Why founders need to think like scientists
Akshat Thirani, founder & CEO of Amper Technologies. Since he was in high school, Akshat was always looking for problems that he could solve and potentially commercialize. When something didn’t work, he moved on to the next problem he could find. During his junior year of college, Akshat moved into an apartment where he began paying an electric bill for the first time, and began wondering which appliances were consuming the most energy. So, he began teaching himself how to engineer and build a product that could provide this information - an idea that quickly caught the attention of investors, won competitions such as the MIT Clean Energy Challenge, and helped him land a spot in the Hax accelerator program in Shenzhen, China. Despite all of this validation, Akshat began discovering that the product was not feasible for a variety of reasons, and on a serendipitous trip home to India, decided to pivot the product to serve factories and manufacturers. Since the pivot, Akshat has raised millions of dollars in venture capital, built out a robust customer base, and grown the team to 15 employees. Akshat discusses the lessons he learned along the way from avoiding solution-attachment, talking to customers early on, and raising venture capital. This conversation is brought to you by The Garage at Northwestern.