Originally an aerospace engineer turned repeat founder, Bola is part of AI Fund’s company building team where he works with our Founders in Residence and Venture Advisors to research new business ideas and create new ventures.
One of the things he advises founders at AI Fund on is focusing on the customers’ needs instead of just the technology’s capabilities:
“With deep tech businesses, it’s easy to over-index on the tech side—getting wrapped up in what the platform can do and its technical defensibility, and so on—but the commercial side is just as important.”
“When it’s time to tell that story to your customers, technical jargon and a features list isn’t going to resonate with them,” continues Bola. “For example, when I told insurance companies that my company’s analytics platform had great accuracy and precision, that didn’t speak to their pain points. But when I said we can help improve your loss ratio, they got it immediately and it changed the trajectory of the company.”
Bola got his start as an engineer at GE, developing propulsion systems before moving onto an early AI startup. That experience gave him the startup bug and he left to bootstrap his own: a company called AutoMosys. This company provided drivers with automotive diagnostics and repair cost estimates.
After exiting AutoMosys, Bola turned stints at Entrepreneur First (Europe’s leading AI startup program) and Google for Startups, into Predina Tech Limited, a company that used AI to predict traffic accidents. He sold the company to Zego, the first European insuretech unicorn. The success of Predina earned Bola a “30 Under 30” nod from Forbes in 2019.
Most recently, Bola was an Entrepreneur in Residence and AI product lead at Cisco, where he led and incubated new products and ventures.
Bola is a passionate Manchester United fan and will happily wake up very early on weekends to watch his team play. He also enjoys watching anime and spending time with friends.
He holds a bachelor’s degree with honors in aviation and aerospace engineering from Brunel University London.
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