So my advice would be to listen more. Learn, listen, learn, and repeat. Listen to a variety of people who have done it before, who are proven entrepreneurs, and who have built and run successful businesses.
Mark Minevich, author and world-renowned visionary in the fields of digitization and artificial intelligence, is the principal founder of Going Global Ventures, a New York-based investment, technology, and strategic advisory firm dedicated to leading high-growth tech clients to success in the global knowledge economy.
Mark’s additional roles include serving as a venture partner with GVA Capital in Silicon Valley; a senior fellow/advisor of the U.S. Council of Competitiveness in Washington, D.C.; an associate partner of Blackhawk Partners, Inc., an international family investment group; and a strategist and advisor to Global Emerging Markets, a $3.4 billion alternative investment group that manages a diverse set of investment vehicles.
An expert in digitization and advanced autonomous systems, Mark is also a charter member of B20/G20’s digitalization task force. His unique experience in business strategy, technology, and innovation, as well as his global expertise and exposure to the corporate, private, tech, and investment sectors, make him an invaluable contributor.
Mark founded the Billion Minds Foundation and Club, a global sustainability and knowledge think tank. He’s received the Albert Einstein Award for Outstanding Achievement and the World Trade Leadership award from the World Trade Centers and the World Trade Centers Association.
Mark is the author of two books on business and technology: “The CTO Handbook: The Indispensable Technology Leadership Resource” and “Six Billion Minds,” which was endorsed by former Israeli prime minister and Nobel laureate Shimon Peres.
A resident of New York City, Mark is married and blessed with a beautiful daughter. He is a gourmet foodie who loves global travel.
Where did the idea for Going Global Ventures come from?
I was always concerned about globalization and how innovation ventures occur globally. What’s the convergence, and how do we solve problems globally? We’re solving the global community’s issues, challenges, and problems with venture capital and innovation.
What does your typical day look like, and how do you make it productive?
My day starts with prioritizing key initiatives for the various partners and companies I work with. It could be dealing with an investment opportunity, a board issue, a strategic thought leadership document, or a whole host of other things. I try to address what’s critical and what’s more strategic. The key to this is figuring out who the important people are in prospective companies and making sure I understand their agenda.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I get to see a lot of insights, forecasts, projects, and deals. More than that, I get to see where the gaps and issues are and determine how to come up with specific solutions. I try to look at what’s happening competitively with different ideas. I spend a lot of time with my extensive expert network around the world and across the United States. Then, I look at an opportunity and say, “OK, I’ve got to develop a business plan and focus on it to drive very specific business models.” I then try to present those business models to leadership or my associates in a way that will gain their buy-in.
I follow the complete innovation life cycle maturity process, all the way from market research, competitive intelligence, expert network validation, and thought leadership to getting the ideas off the ground by collaborating with my partners and investors. In the end, it’s all about relationships and people.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
Perhaps most exciting is that investment in AI startups increased to $681 million in 2015 from $145 million in 2011, according to CB Insights. What’s more, CB Insights estimated that new investments will reach $1.2 billion in 2016 — an increase of 76 percent from 2015. As of 2015, $400 million had been invested in digital AI health technology, and it’s anticipated to hit $3 billion by 2020, according to Beacon Center for the Study of Evolution in Action.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I think in a very future-oriented manner. I like to combine many elements that alone could not produce solutions, but together could solve major problems. For me, the ability to combine certain steps and elements works well and makes me very unique. You cannot rely on traditional steps; you have to think outside the box to create solutions for customers and businesses.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Because I am so creative, have a lot of ideas, and can solve a lot of problems, I tend to think I know a lot. So my advice would be to listen more. Learn, listen, learn, and repeat. Listen to a variety of people who have done it before, who are proven entrepreneurs, and who have built and run successful businesses. It’s also important to do things in small steps and measure those successes, then execute accordingly. Execution coupled with listening is something I would suggest to my younger self.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
When people say, “This is how things were built, how elections were won, how the systems were put together, and how machines run,” my answer is “That’s not how the world works today.” I believe we can’t judge based on prior history because, in many cases, patterns haven’t been established.
How will the world look when our economy is run by AI in the next 20 to 30 years? There’s no historical precedent for any of that, so when people talk about historical milestones, we’ve got to make comparisons about how things have worked. Most people don’t agree with me, but we’re setting a precedent because we’ve got to look at certain patterns and correlations. We can’t just look at comparisons from the past. We’ve got to create the future.
Many people say, “Well, Mark, I haven’t seen the precedent historically. This is not how this was built or how we laid down the financial plan.” Yes, because we’re now at the stage of our growth where things are totally different, and they don’t align with historical comparisons.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I believe everyone should invest in building a global multidisciplinary network of leaders, experts, mentors, and researchers — people who could provide insight as you build your business. This network could help you with strategies, operational execution, and advice — and everything in between. One of the most important things that you must do as an entrepreneur is secure funding. A network allows you to do so without leveraging other agents, brokers, or placement agents. You have your own network that you can count on, and that’s critical.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.
Never do a hard sale, but focus on thought leadership. Show that you know the principles, background, context, market, and business. Show that you can explain and discuss your thoughts and ideas. You should be able to connect and relate them to prospective businesses, clients, partners, etc.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I wouldn’t call it a failure, but for many years, I was very blunt in my assessments, reviews, and pitches. I used to tell my investors and business partners, “This is how it is — period.” Later on, I learned that we live in a complex world. We need to deliver things in a way that doesn’t cause unnecessary stress but helps to set confidence and expectations. As a leader and entrepreneur, you’ve got to look at how others view the world. You’ve got to provide a very healthy balance.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I believe people will have a hologram virtual assistant in the future. These virtual assistants will bring to life humans we love, our favorite presidents, or family members who are no longer with us. They will be extensions of Siri or Amazon Echo, but they’ll be much more lifelike. I see this as a combination of biology, artificial intelligence, and physical IT.
These assistants could help us if we’re sad or happy. They could handle tasks, delegate, complete our daily duties, help us make decisions, plan for the future, help us with shopping, walk with us, help with banking decisions, and so much more. They’ll be our virtual buddies, and we can customize them to our preferences. That’s the future I see.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
What an exciting world we’re seeing now with streaming devices. I was so glad to invest $100 in devices such as Roku TV, Fire TV Stick, and Google Chromecast. I now watch many international channels, such as those in France or Great Britain. This has given me different perspectives on news and information affecting the globe.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
To be honest, I’m attached to Facebook Messenger, Gmail, and Twitter. Twitter is my tool for gathering intelligence from various sources and analysts. I use it to inform my followers on recent trends, personal and general news stories, and opinions.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I believe the community should read my book “Six Billion Minds.” It’s about our uncertain future. Soon, we’ll see dramatic shifts due to technology, knowledge, and innovation. It stretches your mind on future opportunities. It’s meant for those who continue to push globalization to advance human potential, for those who continue to go beyond the horizon, for those who are full of never-ending hope, and for those who are changing the world and bringing us closer together. We have an obligation to do better.
What is your favorite quote?
“I’ve spoken of the shining city…in my mind, it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, windswept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors, and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That’s how I saw it and see it still.” – President Ronald Reagan
Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.