Democratizing AI: Francisco Ortigosa, The Digital Legend

Top 10 Visionary Tech Leaders Shaping the Future in 2024

In the ever-evolving world of technology, Francisco Ortigosa emerges as a trailblazing visionary at the helm of Ubiquity. His remarkable journey showcases the transformative power of leadership, experience, and an unwavering pursuit of excellence, all converging to reshape the landscape of AI integration in the business domain.

“Success, in my perspective, is the ability to improve and innovate continuously,” Francisco shares, “creating sustainable and impactful solutions that benefit both our clients and society.” He believes success isn’t solely measured by financial achievements but also by building a supportive team environment that fosters thriving and development. He values the daily accomplishments that, when combined, lead to revolutionary change.

In this exclusive interview, Francisco delves into his personal philosophy of success, strategic approach to overcoming challenges, and bold vision to position Ubiquity at the vanguard of AI innovation. With a career spanning over three decades and an unwavering commitment to ethical leadership principles, Francisco has not only shaped the future of AI but also redefined what it means to be a successful and impactful leader in the digital age. His impact on the SME sector is profound, as he has been instrumental in empowering SMEs to harness AI effectively and sustainably.

This insightful conversation with Francisco also offers a rare glimpse into the mind of a leader who is shaping the future of AI and redefining what it means to be a successful and impactful leader in the digital age.

Perspective on Challenges

This pioneering tech leader views challenges as catalysts for innovation and growth, pushing individuals beyond their comfort zones. At Ubiquity, these hurdles served as crucial learning experiences. Early on, adapting complex AI technologies for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) posed a significant challenge. However, this obstacle ultimately shaped their approach towards creating accessible and efficient AI solutions. A more recent challenge has been developing a business model for seamlessly integrating generative AI into SME operations. It involves technological adaptation and promoting an understanding of AI’s potential among SMEs. By tailoring AI tools to align with existing business models while fostering growth and innovation, Ubiquity aims to empower SMEs to harness AI effectively and sustainably.

Ubiquity and Its Services

Ubiquity empowers small and medium-sized enterprises through generative AI to optimize processes, uncover growth potential, and create innovative value propositions. The company offers AI assistants, automated workflows, AI training, and prompt management to ensure seamless operations. Its services utilize cutting-edge Retrieval Augmented Generation (RAG) technology, which provides real-time, accurate, data-driven insights by accessing a vast and continuously updated knowledge base. Unlike traditional AI models that rely on static datasets, RAG allows Ubiquity to deliver dynamic and precise insights. The Max CoPilot, a prime example of the company’s RAG-powered solutions, adapts content dynamically by updating its knowledge base in real-time, making it an essential tool for SMEs. This technology not only transforms dormant data into actionable insights but also significantly improves the cost-efficiency, accessibility, and overall effectiveness of business operations.

Business Acumen Meets Technological Prowess: Francisco’s Impact on Ubiquity

This industry veteran’s unique blend of business acumen and technological expertise honed over 30 years of international business development experience has driven Ubiquity’s rapid growth and success. His dual background in business and technology, including studies at MIT, has given him a unique perspective that has proved invaluable in leading Ubiquity’s expansion.

During his time at Repsol, Francisco spearheaded technology-driven exploration initiatives that generated $3.4 billion, demonstrating his ability to leverage cutting-edge technology for significant financial gain. His 15 years of experience in artificial intelligence have been crucial in shaping Ubiquity’s innovative approach to generative AI, particularly in automating processes for SMEs and ensuring practical applications.

Francisco’s numerous accolades, including the IEEE Award for Innovative Project of the Year and the Petroleum Economist Award for Most Innovative Technology, underscore his commitment to excellence and the impact of his work in the technology sector.

Under Francisco’s leadership, Ubiquity has expanded into 16 countries in just eight months, a testament to the effectiveness of their AI solutions and their understanding of the diverse needs of SMEs across different markets.

“My role in this growth has been to ensure that our innovations not only respond to current market needs but also anticipate future trends,” Francisco says, “keeping our clients ahead in a competitive environment.”

Cultivating a Culture of Innovation and Integrity at Ubiquity

At Ubiquity, integrity, and innovation weren’t just buzzwords. They were the lifeblood of their thriving culture, the CEO Francisco shared. He revealed that they had cracked the code to a workplace where transparency and open communication fueled trust and unleashed the full potential of creative freedom. Curiosity is king, experimentation is encouraged, and sharing findings is the norm. This dynamic environment ensured that innovative ideas don’t just get a hearing; they get a chance to shine and make a real impact.

