This month marked the end of my chapter as Chief Innovation Officer and local Director of Inspirit IoT.
Since first meeting two of the CoFounders Dr Kyle Rupnow and Dr Swathi Gurumani back in 2013 at the Advanced Digital Science Centre of Singapore, thanks to the esteemed Professor Marianne Winslett, I have had the great privilege to support the Company's spinoff and international commercialization through open innovation.
My purpose has always been to "make a difference" and it has been my great privilege to support and share the Co-Founders dream of making every machine smarter through embedded intelligence.
For anyone delivering smart embedded hardware, Inspirit IoT has worked hard to solve the challenge of Moores Law. Now, any Engineer can deploy smarter compute onto the edge, cheaper, faster and more energy-efficiently. This translates to an accelerated time to market for Chip companies, OEM's, Smart City and Security companies, and Automotive manufacturers.
During my tenure, I learned 3 critical lessons for any company "scaling" out of their home market and into another:
- mindful leadership and cultural intelligence matters most when scaling the team
- to never forget to ask the 7 So What's to understand and mitigate the unintended consequences of technology, and
- the sheer power of design thinking for co-creation and open innovation.
I will always look back with gratitude, affection, and pride at our many startup milestones accomplished, which have included:
- the development of patent worthy embedded intelligence design tools and IPs, with demonstrated willingness to pay from early customers.
- support by the National Science Foundation SBIR Seed Fund to Phase I and Phase II Funding of $USD975K,
- selection by Intel to joint their IoT Solutions Alliance for global Market-Ready Solutions and RFP Ready Kit development
- raising funding of $USD2.05M by Senscape Technologies.
- selection to Plug and Play Accelerator IoT cohort 2019 to validate our tech and co-create with corporate partners.
- selection by Amazon for approval of $USD100K in deep compute credits.
- selection by Padang Level3 Singapore, the Siemens Frontier Program and by the UCSF Health Hub for Open Innovation.
- ongoing opportunities for cutting-edge open innovation with many of the world’s leading semiconductor and multinational companies for Smart City and IoT applications.
With serial entrepreneur and CEO, Manu Pillai now at the helm and the company with a single focus for performance, I firmly believe that Inspirit IoT is an excellent investment in the domain of embedded intelligence, with robust IPO potential.
To connect for open innovation or investment please reach out to the team here.
Over the next 4 weeks, I am focused on 3 priorities:
- Accelerating 8 of Australia's best deep tech Scale-ups across South East Asia with the Australian Landing Pad in Singapore,
- Raising a seed bridging round of $USD500K for my R3I Venture portfolio company, StratifiCare, who is launching the world's first severe dengue prognostic in a world currently plagued by epidemics, that can prioritize the saving of lives and reduce the financial burden of unnecessary hospitalization for patients not at risk.
- Finally, I am going to take some time to breathe, reflect and listen deeply. I've downloaded my AwakenedMind App and for only 12 minutes a day, I am going to more effectively master the art of Mindful Leadership, deepen the connections with the people I love, and only then to consider, "what's next!"
A huge thank you to Dr Deming Chen, Dr Li Zhang, Dr Kyle Rupnow, Dr Swathi Gurumani, Dr Zuofu Cheng, Dr Wen Mei Hwu, Dr Jason Cong, and Dr Zhiru Zhang and the Inspirit team for their support. Together, we made a difference.
A huge shout out and thank you to my mentors who supported me on the journey: Dr Kyle Rupnow, Gunjan Siroya, Sara Gori, Terence Yap, Mike Love, Dr Marianne Winslett, David Dahan, Dr Kar Han Tan, Dr Vassilios Vonikakis, Dr Jeremy Brown, Supreet Singh Manchanda, Jaslin Lau, Sugeeta Madan, Edward Boon Cheong, Peter Tan, Henry Wong, Steve Zhao, Jennifer Villalobos, and Chetan Gadgil, and of course my husband Jean-Marie Soulodre.
The journey of a thousand miles certainly began with a single step - and now for us both, in the right direction. I wish the Cofounders and team every success for the future. I look forward to celebrating many more of their milestones.
About Leesa Soulodre
As a serial en/intrepreneur, Leesa has worked for more than 20 years on the cutting edge of strategy and technology. She has advised more than 400+ multinationals and their start-ups in 19 sectors across Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Americas and led companies with turnovers from $4M to $14B USD into new markets. She has shared the exhilaration of one IPO, numerous exits, and the hard knocks of lessons learned.
Leesa Soulodre is the General Partner of R3i Ventures, and Partner and Board Advisor to venture capital firm, Raiven Capital. Leesa is a Board member of RunwayHQ, the Victorian Government-backed rural accelerator. When she is not venture building, Leesa is Smart Nation-building as an Entrepreneur in Residence mentor at the Australian Government's Singapore Landing Pad. She has served higher education for more than a decade and today is a part-time Adjunct Faculty on the MBA and EMBA Programmes of IE Business School and Singapore Management University, SMU-SID, the Civil Service College and SMU Executive Education.
Connect with Leesa Soulodre