AI Maven, Eva Agapaki, on Founding Hatch Labs
Hi Eva! Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business:
I’m a seasoned AI Product Leader, adept at building B2B/C product portfolios that cater to a spectrum of clients across industries. I have 4 years experience in leading cross-functional teams and 8 years at the forefront of AI and machine learning innovation, emphasizing a customer-first, data-driven approach. I am the Founder and Chief Product Officer of Hatch Labs and provide services for technical AI products, AI product strategy, and AI-driven UX design for startups and Fortune 500 companies. My biggest achievements include launching products and innovation labs in startups and large organizations from conception to market in highly-regulated industries such as aviation, oil & gas, AdTech. I champion in identifying AI product market fit opportunities, liaising with C-suite across diverse tech segments. I also thrive in educating business leaders on AI concepts and AI-driven strategy. My deep technical expertise is rooted in a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Cambridge and MIT, complemented by my role as an AI and Product Management Professor at the University of Florida.
So Eva, what excites you about being an Entreprenista League member?
It is such a vibrant female-driven community with lots of resources available to help you launch your business.
Starting your own biz is no easy feat…what made you take the leap to start your own business?
After working in corporate, academia and previously building my own AI startup, I saw a tremendous opportunity to help accomplished founders go-to-market faster and avoid the same mistakes I’ve made when launching highly complex, visionary AI products. I want to provide founders and C-suite executives with the toolkit and knowledge they need to build better and user-centered AI products.
What was your background prior to starting your own business?
I’ve been working as Head of Product in startups and prior to that I launched my AI innovation research group as Professor of AI and Product Management at the University of Florida.
Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
When I was a child, I was fascinated by the impact my father had on building bridges, highways and solving other engineering challenges, so I wanted to have a big impact. Being an entrepreneur came naturally to me after finishing my Ph.D. and realizing I want to be at the forefront of innovation, while at the same time define my own path.
What is the biggest challenge you have encountered along the way and what did you learn from it?
Being the only woman in the room in male-dominated industries has been the biggest challenge for me. These experiences have equipped me with being more confidence and getting buy-in in very challenging and demanding situations.
Eva, you have so much to celebrate! What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?
I am a fast learner and thrive in building teams and products from scratch. One of my proudest moments was building a product team and growing it to 32 people in just 6 months and winning the Product Innovation Award of the year, while pitching this AI product to the CEO and C-suite.
Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?
I am a strong believer of work/life balance. Here are some my tips: 1. Practice yoga and meditation at least once a week 2. Have a daily to-do work list and do not deviate from it 3. Relax reading a book or listening to music before going to bed
Learning from other entreprenistas is crucial. What’s a piece of advice you can share that you wish you’d known when you first started your Entreprenista journey?
Be patient and persistent on what you want to achieve. Allow yourself to dream big and others will follow
Last, but not least, what’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?
Here are my top 3 milestones for the next year:
1. Developing partnerships with consulting firms
2. Building an AI product community (exciting news to come!)
3. Launch an AI product strategy course