Edward Scott is the CEO of ElectrifAi, one of the oldest machine learning product companies in the US serving the Fortune 500 as well as the federal and state sectors. Ed has over 25 years of experience in the technology and private equity sectors building, managing and investing in dozens of high-growth enterprises globally.
Ed started his career in the LBO group of Drexel Burnham Lambert and joined the Apollo Investment Fund in 1990. While at Apollo, Ed invested in dozens of companies across multiple industries focusing primarily on the TMT sector, chemicals, transportation and financial services sectors and was on the board of directors for numerous Apollo portfolio companies. Ed was also a partner at the Baker Communications Fund, originating and managing the firm’s two most successful portfolio company investments, both of which have become multi-billion dollar enterprises: Akamai Technologies (NASDAQ:AKAM) and Interxion Holding NV (NASDAQ: INXN). Akamai is the global leader in content distribution and edge computing and Interxion is the largest data center and managed services business in Europe. Ed has held senior-level positions at Napier Park Global Capital and White Oak Global Advisors.
Ed graduated from Columbia University with a B.A. in history and earned an MBA from the Harvard Business School with second year honors.
Where did the idea for ElectrifAi come from?
We ran a contest at the company and received 2000 names and ElectrifAi won.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My day starts at 7 with a quick scan of 4-5 newspapers and Bloomberg to get the pulse. Then a check of all emails. Every email is generally returned the same day. Then I check in with the heads of global offices, the head of sales and executive committee, and then client meetings. At the end of the day, we do a US catch up.
How do you bring ideas to life?
We listen to our clients describe pain points and then determine if we can solve the problem through data, machine learning, NLP, or computer vision. Then across the company, we begin a co-collaboration with an interdisciplinary group.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Seeing clients turn inert data into a strategic weapon to drive revenue or operational optimization.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
What advice would you give your younger self?
Take more time off.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
The US is falling way behind on AI and ML and we need to attract and develop talent ASAP.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Constantly learn and re-invent and question.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Focus on a core set of Ai/ML solutions in a core set of industries, automate as much as possible, and automate and capture operating leverage.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Green juices and tumeric shots = healthy 😊
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Salesforce. It manages my voracious networking
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Connecting the Dots, by John Chambers. It’s an incredible history of Cisco Systems, the challenges it faced, and how Chambers led the most customer-centric company in the Valley.
What is your favorite quote?
“There’s no medals for trying. This isn’t like eighth grade where everybody gets a trophy. We are in a professional sport, and it is competitive to win. That’s what we do.” Bill Belichick
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.