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Philippe Chambadal

Venture Advisor

Philippe Chambadal has been at the forefront of applying data and technology to serve the financial sector for three decades. Today, he’s convinced AI offers perhaps the biggest opportunity yet. “The combination of processing power, new tools and big data are remarkably exciting,” he says.

“The opportunity to leverage AI for knowledge workers is tremendous. It can create a tremendous amount of wealth. I think it’s a way to double the global GDP with the same number of people.”

Philippe is putting that belief into practice as president and CRO of Wand, a new startup that aims to make AI accessible to businesses of any size. The company offers a no-code platform that allows users to tailor-make their own solutions for wrangling data and automating tasks. “We’re competing with companies like Microsoft and AWS who have infinite resources and thousands of PhDs,” says Philippe, who himself holds an MBA from the HEC Paris Business School. “It’s fun!”

Wand is just the latest in a long line of startups Philippe has helped lead. He ran the financial services portfolio for C3 AI in the lead up to its IPO, served as CEO with post-trade solutions provider SmartStream, was the founder and CEO of middleware firm MetaMatrix (acquired by Red Hat), and was president of data privacy company LeapYear (recently acquired by Snowflake), among many others.

As a seasoned founder and CEO, Philippe advises founders to do as much customer research as possible: “Talk to as many people as you can,” he says. “Fifty people is OK, 100 people is better. Get the good, the bad and the ugly about the idea.” Building the right team is also critical. “I always try to hire people a lot smarter than me because it means less work. If I have very smart people who are self-motivated, and don’t need babysitting, that frees up a lot of time I can spend doing more valuable tasks.” 

And once customers start showing up, Philippe counsels entrepreneurs to give  them all top caliber service. “I strive to have every single one of my clients be referenceable. It doesn’t matter if they spend $25,000 a year or $10 million a year. I won’t stop til I fix their problem, whether that takes calls on the weekends or whatever,” he says. “It’s about respect.”

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