Innovator Profiles

In these Mindsets That Matter innovator profiles, we interview distinguished innovators and entrepreneurs to understand their mindsets and journey as they navigate their careers and build impactful companies.

Pieter Abbeel

The Power of Listening

Professor Pieter Abbeel is the director of the Robot Learning Lab at the University of California, Berkeley, winner of the 2021 ACM Prize in Computing, co-director of the Berkeley Artificial Intelligence Research (BAIR) lab, co-founder, president, and chief scientist at Covariant and co-founder of Gradescope. In this interview, Professor Abbeel talks about the importance of listening to your customer, and interpreting what they need in order to be sure you are spending your time wisely and working in the right direction with new innovations.

Michelle Munson

Entrepreneur Michelle Munsun talks about her journey to founding Aspera, which was acquired by IBM and then later Eluvio, a blockchain-based crypto content platform that enables creators and their communities to store, stream, mint, ticket, and trade any content experience on the blockchain. Michelle talks about her attitude in confronting the challenge for innovators of not knowing the difficulties that will be faced in the future, and how innovators can ground themselves in a core vision and then listen for feedback to know which direction to go.

Kurt Keutzer

University of California, Berkeley Professor Emeritus Kurt Keutzer talks about his journey from industry to UC Berkeley professor, to founding DeepScale, a company developing perceptual system technologies for automated vehicles. Professor Keutzer talks about his realization of the potential of running Artificial Intelligence and machine learning applications on graphics processing units (GPUs) and the vast potential uses for the technology. Inspired by the potential to save lives by reducing traffic accidents, Professor Keutzer founded DeepScale, and utilized his broad experience and background to stand out amongst other computer vision researchers to be able to work with customers and deliver technology solutions with DeepScale.

Kimberlie Le & Joshua Nixon

The Power of Doing

University of California, Berkeley alumni Kimberlie Le and Joshua Nixon share their journey to founding Prime Roots, an innovative plant-based foods startup focused on celebrating the culture of meat and producing koji-based meat alternatives that taste and look like the real thing. Kim and Josh talk about the challenge that startups face of creating something completely new. By definition startups venture into never-before-seen territory where there is no playbook or guide on how to move forward. Josh and Kim talk about the important mindsets and attitudes that innovators should have to be able to deal with this uncertainty and learn how to move forward.

Video production team: Mission Pictures SF, Victoria Howell, and Keith McAleer

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