How AI is Transforming Entrepreneurial Mentorship. Part 1.

The rapid advancement of AI technologies has seamlessly integrated various assistants, advisors, and guidance into nearly every aspect of our lives. These tools streamline workflows, saving an invaluable asset: time. Observing the expansion of AI, Fuelarts aims to consolidate information and highlight product solutions designed to simplify the life of a tech entrepreneur and accelerate their startup's development at every stage.

Intrigued by the potential of AI in startup mentoring, we assumed the role of novice entrepreneurs, developed a business concept, and solicited evaluations from known AI platforms and chatbots. The findings were remarkably insightful, prompting us to eagerly share them.

A comprehensive solution that supports a startup from inception to maturity remains elusive. However, it's worth noting that large accelerators and funds are experimenting with such products at the hypothesis stage, and a few ambitious teams in Southeast Asia are working on prototypes. Most AI platforms are tailored to specific aspects of startup development, such as financial modeling, investment deck preparation, or speech presentation skills.

Let's categorize the existing solutions into two groups: platforms featuring autonomous interfaces and AI (1), and custom chatbots based on OpenAI's ChatGPT (2).

1) Platforms with Autonomous Interfaces/AI:

The AI in this category is deemed conditionally independent since there's no assurance these platforms don't utilize external products (like ChatGPT). Their algorithms are purportedly developed in-house and trained on proprietary datasets. These platforms distinguish themselves by offering structured interfaces that facilitate systematic analysis, application of knowledge, and product improvement during specific development phases. Unlike simple Q&A interactions, these platforms can track progress, allow for task refinement, and recognize users' previous interactions.

Platforms are organized based on their utility in various startup phases:

  • Project Analysis: Evaluating business ideas and market fit.
  • Pitch Deck Creation: Analyzing and designing presentation structures and layouts.
  • Direct Mentoring: Offering specific advice on financial models and go-to-market strategies.
  • Pitching: Enhancing conversational skills and creating promotional videos.
  • Investment Relations: Facilitating connections with investors and managing due diligence processes.

Through our exploration, we arrived at the following insights:

A) Project Analysis

Country: Israel
Founded: 2020
Investment Raised (as of Mar. 2024): N/A

It's important to clarify that pure startup analysis tools (without additional services like pitch deck design or mentoring) are rare, except for chatbots based on OpenAI's technology, which we'll discuss later. Our focus was on companies where AI analysis is a key feature or the most robust part of their offering.

PitchBob stands out as the most comprehensive solution, covering the entire spectrum of acceleration services from investment deck analysis to networking. Originating in the physical market, PitchBob has a well-crafted roadmap. The specific roles of AI versus traditional mentoring in their online platform remain to be fully delineated.

Country: USA
Founded: 2014
Investment Raised (as of Mar. 2024): $1.6M

Contrasting with second-category platforms focusing on presentation design, Slidebean excels in enhancing existing pitch decks as well as creating new ones.

B) Pitch Deck Creation

• Country: Australia
• Founded: 2012
Investment Raised (as of Mar. 2024): $572.6M

In a field with over 30 AI-driven presentation design platforms, Canva emerges as the front-runner. Its successful incorporation of AI is the result of organic growth and a vast database collected over 12 years, feeding its machine learning algorithms.

• Country: USA
Founded: 2015
Investment Raised (as of Mar. 2024): $16M

For a different approach, Beautiful.AI, designed from the outset to harness AI in generative design, offers an impressive alternative, though its funding is less substantial than Canva's or OpenAI's.

Country: USA
Founded: 2019
Investment Raised (as of Mar. 2024): $430K

C) Direct Mentoring

Country: India
Founded: 2017
Investment Raised (as of Mar. 2024): N/A

Upmetrics extends beyond mere pitch deck critique, providing comprehensive solutions for business model optimization, unit economics, and marketing strategies. The platform's mentoring is structured into distinct stages, requiring users to navigate through the selections manually.

Country: USA
Founded: 2017
Investment Raised (as of Mar. 2024): $50.1M

Studio's offering, primarily in music education, doesn't strictly fall under startup mentoring but rather project mentoring, aligning closely with the aspirations of the creative tech sector. The platform promises an AI course in April 2024, where users can improve their music tracks with virtual mentor feedback.

D) Pitching

• Country: USA
Founded: 2021
Investment Raised (as of Mar. 2024): $7M

Yoodle distinguishes itself by using AI to refine voice and text for pitches, identifying standout segments, reducing filler words, and enhancing emotional delivery. It introduces a gamification element by benchmarking startup speeches against notable figures.

• Country: USA
• Founded: 2013
Investment Raised (as of Mar. 2024): N/A

Visme, akin to Loom, offers a broader toolkit for startups, particularly in presentation and diagram creation, though its direct video pitching AI was not evident in our tests.

E) Investment Relations

Country: USA
Founded: 2023
Parent Company: sequel

Sequel, a Miami-based investment firm, created PitchLeague to streamline the connection between startups and investor-athletes. The platform emphasizes investment networking and begins with investment deck refinement.

• Country: N/A
• Founded: N/A
Investment Raised (as of Mar. 2024): N/A

PitchPal introduces an innovative feature allowing the customization of pitch decks for specific accelerators or funds based on up-to-date requirements, facilitating targeted investor engagement.

In the subsequent section, we will delve into custom chatbots developed using OpenAI's ChatGPT, exploring their contributions to startups and summarizing our overarching findings.