Ali Khaloo is a first-time founder and CEO of Aren, a company that uses artificial intelligence to inspect and analyze infrastructure assets, such as bridges, dams and tunnels, to assess their structural integrity. He gravitated toward AREA in part because despite developing a new technology, he needed to both figure out how to commercialize and monetize it and how to explain his company’s value proposition to civil engineering and construction companies as well as to the governments that own the infrastructure assets.
“Our ecosystem of engineering and construction companies is not a digitized industry,” says Khaloo. “We realized that they might not want to hear all about artificial intelligence and robots. Instead we needed a crisp way to discuss the value we create and what problems we are solving for asset owners and managers.”
He began by identifying a Vision of Success for his company, which was that they would communicate the benefits of Aren’s technology rather than focusing on its ground-breaking technology itself.
Once he realized that he needed to focus on making a case to his clients, he asked himself: what does the technology do? And how does it do it better than traditional methods? He then derived his Critical Concepts, which were that Aren’s technology improved asset inspection through better:
- Data collection
- Data analysis
- Predictive analytics, which could be used to aid capital allocation plans for future maintenance work.
Listen to my conversation with Ali to learn how he and Aren made their big decision about how to commercialize and take their technology to market.
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