Making headlines for nine-figure capital raises is a relatively new phenomenon for entrepreneur and researcher Xavier Orr.
Like many in the research and development game, commercialisation is a long-term project - and one that’s never guaranteed to succeed.
The co-founder of Sydney-based artificial intelligence, robotics and navigation company Advanced Navigation knows this first-hand, having been through the slog himself.
His journey began with five years of university research into neural networks, the results of which ultimately became the bedrock of Advanced Navigation. But it was only when he became a colleague of his co-founder-to-be Chris Shaw at a robotics company that the business idea started to pick up some steam.
Speaking to Business News Australia ahead of his appearance at the upcoming E2E Summit in February, Orr said that securing investment to get the business going was difficult; people didn’t understand the pitch.
“In the early days, no one was talking about AI. It was this thing that people at uni would be tinkering with, but no one in the general public really knew anything about it,” reflected Orr, who alongside Shaw won the 2022 Australian Young Entrepreneur Trailblazer and Technology Awards, having earlier been crowned Sydney Young Entrepreneurs of the Year.
“It was really difficult to explain to people that this was a new product that was using AI."
At the E2E Summit, Orr will tell attendees about how he convinced would-be investors that his research could turn into 'incredible commercial success'.
The founder now works with the clients such as Google, Apple, Airbus, Boeing and General Motors, and is even developing solutions that are being used for NASA’s return to the Moon, so those early investors have certainly enjoyed the fruits of their patience.
“It’s really about communication with the investors, and helping them understand the opportunity that is there,” Orr said.
“I think everything that’s good takes time. There’s this saying - there’s no such thing as quick money.
“Patience pays off when you’re investing.”
In addition to discussing his approach to securing patient investment, Orr will be going deep with the E2E Summit audience on the future of AI and what role it will play over the coming decade.
“There’s a huge amount that AI can do for humanity, and I think we’re really just scratching the surface at the moment,” he said.
“It’s obviously making leaps and bounds right now, and I think we’re going to see that really continue at an exponential pace.”
Xavier is just one of the many talented entrepreneurs that will be speaking at the E2E Summit in February, including Mad Paws co-founder Alexis Soulopoulos, TWIYO Capital & Advisory and Flave co-founder Stuart Cook, Equalution and Big Uppetite co-founder Jade Spooner, Flora & Fauna founder Julie Mathers, Ampersand co-founder Alex Bottomley, and VentureCrowd founder Steve Maarbani. Click here for the agenda with all the speakers and session topics.
Orr will also be discussing the following:
- The fortitude required to scale world-changing research at the pre-commercialisation stage;
- Turning ideas into reality with patient investors; and
- Demystifying AI - the tech that will define the decade.
So what are you waiting for? Click here to join us at this two-day summit where Xavier will be one of many amazing founders giving their insights to help rocket your business forward in 2023 and beyond.
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