Innovation is about doing things differently, and finding ideas that answer the call of the market. It’s about not looking at how things were and are, but looking at how they can be. Derek Distenfield, COO and Co-Founder at GSD Venture Studio, does that by looking everywhere and at everything. He searched the globe looking for resilient and talented teams. Intellectual capacity is evenly spread across the world – but opportunity is not. Derek innovates by finding ways to provide opportunities. Connecting to investors, radically altering a business model to connect to current trends, and making sure companies are seen by global partners. He alters the conversation to make it a success both for the innovators and for those who believe in them.
Derek has developed a venture studio model that partners with artificial intelligence startups from Eastern Europe, Israel, and Asia. Typically, they have product-market fit in one country and because of political and cultural dynamics the have challenges in becoming global. GSD Venture Studio has taken operational roles focusing on several things.
A strong sales and marketing strategy and execution – GSD Ventures designs a story, website, make product recommendations, and uses its network and team to identify early US adopters.
A strong influencers strategy – GSD Ventures aligns with the company with the best advisors from business, academia, and more to ensure that the startup is intellectually part of the intellectual discussion in the category they are monopolizing.
An investment strategy – The company develops and executes a strategy that intertwines with their sales and marketing and influences strategy.
Systems – GSD Ventures develops and designs optimal systems but also ensures that the company is designed legally and operationally in a way that is comfortable to VC.
Moreover, GSD Ventures Studio has six AI startups in its portfolio that have millions of dollars in sales and hundreds of millions of dollars in the pipeline. Some of them include Irex.al, Zemplee.com, Bidease.com, and Wattsbattery.com.
The company is a top startup factory that believes intellectual capacity is evenly spread throughout the world but opportunity is not. By partnering with entrepreneurs and startups outside of the “Silicon Valley Bubble” they are ensuring that more artificial intelligence engineers are able to build great products.
Talking about the challenges faced during the journey, Derek recalls, Bill Gates has cautioned that AI has great potential as well as challenges. He believes that as artificial intelligence continues to grow, the industry will have to determine new ethics and global rules of operating.
Furthermore, to thrive ahead with innovations, GSD Ventures Studio has created a global catalytic ecosystem that combines people from the tech industry, education, accelerators, legal and political leaders.
A Leadership with Midas Touch
Derek Distenfield is the Co-Founder of GSD Venture Studios. He travels the world investing in resilient teams bold enough to #GoGlobal.
Known for bringing revolutionary new ideas to organizations that deliver explosive growth and for being efficient with limited resources, Derek has a high tolerance for ambiguity and complexity. For over 15 years, he has blazed high impact careers in startups, corporations, governments, and non-profit organizations.
As the growth strategist behind Bunker Labs, Derek transformed a non-profit serving veteran entrepreneurs into a premier national brand. He also ignited immediate growth in a highly regulated industry as CEO of NextGenJustice, a social enterprise startup that served as an alternative to traditional legal venues. As the founding visionary and chief evangelist, Derek developed a product that grew its consumer base 50% in 17 of 18 months in business.
Derek has been a keynote speaker in several settings: Winter Wonderland, I’m Not a Robot, Military Defense and Veterans Opportunities Summit, One Spark Innovation Conference, and International Conference on Business Incubation. He is a mentor and an advisor for GrowthX, Google Pioneer Accelerator, LifeFlip Media, and several other organizations.