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Guest Contributor: Preparing for AI


On May 7th, we will be joined by EY at CogX LA for a session on The Ecosystem Edge: Scaling AI Startups for the Future to explore the symbiosis between startups and global organisations in the evolving market of AI-driven solutions. The conversation will be led by EY Global Emerging Tech Leader Jay Persaud, in discussion with startup leaders Michael Lawder of ASAPP and Anand Kannappan of Patronus AI.

In preparation, we sat down with Jay Persaud to discuss five key questions about EY’s commitment to the global emerging tech ecosystem. From boosting tech-startups to supercharging client AI solutions, here’s everything you need to know about the GETE.

The Global Emerging Tech Ecosystem: An exclusive Q&A with EY

‘When EY, our clients, and our technology companies and investors work together, 1+1+1 = 5’

Leading EY’s Global Emerging Technology Ecosystem (GETE), Jay Persaud is putting ‘ecosystems’ at the heart of EY’s data and AI strategy. The GETE is a newly formed group created to build relationships with emerging technology firms and their investors, with a focus on harnessing the power of emerging technologies — such as AI, blockchain, data management, and cybersecurity — to drive innovation and enhance client services. 

In this exclusive interview, Jay Persaud sheds light on EY’s dynamic role in harnessing startup innovation to propel business strategies forward. Find out what startup founders are really focussed on (both in and beyond AI), plus EY's own AI strategy, and the lessons large organisations can learn from the scale-ups in emerging tech.

1. What is EY’s Global Emerging Technology Ecosystem (GETE)? 

In our years of transformation at EY, we’ve learned that startups and entrepreneurs are best positioned to recognize innovative market needs, which is what led us to institutionalise our approach into the Global Emerging Tech Ecosystem.

This means we have a global team coordinating with many of the largest companies in the world and startups that are vested in today’s emerging technology themes of AI, data management, cybersecurity and Web3 to match startups with the EY network.

Through the GETE, my team is helping our clients become more innovative and productive using the best available technologies from startups, scaleups and small cap tech companies.

We do this by identifying and curating a powerful set of technologies along important themes such as AI, data management, cybersecurity and Web3, which we integrate into our rich mix of consulting services.

When EY, our clients, and our technology companies and investors work together, 1+1+1 = 5.

Together, it’s a winning combination to help clients be innovative, productive and stay ahead of the curve.

2. So much of the focus is on big tech companies. Why are EY choosing to work with startup networks?

We’re living in a time that’s moving so quickly where startups are playing an extraordinary role in the economy.

In our years of transformation at EY, we’ve learned that startups and entrepreneurs are best positioned to recognize innovative market needs.

We must go to market with them in a way that’s suitable for how they interact as small, agile companies without the resources and processes large organisations have. It’s this vision that led us to institutionalise our approach into the Emerging Tech Ecosystem.

3. What are startup founders focussing on with today’s AI hype? What can larger organisations learn from this?

AI is everywhere. Whether they’re looking to invest or deploy their own solutions, every company is focused on it. The demand is there.

As a result, we’re seeing a proliferation of startups – individuals and companies developing incredible tools to fill market needs amid this AI hype cycle.

There’s a lot on their minds: how do I build and scale this solution effectively and how do I bring my tool to market? These are all gaps that EY’s GETE can fill.

But aside from lifting these tools off the ground, there are ethical, privacy and security concerns that can’t be overlooked. Founders are trying to balance the risks and rewards to roll out these tools responsibly. 

4. What other tech areas are startups focused on? 

Companies don’t need giant LLM models to solve problems; they need data.

Data that’s fit for purpose and training is the lifeblood of AI. Turning LLMs into useful tools requires data that’s clean, governed, secured and in compliance with regulation.

As AI appetite grows, so has companies’ understanding of the value of data and the importance of protecting it at all costs. We all want to move quickly, but the faster you go, you put safety at risk.

This is why cybersecurity is so important. We’re not only focused on getting the functionality right, but ensuring these models are safe and secure.

Achieving this balance is a team sport, which is why partnering with startups in the cybersecurity space is critical moving their solutions forward and ensuring our EY community innovates securely. 

5. How have your relationships with startups contributed to your own AI strategy? 

We’re laser-focused on solving our clients’ needs and right now, AI is front and centre. Day after day, they’re coming to us saying, “AI is here. What do we do and how do we let it advance our business?”

We believe AI holds tremendous promise and we hope to see a lot of good come out of it as it continues to develop. At EY, we take a very methodical look at the landscape to deliver the right products at the right time so that the responsible adoption of AI is a value accelerator for our people, clients and communities.

This includes working in lockstep with AI startups that have their ear to the ground on the newest AI developments, which allow us to get ahead of and deliver the best-in-class solutions to our people and clients.



As EY Global Emerging Technology Ecosystem Leader, Jay Persaud works with emerging AI and data platform technology companies and investors, using relationships to expand alliances and fuel the EY organisation’s next wave of growth. He is also a Global Client Service Partner and Senior Advisory Partner across several accounts, as well as executive sponsor of several technology alliances.


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