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Leveraging Thought Leadership

May 30, 2021

Today’s guest is Jim Adler Founder and Managing Director of Toyota AI Ventures, a standalone early-stage venture capital fund that invests in startups working on A.I., robotics, mobility, and more.

We start the conversation with Jim describing what Toyota AI Ventures does and what its mission is.  From we get into how they help startups take their idea to scale when to introduce processes and how to find a balance that allows creativity and growth.

Jim shares how Toyota AI Ventures bridges the gap between global enterprise and startup, which is an important step.  If an investor is too involved it can stifle innovation that happens early, but if they are not involved enough the startup could end up lacking the ability to recruit, build company culture, or find clients that see the value in their idea.

Next Jim shares the success story of Joby Aviation, his first meeting in a canyon to see their air taxi in flight, going to bat for them, and their goal of saving one billion people an hour each day!

We wrap up discussing the qualities Jim looks for in a startup, separating signal from noise, and how to take advantage of the hype cycle!

If you have a startup and are seeking knowledge on how to attract investors this is a must-listen episode for you!


Three Key Takeaways:

  • It is important to build thought leadership processes around the areas you are weak in, not just your strengths.
  • When working with a startup your thought leadership should add value to the areas they need help with but not overshadow their creative energy.
  • All leaders should be thought leaders.  Thought Leadership is a team sport.