The Southeast is home to a new venture studio.
The Innovation Studio launched this week in Nashville, Tennessee with a very specific mission in mind: Make Music City a capital for “Industrial AI” innovation.
Founder and CEO Brian Moyer told Hypepotamus that the team behind the studio is in the process of raising $10 million to fund the venture for the next five years, with the founding team contributing the initial funding to get the studio off the ground. As the studio gets off the ground, it will be using office space in the Franklin Innovation Center.
Understanding The Studio Model
Unlike the traditional venture capital or accelerator model – where investors look for early-stage startups and their founders to take to the next level via funding or mentorship – a venture studio pinpoints an idea and then builds a startup team around that idea.
That venture studio model has been catching on across the Southeast region as a way to bring a specific startup venture to life. Hypepotamus readers will be familiar with other industry-specific venture studios that have launched recently, including Atlanta-based Neighborhood Studios for hyperlocal startups and 3 Studios for Web3-focused ventures.
The Innovation Studio has hit the ground running early on, with Moyer saying that the team is already working on four ideas for different startups.
Meet The Team
The team bringing The Innovation Studio to life are well-known in the local tech community. Brian Moyer previously was at the helm of the Greater Nashville Technology Council. Joining Moyer is founder of the Nashville AI company Digital Reasoning Tim Estes, director of new venture development for the Vanderbilt University Center for Technology Transfer & Commercialization Peter Rousos, and Splunk’s senior director Lerry Wilson.
Moyer added that transitioning from the Greater Nashville Technology Council and moving into the AI-specific space is about continuing to support the “innovation economy” of the Middle Tennessee ecosystem.
Why Industrial AI
The Innovation Studio’s specific focus on “Industrial AI” means creating startups that go beyond “what off-the-shelf consumer-grade tools can provide,” said Moyer.
“The kinds of Industrial AI solutions we are building require trusted business relationships, access to proprietary data, and iterative problem-solving methodologies in close communication with our industry partners. At present, retail, financial, manufacturing, and automotive markets appear to hold the greatest promise, but we will remain sector agnostic and stay alert to opportunities across the board,” he added in a statement.
For Estes, it is about finding AI solutions that can translate into “commercial success,” adding that Industrial AI has the ability to bring “significant improvements in a business’s efficiency, quality control, profitability and more.”
Featured photo: Brian Moyer