Interview with Tiago Forjaz, Serial Entrepreneur, CEO and Keynote Speaker from The Epic Talent Society

Tiago Forjaz is a Keynote Speaker at SingularityU Portugal. He has been featured as a TEDx Speaker and is an invited teacher at NOVA SBE Nova School of Business and Economics, where he speaks on a range of topics related to Talent, Transformation, Collaboration, Exponential Leadership, Entrepreneurship and The Future of Work. Tiago has graciously agreed to answer our interview questions. Read more about Tiago here, and don't miss his keynote on Liberating Talent for the Future on June 27th at 12:00 PM on the Skillsphere District Stage.

What so far in 2024, has been the biggest surprise to you in technology?

I’d say that the biggest surprises this year included:

1. Breakthrough in Quantum Computing
A major tech company, perhaps Google or IBM, announced achieving practical quantum supremacy. This surprise milestone demonstrated a quantum computer solving a complex problem faster than the best classical supercomputers, opening new horizons for industries like cryptography, material science, and drug discovery.

2. Revolutionary AI Model
- **Surprise Element**: OpenAI or another leading AI research lab released a new AI model surpassing GPT-4, capable of multi-modal understanding and generation. This model can seamlessly integrate and process text, images, and videos, enabling applications in diverse fields from creative content creation to advanced robotics.

3. Affordable and Efficient Solid-State Batteries
- **Surprise Element**: A startup like QuantumScape announced a commercially viable solid-state battery with significantly higher energy density, faster charging times, and longer lifespan than current lithium-ion batteries. This breakthrough could revolutionize electric vehicles (EVs) and consumer electronics by making them more efficient and sustainable.

4. Widespread Implementation of 6G Technology
- **Surprise Element**: Initial deployment of 6G technology in select regions by leading telecom companies, offering ultra-fast speeds, extremely low latency, and new applications in IoT, smart cities, and telemedicine. This leap in connectivity technology has set the stage for the next generation of internet applications.

5. Fully Autonomous Urban Delivery Systems
- **Surprise Element**: Companies like Waymo and Nuro launched fully autonomous delivery services in multiple cities, with self-driving vehicles efficiently handling local deliveries without human intervention. This innovation is revolutionizing logistics and urban transportation.

What do you expect will be announced in 2024, and by whom?

I expect that some exciting news and developments might arise in these fields:

1. Advancements in AI and Machine Learning

Next-Generation AI Models: Companies like OpenAI and Google may announce even more advanced AI models, surpassing current capabilities in natural language understanding, generation, and possibly multi-modal tasks that integrate text, image, and video processing.

2. Commercial Quantum Services 

Introduction of commercial quantum computing services accessible to businesses and researchers, enabling broader use of quantum algorithms in industries like pharmaceuticals, finance, and logistics.

3. 6G Developments

6G Development: Initial announcements and demonstrations of 6G technology, highlighting theoretical speeds, latency improvements, and potential applications far beyond current 5G capabilities.

4. Blockchain and Decentralized Technologies

Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs): Announcements on the launch or pilot programs of CBDCs by various countries, providing a government-backed digital currency alternative.

Which five companies should we watch in 2024, and why?

Beyond the obvious players like:

1. OpenAI
3. Palantir Technologies
4. Rivian

I’d look out for more surprises from companies like:

1. Rigetti -
Although it has been ranked as the 6th player on the top 10 companies in Quantam Computing by Forbes, It might just have a breakthrough approach as it also offers a cloud platform called Forest that enables programmers to write quantum algorithms

2. QuantumScape -
Energy (Battery Technology)
QuantumScape is pioneering solid-state battery technology, which promises to revolutionize electric vehicle performance with higher energy density and faster charging times.

3. UiPath -
Robotic Process Automation (RPA)
UiPath is a leader in RPA, automating repetitive tasks across various industries. Its advancements in AI-driven automation solutions are transforming business operations globally.
Because I can imagine a world where Uber has no drivers…then these 2 companies have a fast future:

4. Waymo -
Waymo—formerly the Google self-driving car project—makes it safe and easy for people & things to get around with autonomous vehicles. Take a ride now.

