If you have already been to our hub, you know that we house a number of different tenants. This month Pooja Ahluwalia, CMO at TheVentury, has agreed to answer a few questions about working in the hub, TheVentury’s main business and their new exciting venture.
weX: Pooja, thanks for taking the time to give us an insight into work at TheVentury. You have been here almost since the beginning, right?
Pooja: Hi, thanks for having me! Yes! We actually moved into space 38 even before it’s official opening – October 2017!
weX: Many know TheVentury logo, but not what you are actually doing. Could you give us a rough outline?
Pooja: TheVentury is a startup and innovation agency offering three key services: Growth Marketing, Data- & Software Engineering and Innovation Management. We also have our own in-house accelerator for AI & ML start-ups called ELEVATE. What all these different offerings have in common is the „lean“ approach. Our work is highly hypothesis-driven and we believe that having a “build – measure – learn” mindset is the most efficient way to find out what works and what doesn’t from an early stage. This enables us to try out many new things without fearing failure.
Currently we have a team of 28 people from around the world, some of them even moved to Vienna to work for us, which I think is the biggest compliment you could get a company of our size. We really love the fact that we have a very international atmosphere at work where we get to learn a lot from each other!
weX: Wow, I did not know that you run an accelerator yourself. How is it set up?
Pooja: ELEVATE is a 5 months structured program that helps start-ups who are working in the fields of AI & Machine Learning reach product market fit. The start-ups are chosen from all over the world so it’s truly an international accelerator with some really amazing teams. There are 1 to 2 batches per year. In 2019 the first batch started in July.
weX: Is this the reason why TheVentury set up the office in a hub?
Pooja: Choosing to move to a hub like weXelerate had two main reasons. One was timing – exactly at the time of the opening of weXelerate we knew we had to find a bigger office space, since our team grew quickly and the old office became too small. The second reason was that we saw how weXelerate was going to be a place where corporates and startups come together. Since we work with both startups and corporates, it made a lot of sense for us to move here since it brings both worlds together. Furthermore, I really appreciate that you constantly meet new people through either someone introducing you or by attending an event that happens here in the hub. A lot of times someone just comes to your office with another person they think could be interesting for you to meet and the introduction is done within minutes.
weX: Are there any negative sides about working in a hub?
Pooja: From the top of my head I would say that you spend way too much time in the same building since a lot of events happen in this hub. But as explained before, that also has its benefits. Overall, we are happy tenants!
weX: Are you currently working on projects with startups? If not, are you planning to?
Pooja: Yes, 50% of our clients are startups who are at different stages. The other half are corporate clients. This puts us in a unique position in the market since we get to transfer know-how across the two target groups, recognize challenges the companies have and offer alternative solutions. In addition, we also work with startups through our accelerator ELEVATE.
Currently a dedicated team at TheVentury is working on a new and exciting venture called “BotBase”. We are particularly excited about this because it really enables us to bring in a lot of know-how we acquired over the past few years into one single project that is our own. BotBase enables companies of all sizes to create bots and automate workflows in an easy and intuitive way. For this venture we are currently also looking for an Entrepreneur in Residence, who can put their entire focus on it and work with full dedication towards a product market fit. In case you are interested or know someone who is, please do get in touch! We were also in Hong Kong in July to pitch BotBase at RISE, which is the largest tech conference in Asia! We are really looking forward to receiving some valuable feedback and meet potential clients.