Industry sector

11.2 Ventures brings in new industry leaders to create, build and launch AI-powered businesses in their fields

CHICAGO–(COMMERCIAL THREAD) – 11.2 Ventures, LLC is pleased to announce that Rohit Khanna, President and CEO of 3D Infotech, Shay Brokemond, CEO of William Blair, and Kat Van Fossen, Founder of the Aspire agency, will provide their diverse expertise and entrepreneurial energy. at Chicago-based Venture Builder Studio (VBS). High performing leaders in their fields, Khanna, Brokemond and Van Fossen will identify the gaps they see in their respective industries and provide the ideas and vision for new AI-driven companies that can fill those gaps.

“I can already exercise my management and leadership skills in my role at 3D Infotech,” said Rohit Khanna, the new head of smart manufacturing at 11.2 Ventures. “But the opportunity at 11.2 means I can also show entrepreneurial imagination. I can’t wait to rediscover the unique thrill of building a business from scratch. About what Khanna will bring to the team , 11.2 Ventures Co-Founder Kurt Johnson said, “We couldn’t be more pleased that Rohit brings his vast expertise and judgment in computer vision to envision and guide our businesses in this area.”

Shay Brokemond will assume the role of agricultural technology manager for 11.2. Recently named one of the M&A Most Influential Women of 2020 in Mid-Market M&A, Brokemond has a solid engineering background as well as over 15 years of banking experience. Having worked with several Fortune 500 companies before becoming Managing Director of global investment banking and asset management firm William Blair, Brokemond understands the vision, financial rationale, and business milestones necessary for a successful business. start-up business. “What appeals to me so much about the business creation studio model is that I can apply both the technical and financial knowledge that I have acquired during my career, at some point in life. of a company where this knowledge is most critical, ”said Brokemond. 11.2 Ventures Co-Founder Gary Scheier commented: “Making Shay one of our first industry leaders is a huge blow. She takes the pulse of agriculture and is very perceptive about the capabilities that would directly help this industry. We are very lucky to have him on our team.

Founder of behavioral science-based marketing consultancy The Aspire Agency, Kat Van Fossen is the new head of marketing for both 11.2 Ventures and its portfolio companies. According to Johnson, “Kat is the whole package – she’s talented, enthusiastic and artistic – but she can also detail the data supporting a specific creative strategy. She established the brand identity and amplified brand awareness for a wide range of businesses, and we are extremely fortunate to have her among us. According to Van Fossen, “Coming from a consulting background, the diversity of the companies in the 11.2 portfolio is a real attraction. I am also confident that the structure and AI focus of our VBS program will help technology start-ups overcome the challenges they face.

In the VBS model, the role of an industrial sector manager is quite different from similar roles in entities such as accelerators or incubators. In these other models, managers are invited to mentor or assist the external entrepreneurs responsible for providing the idea for the startup. Ultimately, the success of an accelerator or incubator depends on the creativity, insight and decision-making of these entrepreneurs; internal experts are there to serve primarily as helpers or guides. In the VBS model, the sector heads of the industry are entrepreneurs. Drawing on in-depth knowledge of their respective industries, they collaborate with other area leaders and the studio’s leadership team to create the businesses they know their industries need. In addition to the team’s diverse expertise, they have at their fingertips the resources developed in the other companies in the studio’s portfolio. In the case of 11.2 Ventures, this means access to powerful and flexible artificial intelligence applications.

Sector leaders in the industry are central to the VBS model, which was developed precisely to eliminate the risk introduced by working with untested contractors. Instead of minimizing this risk by withholding resources from start-ups (an approach often favored by venture capital funds), start-up studios face both the unacceptable failure rate of tech startups and capital flight resulting from start-ups by sowing, developing and starting their own businesses. As 11.2 Ventures co-founder Dmitry Valbe put it, “We are an operating company whose ‘widgets’ are companies – a fund whose portfolio consists entirely of in-house companies – and a tightly managed portfolio that focuses on AI implementations of computer vision, econometrics, and natural language understanding. Ultimately, however, our overall mission is to create and launch viable businesses, and that’s something our area leaders make possible. ”

About 11.2, LLC Ventures

Internally building a diverse group of AI-powered companies, 11.2 Ventures maintains control and consistency throughout the process of growing companies and leaves them opportunistically. 11.2 Ventures has spent over four years developing an innovative methodology designed to increase the likelihood that these early stage ventures will be viable. Borrowing heavily from the business processes and risk management approaches of financial services, 11.2 Ventures believes it has found the formula for consistent and repeatable success. Learn more at