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AI drives startup success: 86% of founders report a positive impact, notes HubSpot

As an indication of the growing influence of artificial intelligence within the business world, a latest report from HubSpot found that AI is rapidly changing the way in which startups approach their go-to-market strategies and boosting the expansion of early-stage firms.

The report, based on a survey of over 1,000 startup founders worldwide, found that 86 percent of respondents said AI has had a positive impact on their go-to-market plans. Nearly 60 percent said AI tools have helped them reach more qualified sales prospects.

“Everyone has adopted AI at different rates,” said Ashley Groves, founding father of the fintech startup Deaglo, who was interviewed for the report. “We created a protected space for people to try it out. When they see the worth for themselves, even from a private perspective, they agree.”

According to a HubSpot survey of startup founders, information technology and software startups lead AI investments across industries, followed by skilled services and manufacturing. (Image source: HubSpot)

Startups are deploying AI across your complete company

As large tech firms and well-funded startups compete to develop and deploy AI systems, the report suggests that even young startups at the moment are using the technology across their businesses – from marketing and sales to product development and customer support.

Over 70 percent of founders surveyed said they have already got a dedicated team focused on acquiring or leveraging AI of their go-to-market approach. And two-thirds said they plan to rent individuals with AI expertise in the following 12 months.

This underscores the growing recognition amongst startup executives that AI will not be only a “nice-to-have” technology, but a critical competitive advantage in today’s data-driven business landscape. As more startups spend money on AI talent and capabilities, we are able to expect a brand new generation of progressive, agile, and customer-focused firms able to disrupt traditional industries and create latest market opportunities.

A HubSpot survey found that startup marketing teams are leading the way in which in adopting AI tools: 62 percent use them and 43 percent consider they drive essentially the most effective growth. (Image credit: HubSpot)

AI becomes the “latest co-founder”

The HubSpot report highlights that AI will not be only changing certain business tactics, but in addition redefining the character of entrepreneurship within the digital age.

“There is a fundamental rethinking of the method – how we approach entrepreneurship, from the bottom up,” he said Ethan Mollick, a professor on the University of Pennsylvania who studies AI and innovation. He predicts that AI will turn out to be the “latest co-founder” for a lot of startups.

The report found that AI adoption is especially high amongst fast-growing startups in areas similar to technology, skilled services and manufacturing. Many use machine learning to predict customer behavior, personalize marketing, dynamically adjust prices, and automate customer support.

According to the report, marketing teams paved the way: 62 percent use AI tools in comparison with 54 percent of sales teams. Founders rated marketing as the world where AI has had the best impact on their go-to-market success to this point.

ChatGPT is the preferred AI tool amongst sales, marketing, data analytics and customer experience startups, with HubSpot's AI offerings rating second in marketing and customer experience, a HubSpot survey found. (Image credit: HubSpot)

The challenges remain, but there may be great optimism

Despite the advantages, the founders also expressed concerns concerning the costs and challenges of adopting AI, including integrating with existing systems, hiring AI talent, and addressing privacy and ethical issues.

“As we work on these powerful generative AI tools that interact with the world, (we wish to) make sure that humans are still at the middle of this story,” said Daniela Amodei, founding father of Anthropic, an AI lab which we work with technology giants like Google. “We hope people use (AI) as a partner and collaborator that helps people do the things they wish to do.”

Nevertheless, optimism stays high: 78 percent of founders consider that AI will help increase their company's growth in the approaching 12 months.

The HubSpot report is just the newest data point within the rapid rise of AI as an important technology for businesses of all sizes. With each tech giants and small startups now betting heavily on AI, the business world appears poised for a brand new machine-driven age of competition and innovation.


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