5. Nuro.Ai - ​​
The Nuro Drive is developed on an AI-first framework ensuring rapid improvement for our perception and behaviour systems. Technology. Safer streets. Safety.

6. Inductiva -
Python API for Large-Scale Simulation. Inductiva API helps you take physical simulations to the next level. Use Python to easily run the open-source simulators you love, on the cloud, at scale. I’d keep an eye on this one because it is an interesting Portuguese StartUp)

What do you know about Luxembourg?

I knew too little about Luxembourg, so I looked into new things that I may learn, here are a few things I didn't know:

Geographic and Demographic Facts
It is about the size of Rhode Island in the United States.

Historical Facts
Luxembourg was founded in 963 AD when Count Siegfried acquired a rocky promontory and its Roman-era fortifications, known as "Lucilinburhuc," from the Abbey of St. Maximin in Trier.

Political and Economic Facts
Luxembourg has one of the highest GDP per capita in the world, reflecting its prosperity and high standard of living.

Quality of Life
Luxembourg is often ranked as one of the safest countries in the world due to its low crime rates and high level of public safety.

Unique Features
Luxembourg has a thriving wine industry, particularly known for its white wines and sparkling wines (Crémant de Luxembourg). The Moselle Valley is a key wine-producing region.

Technological & Innovation Facts
Space Resources:
Luxembourg is a pioneer in space resource exploration and has implemented policies to attract companies involved in the mining of asteroids and other celestial bodies.
Digital Innovation: The country is a leader in digital innovation, with strong support for startups and technology companies, particularly in fintech, cybersecurity, and data management.

StartUp Scene
These facts highlight Luxembourg's rich history, cultural diversity, economic strength, and commitment to innovation, making it a fascinating country despite its small size. Luxembourg has a burgeoning start-up ecosystem, particularly in sectors like fintech, healthtech, cybersecurity, and space technology. Luxembourg has a vibrant start-up ecosystem with some great start-ups to keep undersight, so I listed a few notable Luxembourg start-ups to watch out for:

  • Fintech:
    Tokeny Solutions
    Tokeny Solutions provides an end-to-end platform for the issuance and management of digital assets. They specialize in tokenization, making it easier for businesses to access capital and manage digital securities. Their innovative approach to tokenization has the potential to transform traditional finance and capital markets.
    Finologee offers digital financial services and solutions, focusing on regulatory and compliance processes for financial institutions. They provide platforms for KYC (Know Your Customer) and payment processing. Their regulatory technology solutions are crucial for financial institutions navigating complex compliance landscapes.

  • Healthtech:

    LuxAI develops interactive, socially assistive robots designed to support therapy for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Their primary product, QTrobot, helps therapists engage children in therapeutic activities.
    Their cutting-edge technology offers new ways to deliver therapy and support for children with ASD, making it a valuable tool for healthcare professionals.

  • Cybersecurity:

    Cyberhedge uses advanced analytics to measure and manage the financial risk associated with cyber threats. Their platform helps companies understand the economic impact of cyber risks and improve their cybersecurity strategies. Their innovative approach to quantifying cyber risk in financial terms provides valuable insights for businesses and investors.

  • Space Technology:

    Kleos Space
    Kleos Space specializes in geolocation data as a service, using satellite technology to provide accurate and timely geospatial intelligence. Their data helps in defense, maritime, and environmental monitoring. As interest in space technology grows, Kleos Space’s geolocation data services are becoming increasingly valuable for various applications.

  • Environmental and Sustainability:

    Globalance offers solutions to reduce carbon footprints and promote sustainable practices. They provide technology and consultancy services to help businesses transition to more sustainable operations. With the global push towards sustainability, Globalance’s services are essential for companies looking to reduce their environmental impact.

    Aquanis develops innovative water treatment solutions aimed at improving water quality and availability. Their technologies address critical water management issues faced by industries and municipalities. Water scarcity and quality are pressing global issues, and Aquanis’s solutions offer promising advancements in water management.