Published: 14 April 2020

Reading time: About 3 minutes

This year, Automated Intelligence (AI) was selected as one of ten Northern Ireland-based tech organisations to participate in the Catalyst Way to Scale programme. The programme supports local companies wanting to scale business operations by participating in an intensive entrepreneurial boot camp. 

The programme culminated with our CEO, Simon Cole, attending a bespoke residential in Boston, USA. In this blog Simon reflects on the overall experience and shares some of the key learnings he hopes to apply to future business operations at AI. 

Simon commented, “The Way to Scale programme has been a phenomenal opportunity for AI. The first week of the programme involved participating in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Disciplined Entrepreneur workshop led by Bill Aulet, Managing Director of the Martin Trust Centre for MIT Entrepreneurship. This was attended by over 100 CEOs from companies spanning 27 Countries. It was an intensive course in which we were placed into different teams and tasked with building 14 companies from an initial idea to a presentable and investable business within 5 days. The educational elements presented an opportunity to reflect on our objectives as an organisation and evaluate why we do what we do and more importantly, how we do it.  

Our approach as a business has always been focused on customer success. Coming back from the programme, we have examined how AI can enable our customers to be even more successful and better position our solution to help with the success of new and prospective customersDuring out second sojourn to Boston, we attended a number of strategic sales and marketing workshops, which offered guidance on how we execute these elements going forward. 

With respect to the ongoing global health crisis regarding Covid-19, the workshops also focused on resiliency planning and how we as an organisation can continue to support our customers through a crisis, such as this pandemic. 

“One of the things that struck me about the experience was the incredible sense of optimism and motivation demonstrated by those leading the programme. We had a fantastic time at MIT, which has a world-renowned success rate when it comes to innovation.  

“Bill also outlined the 24 steps to disciplined entrepreneurship, which is a systematic and thorough staged-approach to innovation for scale-up businesses. As we approach our tenth year in business this summer, we are looking to apply these steps to AI in order to maximise the opportunity and scale-up our own business operations.”  

I would like to thank John Knapton, Director of Growth and Scaling at Catalyst, who led the Way to Scale programmeand offered ten Northern Ireland companies the opportunity to be inspired to go bigger and faster.” 

For further information on Way to Scaleclick here.