Towards AI Futures


Artificial intelligence, or AI, is a new way of managing information and making everyday decisions (Berente et al., 2021). This advanced set of technologies is therefore becoming more and more common in our lives (Rahwan et al., 2019) and many companies are starting to see it as necessary for their products and services (Weber et al., 2021). In our research, we focus on young, growth-oriented companies that produce such technologies in order to create futures where AI is an everyday-tool used by broad parts of our societies for the sake of making life and work easier. We call these firms AI ventures. The way in which these ventures use AI changes how value is created and captured (Bughin et al., 2018; Chui et al., 2018; Fontana, 2021; Iansiti & Lakhani, 2020). This is because AI can automate tasks that were once done by humans or help humans make better decisions (Raisch & Krakowski, 2021).

We engage in two types of research endeavors at the moment:

  • Design-oriented research
    • Together with K.I.E.Z. and the Digital Entrepreneurship Hub, we have not only learned how venture growth differs between AI ventures and other digital ventures (Zebhauser et al., 2023), but also produce a framework to guide new ventures in designing ML technologies and business models. This framework is developed and tested with AI ventures and the K.I.E.Z. Accelerator.
    • Building on our empirical work (Wessel et al. 2021), we produce a design theory for smart service systems based-upon a practice theoretical perspectives.
  • Problematizing, empirical research
    • Together with our research partners, we look at particular characteristics of AI technologies and study their effect on the process of venturing and its impact on our societies. Throughout these studies, we found, for instance how AI ventures do (not) achieve growth (Schulte-Althoff et al., 2021). In our work, we compare concepts and theories from computer science to problematize established theories in management and information systems. 


Research Partners

Prof. Janina Sundermeier, Digital Entrepreneurship Hub, Freie Universität Berlin

Jonathan Zebhauser, K.I.E.Z., K.I. Entrepreneurship Zentrum, Berlin

Prof. Daniel Furstenau, ITU Copenhagen

Matthias Schulte-Althoff, Charité University Medicine

Prof. Gene Moo Lee, UBC Sauder School of Business

Prof. Lauri Wessel, European New School, European University Viadrina, Frankfurt (Oder)

How you can get involved

Join as a partner

Reach out to Professor Rothe to join us as a research or industry partner.

Participate in our interview series

We are happy to include you in our updates regarding our research, as well as winning you as interview partners. Interviews will take place in a digital setting. We pseudo- or anonymize personal data - companies and persons are not traceable for external parties. We will arrange the time according to your options. For the interview we schedule approx. 45 minutes.

Alternatively send us an email to with the subject Interview and we will get back to you as soon as possible.