Every founder deserves a fair opportunity to succeed, said Jannae Gammage, which is why she partnered with Charlotte Clark to launch a platform that would help entrepreneurs make value-driven decisions — while empowering investors to invest in them.
A core idea behind the new startup: entrepreneurs believe tech over people.
“I have been working side-by-side with founders in developing their businesses. One of the key things I saw was, when advice came from a person, they would accept it as far as they wanted to accept it. But when it came from tech, they were willing to fully accept it, even if it challenged them. So, we wanted to take the greatest minds, greatest consultants and develop this platform that can truly make businesses better,” said Gammage, CEO of Foresight.
Foresight is a risk-mitigation and strategy platform that uses artificial intelligence and deep learning to provide instant investability scores for business ideas and models.
“Foresight enables founders to ideate and validate their business,” Gammage explained. “It also allows investors to invest in low-risk, superior return ventures that increase fund performance — and in turn, grow ecosystems.”
Foresight provides a “Foresight Score” to founders who use the platform. The score is a standardized measure of investability that accounts for financial projections and startup stage, as well as personal data on the founder.
Gammage and Clark began ideating Foresight back in March. Clark, who serves as the CTO of Foresight and has a background in consulting, saw a need for a standardized tool that would objectively assess what stage a founder was at in their journey, she said.
“Coming from my consulting background, the biggest issue I was seeing was founders communicating that they were at a much more advanced stage than where they actually sit,” Clark noted. “It is very difficult to work with a founder and help them hit their goals when they are not fully aware of how close to investment they are or where their gaps are. … A lot of work as a consultant is accessing all of a founder’s documents and digging through them to get an accurate understanding of where they are at.”
Especially for first-time founders, many are unaware of the specifics and processes that go into securing investments, she continued.
“As I started to work more in accelerators, and as part of [University of Missouri-Kansas City], I realized that this problem was more than a handful of individuals — it happens with larger groups of founders,” Clark said.
Foresight is currently in a research and development phase, with a plan to launch in early 2023, the duo said. Founders already are on board to pilot the program and pull together the necessary resources, they added.
“The questionnaire is long and intense, so we’re really looking for people who are dedicated to understanding more about themselves and their businesses,” Clark said. “Part of the [Foresight] score is getting data on a founder and their backgrounds. Instead of it being about what college they went to, we’re making sure to ask questions about their experiences and personality. We plan to run a few founders through it and hear their feedback.”
Click here to join the waitlist for Foresight.
The duo envisions Foresight changing the entrepreneurial and investing landscape. For founders, they will become more informed on their businesses, go into investment meetings fully prepared and become more confident, Clark said.
“Founders can see investor meetings as a temperature test for whether or not they are investable, whether or not their business is going to work,” Clark explained. “For founders who talk to a few investors who then pass on them, they start to think that they need to change their business or strategy. But with our tool, founders will better be able to know that they have a strong idea and that it’s viable. Maybe some investors passed because they didn’t see the vision, but you can move on and pitch to a different investor.”
For investors, they will be able to clearly see the timeline of founders and their businesses and follow along with ideas they find interesting, Clark continued — noting that investors on Foresight will be able to track founders and see whether or not their scores improve.
Gammage and Clark also aim for Foresight to diversify investments by reducing implicit bias and providing insights through data, they said.
“I know how much work and the intense execution that goes into building software, but technology is able to help large groups of people and revolutionize an industry,” Clark said. “There’s really no other avenue to grow and scale a large number of businesses — other than building software and getting it up and running.”
Although Foresight is initially focusing on fundraising and capital, the founders’ long-term goal is for Foresight to be an ecosystem collaboration platform that founders, investors and ecosystem builders use to network and stay connected, they shared.
“It’s truly developed to help ecosystems connect and maintain visibility of capital, founders and impact,” Gammage said.
As for the Foresight score, Gammage envisions it to be comparable to the FICO score for creditworthiness, she said.
“We will be equivalent to the pitch deck,” Gammage said. “You won’t even need your pitch deck — just your Foresight score.”
This story is possible thanks to support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a private, nonpartisan foundation that works together with communities in education and entrepreneurship to create uncommon solutions and empower people to shape their futures and be successful.