July13 , 2024

VentureFuel Names Marty Guay Visionary of the Year, Inworld AI as Venture of the Year


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VentureFuel, the independent innovation advisory firm, today announced the recipients of its prestigious Visionary and Venture of the Year awards. Marty Guay, VP of business development at Stanley Black & Decker, was named the 2023 Visionary of the Year, and Inworld AI, the leading developer platform for multimodal AI characters, was awarded the title of 2023 Venture of the Year. The annual awards, established in 2017, recognize and celebrate the change agents propelling industry and societal innovation and transformation.

Guay, with over three decades' experience as a corporate innovator, has spent the past six years working with startups, academia, venture capital and global corporations to create business value opportunities for Stanley Black & Decker, a worldwide leader in Tools and Outdoor. At Stanley Black & Decker, Guay is responsible for the inception of the company’s accelerator program, where he successfully connects startups with technological and commercial relationships inside the organization and throughout global ecosystems. Guay sits on the advisory boards of multiple startups and serves as a board member of the state of Connecticut Governor’s Workforce Council and as a liaison to the Business Roundtable. In addition to these roles, Guay also oversees the company’s global philanthropy program that is focused on closing the skilled trades gap through its Grow the Trades program.

Inworld AI, led by a team of conversational AI pioneers and experts, uses advanced AI to build interactive characters whose personalities, thoughts, memories, and behaviors are designed to emulate social human interaction. Founded in 2021, Inworld is a recent graduate of the Comcast NBCUniversal LIFT Labs Generative AI Accelerator run in partnership with VentureFuel. Last month, Inworld announced a multi-year partnership with Microsoft to develop AI toolsets to assist and empower creators in dialogue, story, and quest design.  

"Marty and Inworld exemplify the spirit of innovation and vision that we aim to celebrate with the Visionary and Venture of the Year awards,” said Fred Schonenberg, CEO of VentureFuel. “Marty’s work at Stanley Black & Decker and Inworld’s progress in driving commercial applications of innovative technologies showcase a commitment to pushing boundaries and driving transformative change, which aligns strongly with VentureFuel's mission.”  

VentureFuel partners with leading organizations to ignite change by building innovation engines customized to corporations' startup collaboration needs. Since its founding in 2014, VentureFuel has worked with companies such as Comcast NBCUniversal LIFT Labs, Dick's Sporting Goods, AARP Foundation, and the State of California, providing innovative solutions to their most significant challenges through programs like corporate accelerators and commercial pilots.

The Visionary of the Year award reflects VentureFuel's dedication to supporting the pioneers embracing new opportunities to drive outsized results, rethink traditional business models, and reshape society. In recognizing and celebrating these leaders, VentureFuel hopes to inspire others to blaze new paths through innovative solutions that power the future.

Both awardees will be honored at a virtual event on Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024, from noon-1 p.m. ET. For more Visionary and Venture of the Year recognition event details or to RSVP to attend, visit venturefuel.net.

About VentureFuel:

Founded in 2014, VentureFuel is an independent innovation advisory firm that helps the world's best organizations commercialize innovation through startup collaboration. VentureFuel provides organizations like Comcast NBCUniversal, Dick's Sporting Goods and the AARP Foundation customized innovation solutions to address specific corporate goals, close strategic capability gaps and accelerate transformation with less risk. Learn more at: www.venturefuel.netLinkedInTwitter and Instagram. You can listen to The VentureFuel Visionaries podcast on Apple, Spotify, Simplecast, or wherever you get your podcasts.

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Carolina Calkins
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Original Source: VentureFuel Names Marty Guay Visionary of the Year, Inworld AI as Venture of the Year