Even when existing methods work fine, fresh ideas could yield better returns.

PEOPLE OFTEN DESCRIBE ME AS: Indecisive (As a Libra, I like to weigh options). FAVORITE DISH: Anything that swims. WHAT TIME I USUALLY GET UP: When the sun rises.

Ken Sena

Create your own tools to change the world

MAKING THE LEAP. Making the jump to starting a company can be difficult, especially from a comfortable situation, says Ken Sena, CEO and co-founder of Aiera (pronounced “era”), a research platform focused on investor event monitoring. Formerly an equity research analyst at Wells Fargo, Evercore, and Credit Suisse, Ken was looking for a better way to manage earnings season. This led him to Aiera.

“There are so many different services and applications battling for investor attention today, and investors only have so much mental bandwidth to devote,” says Ken. So, along with his co-founder, Bryan Healey, who was an early developer at Amazon Alexa, they created a platform that streamlines how investors monitor company events, where real-time audio transcription, DVR-style live audio control, team-collaboration tooling, global search, and other AI-advanced monitoring (such as text and tonal sentiment) are all seamlessly integrated. Aiera connects to over 50,000+ investor events annually across 10,000+ global equities. Aiera is backed by major venture firms, such as Flybridge, Fin Venture Capital, Innovation Endeavors and Gaingels in addition to notable institutional strategics, such as Citi, Franklin Templeton, and Macquarie.

For Ken, starting Aiera meant giving up some of the perks and stabilities he had built over his career. “Being on an established platform has its benefits. Everyone wants to take your calls. Starting something new, on the other hand, requires reestablishing your relationship with existing clients and learning different methods to attract new ones,” he says.

RIPPLING THE INDUSTRY. “Aiera is not about replacing decision making with automation; it’s about improving the workflow and making its users more efficient. We all want less screen time. And for many in the industry, they have had the additional challenge of having to use many screens, often kludgy and dated in their design.”

Ken also thinks about change closer to home within Aiera. “A diverse leadership can make people more comfortable in their skin, and in turn, it encourages them to work harder... When you have gender and sexual orientation diversity at the senior level, it helps set the tone across the organization that differences are welcome.”

"At the end of the day, even your most conservative investors want the ideas that will help them provide the best return for their clients. More and more investors acknowledge that a diverse leadership helps companies operate across more networks, and I hope this only becomes truer with time.”

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