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Why are we doing this?

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20 March 2012



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You might think we’re crazy, organizing robot startup events and doing it all as volunteers. But if you know us, then you know that we are passionate about creating new robot businesses, growing new technologies and new communities, and using startup techniques to influence human-robot culture. Tall words. But we’re taking small steps closer every day. 

[‘Deserted Robot’ by Artists for Charity on deviantart]

And if you don’t know us, allow me to introduce the core robot launchpad people.

 Andra Keay – Culture Hacker | Robot UX

After years of studying robotics from a human-robot interaction perspective, my hacker, maker, DIY genes have cursed me to tinker. Lean startup methodology is a great way to empower people centred design, so I want to grow robotics culture the lean way.

 Ahmed Siddiqui – Startup Weekend Organiser and CEO GoGo Mongo.

Ahmed calls himself a startup junkie. After winning his first Startup Weekend,  he now organizes Startup Weekends all over Silicon Valley. He also writes for Venture Beat and as an entrepreneur, is looking to shake up the robotics space.

 Erin Rapacki – Product Marketing Manager @ Adept Mobile Robots

Also known as RobotDiva, Erin has worked or interned at a wide range of robot companies. She speaks and writes extensively about robotics as a business and robots as a product. [Don’t miss her as guest speaker at blackbox Cofounder dinner – thurs march 22]

 Michael Harries – Chief Technologist @ Citrix Startup Accelerator

Michael left robotics for the ‘real’ world of business, as the technology futurist for global technology company Citrix. Now he’s running their Startup Accelerator and sees the convergence of robots, phones and cloud in his future.

We are a group of volunteers. And we’re growing as you join us. It’s clear there is a need for a robot startup community, one that bridges robotics with the startup world, the business world, the mobile & internet world, the design world and the creative communities. [If I left a world out, sorry, you are all invited.]

We’re bootstrapping and we’re iterating all the time. We’ll make mistakes but we’ll fix them. As we reach out to more people, we realized that you don’t know who we are, or why we’re doing this. It’s not for the money. One day we might grow into an organization or forum or business but not yet. It’s our community too, it’s platform agnostic, unaligned and open.



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Andra Keay is the Managing Director of Silicon Valley Robotics, founder of Women in Robotics and is a mentor, investor and advisor to startups, accelerators and think tanks, with a strong interest in commercializing socially positive robotics and AI.
Andra Keay is the Managing Director of Silicon Valley Robotics, founder of Women in Robotics and is a mentor, investor and advisor to startups, accelerators and think tanks, with a strong interest in commercializing socially positive robotics and AI.





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