in Globe Newswire] Zebra Medical Vision collaborating with TELUS Ventures to advance AI-based preventative care in Canada appeared first on OurCrowd.

OurCrowd

Dutch Affordable eyewear brand working on retail innovation and virtual vision scores €14.25M funding

Dutch eyewear brand, Ace & Tate, raised €14.25 million investment to fund its expansion across Europe. The round was led by existing investor Rinkelberg Capital LTD. Other existing investor base includes Global Founders Capital, Investion and various angel investors also participated. This brings the company’s total amount raised to €57.5 million.

The company intends to use the funding in three critical areas – retail expansion in new and existing European markets, new technologies to advance the brand’s omnichannel model, and to become a more environmentally responsible company.

Witnessed 60% growth YoY

In the past couple of years, Ace & Tate has grown 60% year on year, delivering its first operationally profitable months in 2019. The Dutch company aims to double its revenue in the next two years. Notably, the shoppers are looking for more agile retail options to shop, try-on, and purchase frames, particularly now, as the COVID19 lockdown relinquishes its hold on Europe.

“Ace & Tate was founded to make quality, stylish eyewear accessible, by giving our customers the best retail experience possible. The recent round of funding will allow us to unify our physical and digital retail channels even further, and to create a frictionless, more personalised shopping experience for our customers,” says CEO Mark de Lange.

Physical stores

Ace & Tate is committed to opening 16 stores across Europe in 2020, bringing the total store count to 70, across 10 countries. The company is constantly innovating digitally to improve the in-store experience. Most recently added is the “Offline Wishlist” function. Staff can upload frames that customers tried on in-store, giving them the opportunity to virtually try-on at home, and purchase online.

Virtual Improvements

The styling and optician appointments are available online, and customers in The Netherlands and Germany can renew their prescription via an online eye test. Ace & Tate’s Virtual Try-On service will see significant improvements in the coming months with the integration of facial analysis, to provide personalised recommendations to customers, both online and in-store.

Sustainability

Furthermore, the Amsterdam-based brand will launch two new initiatives this summer, to move away from virgin plastic use as well as build a circular business model to reduce waste.

First, Reframe – allows customers to recycle their used Ace & Tate frames for store credit. These frames will then be refurbished and offered to customers in limited collections. The second initiative sees the brand launch its first recycled acetate collection, made from pre-consumer acetate waste.

De Lange concludes, “As we move into 2021, our customers remain our focus. We will continue our mission to lead the eyewear industry to be more accessible and sustainable.” The Reframe initiative launched in June in select locations in The Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Germany, Sweden, Denmark and the UK. 

Main image credits: Ace & Tate

The post Dutch Affordable eyewear brand working on retail innovation and virtual vision scores €14.25M funding appeared first on Silicon Canals .

Startups – Silicon Canals

National Garden : Trump’s vision of a garden of statues already registered

 DomainGang.com: US President, Donald Trump, announced his vision of a “The National Garden of American Heroes” that would host statues of prominent Americans. These select few would be depicted as “lifelike” and not abstract statues. Trump’s “vision” arrives as an apparent reaction to forceful or requested r…
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Building a business without belief or vision.

It's ironic.

3 years ago, when I first started my business after graduating HS with no previous work experience, no business experience and no skill in anything whatsoever, I was confident as a motherfucker.
I had the confidence as if I already had billions in my bank, I had a clear vision of what I can become and where I can be, and where I WILL be one day. It was genuine belief, coupled with Law of Attraction, and all that stuff.

Even more so, at that time I was flat broke. Like worrying about when our lights will get cut type of broke.

For context, the business is a service based one – I work alone in it, it doesn't require any market validation, it's a proven and fairly safe brand and marketing consulting business.

I'm no much better position today financially, 3 years later, which is why I feel is the reason that I lost that belief.

I've been working a 9-5 job + at least 6-7 hours for my business every day. If I weren't at a 9-5, I would be completely broke again.
I barely ever sleep. I don't go out, I don't socialize, I don't have fun, all I do is sacrifice myself to make improvements closer to my dream.

The business is a service based one, and it never "took off" the way I expected it to. I have a few clients every now and then, once every few months, but I never managed to make it a stable, predictable source of income – let alone started scaling the business (hiring more people, etc.)

I can see small improvements every day though, but there is nothing anything major happening. No breakthroughs.

There is always that little voice in my head telling me that I should quit. That voice saying "IT'S BEEN 3 YEARS. IF YOU HAVEN'T MADE IT BY NOW, YOU WON'T EVER MAKE IT".

Due to lack of belief in this, every day at my business is filled with terror and dread. I strategize the same weekly and monthly business plans for 3-4 times, and still double and triple check myself while executing, I'm so afraid of making a wrong move.

Have you ever been in this sort of a severe slump? How did you move forward from it? What would you suggest I do?

I apologize if this isn't necessarily startup related, but I believe this sub is a home to REAL entrepreneurs, unlike other subs.

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!