He continues by saying that they didn’t stop there. They were all about the big picture, aligning their growth with a project vision that inspired and motivated every team member. It was about seeing the forest, not just the trees, and fostering a deep connection to their work and each other.

Francisco also shares that they were inspired by stories like Robert Kennedy’s evocative speech about the ambition to go to the moon – not because it was easy, but because it was hard. It was a constant reminder that innovation was a challenging journey, but the rewards were worth every step. They wove these stories into their corporate culture, fueling a mindset of ambition and ethical standards.

From the newest recruit to himself, the CEO emphasized that they lead by example, living and breathing the principles of ethical behavior and creative exploration. At Ubiquity, they weren’t just working but building a future where integrity and innovation went hand-in-hand, driving them towards meaningful and responsible advancements.

Life Before Ubiquity

Before his current role at Ubiquity, Francisco’s career was marked by an intense passion for technology and a drive to achieve the seemingly impossible. His journey began over three decades ago at Repsol, where he dedicated 35 years to technological development. As the Director of Technology for 15 years, Francisco played a pivotal role in building the company’s exploration technology infrastructure from the ground up, demonstrating his ability to transform challenges into successes.

His tenure at Repsol not only honed his technical skills but also instilled in him the importance of strong leadership and communication, as evidenced by the numerous awards he received for innovation. Mentorship from experienced leaders further shaped his integrated approach to business and technology, which he now leverages at Ubiquity to drive a technology revolution that is both expansive and inclusive. His journey from a young technologist to a leading CEO in the AI industry is a testament to his continuous learning and commitment to pushing the boundaries of what technology can achieve in the business world.

Inspiring the Next Generation of Tech Leaders

The tech-savvy doyen says, “My vision for influencing the next generation of technology leaders is rooted deeply in the ideals of ethical technology use and innovative thinking.” 

Passion and purpose have always played a significant role in his work, which he has used to motivate a wide range of individuals, from aspiring entrepreneurs to seasoned executives. Drawing from Simon Sinek’s “The Power of the Young,” he recognizes the potential for passion to fade over time and aims to reignite that spark in others.

Inspired by the stories of young visionaries like Alexander the Great and Steve Jobs, he champions the transformative power of youthful energy and bold ideas. Through speaking engagements, mentorships, and workshops, he shares his extensive knowledge and reignites the passion that fuels careers in technology.

His current role as a leading AI company leader at 60 proves that age is no barrier to innovation and influence. This serves as a beacon of hope for those who may believe their most impactful years are behind them. The drive to make a difference can flourish at any age, leading to new ventures and discoveries.

He exemplifies inventiveness and enthusiasm throughout his life. It mentors young people, and shows that there is no age limit to invention; all of these things contribute to his effect on the next generation. Through this, he aims to inspire both young professionals and those who may feel their time to make a difference has passed. He continuously draws inspiration from the boundless potential found in passionate individuals at any career stage.

Best Recognition Received as A Leader

In the ever-evolving digital industry, where innovation and transformation take center stage, the most resonant applause for a leader like Francisco is not the echo of accolades in hallowed halls but the heartfelt feedback of his team and clients whose lives have been touched. He recounted the immense gratification he derives from witnessing firsthand the transformative impact of his solutions on businesses. He emphasized that this direct acknowledgment of his efforts is a powerful driving force in his work.

Reflecting on his career, this adept professional noted his privilege in receiving numerous prestigious awards and speaking at renowned institutions like The London Business School, NYU, and the European Commission. However, one accolade holds particular significance: upon retiring from Repsol, he was bestowed the title of “Digital Legend of the Company.” This recognition, encapsulating his 30-year legacy of technological innovation, marked a profoundly meaningful culmination of his professional journey.

This Repsol award and the ongoing positive feedback from Ubiquity’s clients are constant reminders of the value and effectiveness of Francisco’s contributions. He concluded by reaffirming his belief that true leadership is about making a lasting impact—a conviction that inspires and motivates him every day.

Vision for Ubiquity: AI for Everyone, Everywhere

Imagine a world where cutting-edge artificial intelligence is as accessible as your local coffee shop. A world where businesses of all sizes, from corner stores to global enterprises, can leverage the power of AI to streamline operations and unlock new possibilities. This is Francisco’s bold vision for Ubiquity.

