On this episode of the Stretch Four Podcast, Tanvi Surti, founder of Luca, joins the show to discuss e-commerce, AI, and YCombinator. Before that, I start the show off by discussing the bankruptcy of the Newchip Accelerator with former mentee and founder Yoni Rubin. He shares his experience with the program.
I then interview Tanvi who shares her journey from big tech to entrepreneurship, including her experience building pricing algorithms at Uber. She also explains how Luca is helping retailers optimize their pricing strategies using AI and shares her insights on the future of AI.
Tune in to learn more about the power of AI to solve real problems and how to succeed as an early-stage founder.
Check out the episode on Apple and Spotify.
0:10 Intro to the show.
Welcome back to the Stretch Four Podcast.
The Newchip accelerator is bankrupt.
Presenting at the Finovate Spring Conference in San Francisco.
3:17 Yoni Rubin’s experience with the new chip accelerator.
Jani's experience with Newchip accelerator.
How Yoni got involved with the program.
Mentorship experience as a mentor, bleak and best case scenario.
Offering equity to mentors.
7:47 Where things went wrong with the recruitment process.
Pay-to-play model vs pay to play model.
Shrink wrap agreements.
Getting back to them about the equity and fees.
Researching the price point.
12:11 How did you get into the space?
Accelerators can be scrupulous. They want to cover their ass.
The company went bankrupt.
Accelerator took a legal document and mixed it into their handbook.
Pricing and fees.
A compelling story for founders.
18:26 Introducing Tanvi Certi and How we met?
The first time they met and what it was like.
The rollercoaster journey.
Getting out of his comfort zone in 2022.
The early stages of the journey.
Luca is an AI-based pricing copilot for large retailers.
Pricing is a multi-dimensional chess game.
24:47 How did you get into this space?
Early days of uber pool and building the product.
How he landed at uber.
Why uber was losing copious amounts of money.
How luca came about.
30:46 The retail side of the house.
How retailers think about these types of offerings.
My John Elliot example of flash sales.
Behind the scenes of pricing and marketing.
34:18 The revolution of AI.
AI is happening in real-time.
How the AI revolution has happened.
The power of AI to solve real problems.
Why Luca is an AI company.
37:51 AI for the service of human time and decisions.
AI is a decision-making brain that simplifies the human experience.
Y combinator experience.
Skepticism before applying to YC.
Recommendation for the YC application process.
Getting the first customer from zero to one.
Building a playbook for acquiring customers.
44:49 Selling to the enterprise early.
Selling to the enterprise early.
Friction from the current way of growing the business.
The money-back guarantee.
The old-school face-to-face way of working during the pandemic
50:13 In-person work vs. remote work.
A strong believer in in-person work.
How to take care of yourself as a founder.
The importance of a strong support system.
Fundraising for the first time.
Investing in the future of the company.
Being excited in every call.
Looking forward to being back with more interviews next week.