Tank Talks
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Canada's AI Surge Leading the Next Tech Frontier with Alex Kolicich of 8VC

Canada's AI Surge Leading the Next Tech Frontier with Alex Kolicich of 8VC

Episode 181

We are excited to have Alex Kolicich, the founding partner of 8VC, on the pod this week. Alex shares his journey from working at Google and Palantir to joining Peter Thiel's hedge fund, Clarion Capital, and later co-founding 8VC.

Alex discusses 8VC’s mission to significantly impact their portfolio companies by leveraging their unique blend of industry insight and investment expertise. And we get Alex's take on the recent AI boom in venture capital, dissecting the mega funding rounds in the AI space and providing a forward-looking perspective on startups and fundraising.

We also have a news round-up with John Ruffolo.

About Alex Kolicich:
Alex Kolicich is a Founding Partner at 8VC, where he focuses on IT and Bio-IT investments.

Prior to 8VC, Alex was a Partner at Formation 8 and also worked with Peter Thiel as a Principal at Mithril Capital Management, a growth-stage venture fund, where he helped lead investments in AppDirect, C2FO, and Helion Energy.

Before his career as an investor, Alex worked as an engineer and early-product advisor at Clarium, Palantir, and Google. He was an early member of the Clarium Capital quantitative engineering team (with Joe Lonsdale) and a close advisor/collaborator with the early Palantir team; advising on product design and contributing to the product. At Google Research, Alex worked on Google Street View before and during its launch and also worked on the development and launch of the Google Checkout.

In this episode, we discuss:

(01:35) The trend of U.S. private equity firms acquiring Canadian tech companies and the benefits of currency arbitrage

(03:17) The difference in capital competition between the U.S. and Canada, indicating a more vibrant private equity scene in the U.S.

(06:04) Why John is bullish on Ethereum

(08:28) How former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney's policies shaped the current political and business landscapes

(12:45) Alex shares his journey from engineering at Google to venture capital, emphasizing the culture of innovation at Google

(14:22) The shift from Google to venture capital, underlining the pivotal role of working with Peter Thiel

(17:25) The founding principles of 8VC, focusing on investing in companies that leverage technological advancements

(20:05) The potential of AI, Alex predicts its significant impact on the venture capital landscape

(23:15) Alex’s his decision to pivot to venture capital, inspired by the opportunity to work with Peter Thiel and invest in deep technology

(27:05) Alex discusses the significance of Canadian tech innovations and his motivation to invest in Canadian companies

(33:14) Fundraising in 2024 requires growth and capital efficiency

(37:25) A future where AI augments knowledge work, leading to societal shifts towards community-oriented living

(49:30) Reflecting on Canada's role in the AI revolution, Alex emphasizes the need for proactive policies to attract and nurture talent, positioning Canada as a leader in AI innovation and application

Fast Favorites:

  1. 🎙- Favorite Podcast: Meb Faber

  2. 📰- Favorite Newsletter / Blog: Interconnects

  3. 📲- Favorite Tech Gadget: Airpods Pro

  4. 📈-  Favorite New Trend: The rebirth of Silicon Valley

  5. 📚- Favorite Book: 1984

  6. 🤔 - Favorite Life Lesson: Put yourself in a position where you work with the most talented people

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Tank Talks
Tank Talks By Ripple Ventures
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