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Highlights

 

Welcome to another episode of Category Visionaries, the show that explores the future of tech with innovative B2B founders. In today’s episode, we’re speaking with Greg Fallon, CEO and Founder of Geminus, an industrial AI optimization platform that has raised $12 million in funding.

  • Greg’s journey from pursuing a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering to co-founding Fluent, a pioneering engineering simulation company, and later leading innovative product teams at Autodesk before starting Geminus.
  • The inefficiency of most machines and industrial processes, with the potential to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by 12% if they were simply operated at their previous best performance.
  • The limitations of traditional AI approaches in the industrial environment, which rely on expensive historical data collection and can only optimize machines to their past peak performance, not to new levels of efficiency.
  • Geminus’s unique approach, combining machine learning with computational physics to create a new field called “AI-augmented computational physics,” which enables fast, accurate, and cost-effective optimization of complex industrial assets.
  • The challenges of selling to and partnering with large industrial corporations, and the strategies Geminus has employed to build credibility, focus on ideal customer profiles, and leverage thought leaders and advisors.
  • The process of gaining media exposure, including a recent feature on CNN, through a combination of personal relationships, crafting a timely and relevant story, and investing in targeted PR efforts.
  • The complex nature of the industrial buying process, involving multiple stakeholders such as chief digital officers, engineering teams, and operating units, and the importance of tailoring content and messaging to each persona.
  • The evolution of Geminus’s positioning from creating a new category to redefining an existing one, akin to how the iPod revolutionized the music player market.
  • The lessons learned from fundraising, including the need to treat it as a full-time job, develop an ideal investor profile, and leverage inbound inquiries for practice and reputation-building.
  • The long-term vision of enabling AI to optimize every machine, plant, and system on the planet within the next 3-5 years, starting with the most expensive assets and expanding to all smart machines over the next decade.

Actionable
Takeaways

Challenge the Status Quo with Deep Tech:

Geminus's success highlights the potential for deep tech solutions that combine cutting-edge research from multiple fields, such as machine learning and computational physics, to solve complex, long-standing industry challenges. Founders should look for opportunities to apply cross-disciplinary innovation to redefine established categories.

Build Credibility Through Strategic Partnerships:

To overcome the skepticism and long sales cycles typical of large industrial corporations, focus on identifying credible partners who can validate your solution and provide access to their customer base. Invest time in nurturing these relationships and leveraging their networks to build trust and momentum.

Craft a Timely and Relevant Media Narrative:

To cut through the noise in a crowded market, develop a compelling story that resonates with the broader zeitgeist and aligns with your company's mission. Cultivate relationships with journalists and thought leaders who can help refine your narrative and provide a platform for your message.

Tailor Content to Multiple Buying Personas:

In complex B2B sales, it's crucial to understand the different stakeholders involved in the decision-making process and create targeted content that speaks to their specific needs and concerns. Use a tiered approach on your website and other marketing materials to provide high-level, strategic information for senior leaders while also offering detailed, technical content for end-users and practitioners.

Embrace Failure as a Learning Opportunity:

Recognize that failure is an inevitable part of the startup journey and that the key is to fail fast, learn from your mistakes, and pivot quickly. Trust your instincts as a founder and use every setback as an opportunity to gather information, test assumptions, and refine your approach.

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