He wants the company to become the McDonald’s of artificial intelligence which. Such a transformation means making AI as accessible and ubiquitous as a global fast-food chain, offering specialized, instant, and affordable AI solutions to SMEs worldwide. Ubiquity’s “Race to Zero” initiative embodies this commitment, aiming to provide infinite AI power at virtually no cost. Having successfully penetrated the Western Hemisphere’s SME sector, Ubiquity is now expanding into Europe and Southeast Asia, driven by a mission to impact at least one billion people and bring AI to every corner of the globe. By continually pushing the boundaries of AI innovation and accessibility, Ubiquity aims to revolutionize how SMEs operate and thrive in the digital age.

‘Blow Your Box’: Ubiquity’s CEO’s Responsibilities for Redefining Reality

Ubiquity’s CEO, Francisco, isn’t just leading the charge in tech—he’s rewriting the rulebook on what it means to be a visionary leader. His spot among the “Top 10 Visionary Tech Leaders Shaping the Future in 2024” proves he’s the real deal, blending ambition with a heart for positive change.

His multifaceted role encompasses strategic planning, team alignment, and client engagement. His career is underscored by a philosophy of “embracing difficulty and creating from nothing—’ de la nada,'” necessitating the shedding of prior knowledge and a fresh approach to learning.

Francisco recounts being frequently labeled as someone who encourages thinking “outside the box,” but after 37 years of pioneering novel technologies, he asserts the non-existence of such a box. He elucidates, “This “box” is merely a filter that limits our vision, a boundary we impose upon ourselves.”

This strategic innovator emphasizes that these boundaries are illusory, explaining that whether one is inside or outside the “box,” it is a limiting reference point obscuring reality’s true scope.

When we ask him to define himself in one word, eschewing the conventional term “Driven,” Francisco encapsulates his ethos with the phrase “Blow your box!” It epitomizes his persistent pursuit of challenging and redefining the limits of possibility.

This seasoned executive concludes with an inspiring call to action, encouraging everyone to ‘blow your box and change your reality.’ He urges embracing difficulty, creating from nothing, and being open to unlearning and relearning. This, he shares, is how Ubiquity innovates, leads, and redefines what’s possible.

Work-life Balance: Nurturing Self & Team

Ubiquity’s CEO doesn’t just exemplify work-life balance; he lives it. From leading teams at Ubiquity to leading dives in deep-sea caves, he’s a maestro of juggling passions. His mantra? Clear boundaries between work and play, fostering an environment where his team thrives both personally and professionally.

Besides being a C-suite executive, Francisco is an underwater explorer and scuba diving guru who has introduced countless others to the wonders of the underwater world. He has certified dozens of people in scuba diving and guided hundreds of tourists during their vacations. Teaming up with two of his closest colleagues and friends, he stumbled upon a system of underwater caves in Ras Mohammed at the southern edge of the Sinai Peninsula. These caverns, plunging from depths of 80 meters to at least 120 meters, rank among the deepest known marine caves, marking a significant milestone in the global diving community.

Like many others in Francisco’s life, this adventure demonstrates how his personal passions deeply enrich his life, providing fresh insights and enhancing his creative and problem-solving abilities—skills that are invaluable in his professional role at Ubiquity.

By weaving his love for diving into the fabric of his work life, Francisco proves that a fulfilling personal life isn’t a distraction but an asset. It’s a wellspring of inspiration that empowers him and his team to deliver the best services possible.

Message for the Aspiring Leaders

Francisco stresses the importance of passion, curiosity, and a constant drive for learning. He shares that his goal has always been to continue learning and adapting to a rapidly evolving tech landscape. He strongly encourages aspiring professionals to embrace change and consider the broader impact of their work. Reflecting on Simon Sinek’s insights, Francisco underscores the need to pursue a career path that truly excites and drives individuals, especially young professionals who can adjust their course.

However, Francisco’s message of hope and inspiration is mainly directed towards experienced professionals in their 50s who may feel sidelined or overlooked due to age. He shares his own experience of finding Ubiquity at 60 and highlights the significant contributions made by individuals over 50 to the company’s rapid growth. This tech forerunner emphasizes that starting a tech company in one’s 50s is achievable by democratizing technology through artificial intelligence.

He concludes with a powerful statement: “Let this be a lesson and inspiration: it’s never too late to innovate, and the tech industry is not just for the young but for the young at heart, no matter their age.”