I founded IMSystems for one reason – to make a quantum leap forward in actuator technologies, but the interesting part of the story is how I got to this point, and for that I should tell you a little bit about myself.
I attended Tulane University, getting a bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering, and graduating into the post dotcom job market. I was off to Chicago, as an R&D engineer for Loyola University Medical Center; I learned a lot from those first years – especially how to solve hard problems with limited resources and endless creativity. My future also started to crystalize at that point – I knew I wanted to do more than just work in a R&D lab for the rest of my career.
I then spent a year getting my Master’s degree in Medical Device Design at the University of Southern California, and while I was there I found myself first involved in the startup world – working at the Alfred Mann Institute, a tech incubator on USC’s campus. There, we were building the BION, an injectable micro-implant. From that team I learned that even though your startup might be small, you can out innovate multinational powerhouses.
Back to Chicago after that, to join the world recognized Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, working on the DARPA Revolutionizing Prosthetics project. This is where I first met the ‘speed reducer problem’ – we had some of the best engineers in the world trying to build a prosthetic arm that was as light, small, and strong as a regular person and the gearbox was always the sticking point.