Booz Allen Colloquium:"Lessons From Stanford to Silicon Valley Start-Up"
Booz Allen Hamilton Distinguished Colloquium in Electrical and Computer Engineering
"Lessons From Stanford to Silicon Valley Start-Up"
Dr. Dean Chang
Director of the Academy for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
University of Maryland
Twenty years ago, I was a PhD student at Stanford in a robotics lab that specialized in a field called haptics involving human-machine interfaces. I was very fortunate that in my lab was a fellow PhD student with the grand vision of taking some of the very expensive technology in our robotics labs and starting a company to develop it into products. So he started a company called Immersion, and I joined as one of the very first employees. In the next 10 years there, Immersions haptic technology was incorporated into products from BMW, Sony, Microsoft, Electronic Arts, Apple, Samsung, and Logitech. Our products were used to help makes movies like Shrek and Ice Age. We had the fortune of giving personal demos of our technology to people like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and even Peter Jennings and Conan OBrien.
Other companies began looking into haptics. Formally a purely academic field of study, haptics now was appearing in mainstream press like Newsweek, BusinessWeek, the Wall Street Journal and PC Magazine, raising awareness levels and lending the field even more credibility. This impact flowed back to academia as well. New job opportunities were created in industry for students graduating from university robotics and haptics labs across the country. It created consulting opportunities for faculty with haptics expertise.
It even created new faculty positions as universities started new haptics research programs. And chatter at academic haptics conferences covered not only the notable publications, but also what was going on in the haptics industry.
All this shows whats possible with the right kind of inspiration and guidance and luck, and its the motivation behind the launch of UMDs the new Academy for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
Dean Chang is a strong advocate of a 21st century syllabus that incorporates both curricular and experiential learning to illuminate the road less traveled the creative, unconventional, and out-of-the-box entrepreneurial road. As the University of Marylands (UMD) Associate VP for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Dean heads up the new Academy for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (AIE) out of the Office of the President and the Office of the Provost. Prior to AIE, Dean oversaw the Clark School Of Engineerings technology startup venture programs as the Mtech Ventures director. Dean has designed and taught tech entrepreneurship courses to UMD students as well as to some of the top high school students in the country.
Dean previously held the dual roles of Chief Technology Officer and Vice President, Gaming Business of Immersion Corporation, a company he helped guide over ten years from a four-person, venture-backed, Silicon Valley startup born in a Stanford University robotics lab to a publicly traded (NASDAQ: IMMR), world-leading licensor of haptics technology that has been incorporated into hundreds of millions of products from companies like Sony, Microsoft, Apple, BMW, Samsung, LG, Nokia, Logitech, and Electronic Arts. Dean was part of the small development team that created the core haptic technology found in many of those companys products and part of the executive road show team that successfully raised $51 million in an initial public stock offering.
Dean holds over 40 U.S. and international patents; speaks regularly at entrepreneurship and technology startup conferences; and has written freelance articles for BusinessWeek Online, the Startup America Partnership, and Computer magazine. Dean received his B.S. in mechanical engineering from MIT and an M.S. and Ph.D in mechanical engineering from Stanford University. He also holds an MBA with honors from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania where he was a Palmer Scholar.