The AI Guild in 2021

An update for all AI Guild Members and those interested in joining us

Dear members, throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been working to create the AI Guild GmbH. This report updates you as an AI Guild member, and especially also as a potential shareowner — what is also known on Slack and (some of our) Linkedin profiles as founding members.

Why are you reading this?

The AI Guild is a community. We started with a founders’ meeting in May 2019, and have since kept an emphasis on bottom-up initiatives, and on being a diverse community of practitioners.

In the autumn of 2019, the members (at the time) decided that the AI Guild should be set-up as a for-profit company. This means that all members may be shareowners, and have the AI Guild as a second leg in terms of professional opportunities including freelance, employment, and co-founding. You can read more here.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the setup of the AI Guild GmbH and the go-to-market was redesigned. This delay is the opportunity of 2021, and you and all members of the AI Guild can now be involved going forward, for example via the monthly meetings.

Why Monthly Members’ Meetings?

For the community exchange and networking opportunities, we have the Monthly Members’ Meetup every first Tuesday of the month.

For the GmbH and to go-to-market, for all of us together, we are introducing the Monthly GmbH Jour fixe for all members on the last Monday of the month. This is your space for getting involved in the main efforts for the coming months:

  1. Advance the AI Guild go-to-market strategy and success
  2. Detail how AI Guild members become shareowners on fair and equitable terms

Please join the Members’ Monthly GmbH Jour fixe.

What the update invites you to consider and do

  1. The track record for 2020 as captured by the Objectives and Key Results (OKR) for each quarter
  2. How you can support go-to-market
  3. Your role as a member and potential shareowner of the AI Guild GmbH

Objectives and key results from 2020

We use OKR to structure AI Guild GmbH activities, and also for evaluation and adjustment. Please browse the first letter to members and shareowners from August 2020 here.

This is where we stand

  • Founding members — Achieving clarity on the go-to-market with a diverse set of founding members as shareowners. Join the discussion via the Monthly GmbH Jour fixe at theguild.ai/events
  • #datacareer — The pilot career development program is underway, the accreditation program is validated internally, and an offering for companies and individuals will be launched in Q1/2021.
  • #datalift — The event series is planned out to No 5 in May 2021, the use cases have been published as e-book, and a #datalift summit is in the works for later in 2021. For companies and government, we are now available as a helping hand too.

Becoming a shareowner

The 2019 setup survey showed a clear preference for a commercial strategy. There are two possible solutions for all AI Guild members to be shareowners that are legally protected and financially viable.

Legally protected under German and European law means choosing an investment vehicle that all of us can utilize when employed, freelance, or owner of another business. We have two options: a) the GmbH & Co KG; and b) a special purpose vehicle for investment (a second GmbH) by which AI Guild members would act as investors. For b) we can draw on the German Standards Setting Institute (GSSI), and its standardized proposal for an early investment round, which is provided in a bilingual format (English and German side-by-side) here. GSSI is a collaboration between the German Startup Association and the German Business Angels Network and specifically exists to advance and ease the founding of new companies.

Due to the ongoing COVID pandemic, we are subject to larger than usual economic uncertainties. Yet, as we argued for #datalift, every crisis is also an opportunity.

Here is a suggestion for how we all together might handle 2021 best:

  • Utilize our joint achievements on #datalift and #datacareer to go-to-market now, focusing on building business relationships.
  • Build an investment and share owning strategy by Summer 2021, opening up opportunities for all members.

Go-to-market

Here are three suggestions for supporting the go-to-market

  • Be visible on your LinkedIn profile. Add the AI Guild in your professional experience section (20 of us already) with the status ‘founding member’ from now on (or the start month of your membership)
  • Share and engage with the go-to-market by showing website content and offerings to potentially interested networks (e.g. share on social media, write a blog post, provide a reference)
  • Point the AI Guild to interesting opportunities for working with companies on #datacareer and #datalift by contacting Chris Armbruster or Dânia Meira

Return of the AI Guild dinners post-Covid

As of autumn 2021, the AI Guild is organizing a European dinner series, running in many cities that are a practitioner hub and have many AI Guild members, e.g. Amsterdam, Berlin, Brussels, Cologne, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Paris, Stuttgart, Vienna, Warsaw, Zurich, and more.

To join the AI Guild dinners for members and friends please go here https://www.theguild.ai/events

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