Amongst Great Compan(ies)

The Intel Ignite Experience at Zerve

Written by: Phily Hayes, March 14, 2024

Amongst Great Compan(ies)

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Our recent participation in the Intel Ignite Program in Munich marked a pivotal moment in our company's trajectory. What began as an opportunity to connect with fellow European Deeptech companies evolved into a transformative experience that reshaped our approach to business in unexpected ways.

From the outset, including the extensive selection process, the program radiated with high-energy, attracting us in due to the level of innovation we could see which was present - This was something I would not have previously associated Intel with - High Energy Environments, Startups & Innovation. Although I can't comment about Intel at large, Intel Ignite is a place that has these in abundance.

OKRs & E.O.S.

One of the most remarkable outcomes of our Intel Ignite journey was the evolution of our day-to-day operations. Initially we had a set of goals and outcomes we wanted out of the program, but it was actually the structure of this goal & objective setting system that became the biggest value creation for us. When it comes to mastering the art of Objectives and Key Results (OKRs), who better to learn from than the pioneers themselves? Intel. Maybe this should not have come as a surprise but with Intel's insights into the power of OKRs in driving organizational alignment and performance, along with daily/weekly/monthly alignment checks, we really changed how we operate.

Implementing OKRs and adopting the Level 10 Meeting framework from the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) were transformative steps that brought clarity, alignment, and accountability to our team. Personally, I know leaving our weekly Level 10 Meeting, exactly what I should and should not be worried about / focused on.

The combination of OKRs and Level 10 Meetings worked seamlessly for us, allowing us to set ambitious objectives while ensuring that everyone in the organization was aligned and accountable for their contributions. The Level 10 Meetings, with their focus on problem-solving and accountability, provided the perfect platform for us to track our progress towards our OKRs and address any obstacles in real-time. We have even implemented a second Level 10 meeting associated with our Engineering team. The key for me is that the level 10 meeting happens every week, with the same people, the same agenda, and at the same time. Consistency is what makes it work.

The Cohort

However, beyond the strategic frameworks and business insights gained, the other true value of our Intel Ignite experience lay in the connections forged within the cohort. The camaraderie and support shared among our peers was awesome. Through discussions, problem-solving, and encouragement, we discovered the power of community in propelling us towards our goals. It was super insightful to see the common struggles amongst the teams as they tried to build their solutions. It was within this environment that we figured out how far we had truly come, and to take on the mindset of, "of course there will be issues to solve each day, we are working on a monumental problem!". This mindset was the motivation to push the boundaries of what we thought possible.

Special shout out to all the companies involved:

  1. Proxima Fusion – Pioneering the construction of stellarator fusion plants
  2. Giskard – Advanced testing and QA framework tailored for AI systems
  3. Quantum Diamonds – Quantum sensing revolutionizing semiconductor technology
  4. Dotphoton – Industry-leading data processing and compression at massive scales
  5. FononTech – Innovative impulse printing of 3D interconnects for vertical chips
  6. Semron – Cutting-edge high-density edge AI inference chip technology
  7. Deep Detection – High-speed, multispectral analysis technology for comprehensive detection
  8. SuperDuper – Integrating AI seamlessly into database operations
  9. ElectricSQL - The conflict free sync layer for local apps.

Finally, the mentors in the program were fantastic, and I know they will continue to guide Zerve in what we build from here on out, to name the core team: Markus Bohl, Martha Ivanovas, Alois Eder & Kate Hach. Rockstar support structure that we are truly grateful for. If any Deeptech founder is considering the program, feel free to dm me for my thoughts.

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