Part 4 of 7 — Get ready. Be prepared.
Tom Strange is on a mission to improve quality of life for people. His startup, Constellation AI, wants to enhance your ability to evaluate life, see your choices and make better decisions with a new app called imi.
In part four of seven insights, Tom describes the serendipitous path to how he met his Constellation AI Co-Founders.
How did you meet your Constellation Co-Founders, Craig Akal and Kenton Fine?
The second company I launched was a consultancy to help early-stage entrepreneurs benefit from my holistic professional and start-up experience; on product and business strategy, through to financial modelling and funding. Through my network I paired up with Founders Factory Chief Scientist, Tom Bowles to collaborate on several AI-based products. Tom’s technical skills paired with my user-centred approach to testing, validating and creating products, made for a symbiotic partnership. It led to me consulting directly with Founders Factory on the launch of an AI-powered, sales-training app.
I was later invited to become a member of Founders of the Future, which was launched as an invite-only community of talented young individuals in the technology ecosystem. Member selection combined Artificial Intelligence — which I helped Tom Bowles work on — Founders Nominations and Peer Recommendations. They were looking for individuals with a unique coupling of capabilities: visionary and charismatic; lateral thinking with clear evidence they can execute consistently; exceptional analytics; ability to deal with huge uncertainty and evidence of overcoming real adversity.
In 2016, Tom Bowles was at a Founder’s Forum event, where he sat next to Kenton Fine. Kenton was known for his successes as an entrepreneur and had stewarded his business, Servest, to over $3.5 Billion turnover. He mentioned an idea for a product based around office spaces, and that he was looking for a product visionary who could execute it. Tom instantly suggested that Kenton should speak to me. The next day we arranged to meet with Craig Akal, Kenton’s friend and business associate who had founded and asset managed multiple businesses with collective assets of over $250 Million, to discuss their idea. Initially Kenton and Craig became clients of the consultancy to validate their concept, which was called FormSpace. Based on what we learnt, it was decided not to continue with FormSpace but it was clear we made a credible, strong Founding team.
The insights from the FormSpace concept and validation phase sowed the seeds for Constellation, which in many ways is close to the vision I always had to help children.
As I look back on my life I can see how the dots join, how each part prepared me for the next. The serendipity in how I met Craig and Kenton happens to me a lot. Some of my beliefs on why it happens are somewhat esoteric and for another time, but for now let me tell you this: it’s better to be ready without an opportunity than to have an opportunity and not be ready. Cultivate your passion and art every day, it will come good.
Be ready and prepared at all times, even if the opportunity is not yet clear. Cultivate your art and passion and the rest will follow.
This is part 4 of 7. Part 5 of the series will be available here on Friday 12th October.
imi is currently in beta testing stage. Sign up here for the wait list.