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Reimagining Data Analytics with AI

May 08, 2024

What experiences do CEOs face when attempting to secure funds for groundbreaking AI products? For our final episode of season 8, host John Rebecchi (M.B.A. ’83), Ph.D., sat down with Sarah Nagy, CEO of Seek Ai. Seek Ai simplifies data access for businesses with an AI-powered platform, increasing productivity by automating coding tasks across organizations.

Nagy began her career at ITG as a Quant, specializing in algorithmic trading strategies. She then directed enterprise data product development at two startups, Edison and Predata, both of which achieved successful exits. Nagy then led the consumer data team at Citadel's Ashler Capital before launching Seek Ai in 2021.

Since the launch of Seek Ai, Nagy has successfully crossed through three rounds of seed funding, securing both pre-seed and seed investments. As the company advances rapidly, Nagy offers her insights into the key criteria investors in the AI sector prioritize when assessing AI-focused startups. Nagy considers customer satisfaction with the product as the important aspect that quality investors prioritize.

The second criteria is the ability to demonstrate a “high quality founding team.” Nagy emphasizes the importance of demonstrating the team's capability to attract customers or secure letters of intent, specifying a genuine interest in the product. She added, “If the product works well…if you are able to do a good job in building the product or finding someone good to help you build the product, that’s another key in having a great founding team.”

The third crucial factor that investors in the AI sector emphasize when evaluating AI-focused startups is branding. Drawing inspiration from the story of Goop, founded by American actress Gwyneth Paltrow, Nagy’s aunt suggested exploring names with two connecting vowels. This led to the company name of Seek Ai. A strong name, brand, and a winning mindset are essential to demonstrate long-term commitment.

As the season comes to a close, Nagy reflects on her entrepreneurial journey as the founder of an AI-focused startup. Nagy describes herself as a builder after she noticed a consistent pattern of innovation whether through building robots or developing trading models for cryptocurrency. “At some point in your life, you do sort of that self-evaluation, self-assessment,” she reflects. “You ask yourself, what gets me up in the morning? What do I want to do? And how does that fit with who I am?”

Listen to the full episode: Podbean, Apple Podcast, YouTube Podcast, Spotify.

By Patthara Chandaragga