Funding a Deep Learning Startup

SPACES – Menlo Park, Menlo Park
Dec 12th 2016
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Funding a Deep Learning startup? Learn what entrepreneurs should consider when starting an AI/DL startup and what investors look for.

Join us for a fireside chat with Nitin Pachisia, Martin Hack and please welcome back Prateek Joshi. Nitin Pachisia is founding partner at Unshackled Ventures, an early stage venture capital fund that is actively investing in AI and Deep Learning startups. Nitin will share an investor’s perspective on what makes a Deep Learning startup appealing to investors.


Martin Hack is a serial entrepreneur, active investor and advisor to early and growth stage technology companies and venture funds.

Prateek Joshi is the founder of Pluto AI, where he is using Deep Learning to save water. Prateek will share his experiences starting and fund raising as founder of a Deep Learning startup and an immigrant entrepreneur. The fireside chat will be followed by networking with investors and entrepreneurs.

Nitin Pachisia

Nitin Pachisia is a founding partner of Unshackled Ventures, an early stage venture capital fund for immigrant founders in the U.S. Unshackled Ventures is supported by nearly 80 investors, including Brad Feld, First Round Capital, Yahoo founder Jerry Yang and the Emerson Collective, founded by Laurene Powell Jobs. Before starting Unshackled Ventures, Nitin founded an experiential ecommerce company. Prior to that, he ran finance and strategy for ed-tech startup Kno (acquired by Intel) that raised over $90M of funding from top VC’s including Andreessen Horowitz, First Round Capital and Floodgate. Before Kno, Nitin worked at Deloitte, focusing on tech startups and helping them with growth, exits, and strategic initiatives.Nitin has appeared on NBC, NPR, CCTV, has been featured in various publications including Forbes, WSJ, Financial Times, Techcrunch, CNN, and has been an op-ed contributor in the Huffington Post and ReCode. Nitin is actively engaged as mentor or as part of evaluation committee at Stanford University, Babson, Alchemist Accelerator, GTWY, Founder Institute, among others.Being an immigrant himself and having founded startups while on a visa in U.S., Nitin understands the venture resources immigrant founders need, besides capital. He recognizes the opportunity immigrant founders represent and is focused on building an ecosystem that strengthens the pursuit of their American dream.

Martin Hack 

Martin was the Founder, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Skytree, a venture-backed Artificial Intelligence and Big Data Company. Under his vision and leadership he grew the company from its inception to triple, triple, double bookings while assembling a world-class machine learning technology and business team. During his tenure Skytree attracted a variety of industry leading customers and strategic investors such as Samsung, American Express, UPS and In-Q-Tel. Prior to Skytree, Martin was an executive at SonicWall (acquired by Dell), GreenBorder (acquired by Google) and Sun Microsystems (acquired by Oracle). 

Prateek Joshi

Prateek Joshi is an Artificial Intelligence researcher, a published author of 4 books (you can find all four of his books on Amazon) and a TEDx speaker. He is the founder of Pluto AI, a Silicon Valley startup building an analytics platform for water management based on Deep Learning. His work in this field has led to patents, tech demos, and research papers at IEEE conferences. He actively blogs at on topics such as Artificial Intelligence, Python programming, and abstract mathematics. The blog has received more than 1 million page views from 200+ countries.Prateek has been an invited speaker at technology and entrepreneurship conferences. He has also been featured as a guest author in prominent tech magazines. He is an avid coder and has won many hackathons. He graduated from University of Southern California with a Masters degree specializing in Artificial Intelligence. He was elected to become a member of the Honors Society for academic excellence and an ambassador for the school of engineering. He has worked at companies such as Nvidia and Microsoft Research. You can learn more about him on his personal website at


Event schedule:


7:00 PM-7:30PM: Food and Sign in


7:30 PM - 8:30 PM: Fireside Chat followed by Q&A


8:30 PM - 9:00 PM: Social Hour and Networking



Our Partners & Sponsors:

Many thanks to our event sponsor, Roger Royse, founder of Royse Law Firm, PC,

Royse Law Firm provides sophisticated, yet affordable, legal services to growing companies, high net worth individuals and investment funds in the technology sector as well as more traditional businesses such as hospitality, agri-business, real estate and manufacturing. Our clients include multi-national companies with globally dispersed ownership, management and operations as well as closely held and family businesses due to their need for integrated legal solutions that emphasize tax efficiencies. Our tax expertise is a common thread that runs throughout our practice and distinguishes the Royse Law Firm from other general business firms. We frequently advise other law firms on tax aspects of their corporate, real estate, and commercial transactions and provide tax advice to litigation attorneys in various contexts, including the taxation of recoveries and professional liability. Finally, we regularly advise on mergers and acquisitions (M&A), corporate equity and debt financings, and partnership and joint venture transactions.

SPACES: Creative working space in silicon valley’s menlo park: situated in tech hub Silicon Valley, Spaces Menlo Park is an exclusive creative workspace perfectly positioned on the waterfront. Inspiring contemporary interior design fuels innovative thinking, while wide open space offers free rein to bounce ideas in a collaborative working atmosphere. Our unique design ethos and tailored service concept make Spaces Menlo Park well suited to your business needs.


The Silicon Valley Deep Learning Group is a non-for-profit initiative. We are about scientists and developers interested in deep learning, entrepreneurs starting companies in deep learning, and investors interested in investment opportunities in deep learning start ups.

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