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Shahin Farshchi

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Things are only impossible until they’re not

Biography

Shahin empowers entrepreneurs aiming to accelerate humanity towards a brighter future through feats of engineering. He is passionate about artificial intelligence, robots, space, cars, and engines—pretty much anything you might find in an episode of Star Trek.

He led Lux’s investments in Silicon Clocks (acquired by Silicon Labs), which shrank electronics by baking bulky quartz crystals into silicon chips; SiBeam (acquired by Lattice Semiconductor), which aims to eliminate wires from living rooms by introducing full-HD wireless connectivity; Planet, which is launching the world’s largest fleet of Earth-imaging satellites; Nervana (acquired by Intel), the first full-stack platform for machine intelligence; Mythic, bringing powerful AI to miniature, inexpensive devices; Zoox (acquired by Amazon), which is reinventing the automobiles from the ground up towards offering robotaxis and autonomous mobility to all people and things; Astranis, which is building low-cost telecommunications satellites; and Covariant.ai, which empowers industrial machines to perceive and act like humans.

Shahin also led Lux’s role in the formation of several new companies including: Flex Logix, which makes chips that can reprogram themselves; Aeva, which brings perception to all machines; and Subspace, which delivers a real-time, latency-free internet.

Previously, Shahin co-founded Vista Integrated Systems, which built wireless vital sign monitors based on a neural interface technology he developed during his PhD at UCLA. Shahin also developed hybrid electric vehicles for GM in Detroit, worked as a software developer in several Silicon Valley startups, and researched new techniques for semiconductor manufacturing. He earned his Bachelor’s in EECS at UC Berkeley.

What is your favorite innovation from the past decade?
Using cheap, mainstream electronic components to build magical things, such as robots, driverless cars, rockets, and disposable satellites.

What are you most looking forward to in the future?
Artificial intelligence. When they come, we will not have the luxury of time to discriminate against them before we embrace them as equals.

What was it like growing up?
I spent my early childhood watching my dad work on his PhD in Aerospace Engineering at UC Berkeley; later I worked at NASA, where I became fascinated by rockets and satellites. We moved to Iran when I was a teenager, where I learned to read and write in Farsi.

What was your first paying job?
I built PC clones at a small computer store.

Key Facts

  • Built a wireless neural recording system (brain sensor chip) for mice

  • Has been a loyal subscriber to Car and Driver since the age of 10

  • Read Lee Iacocca’s autobiography in 7th grade; decided then he wanted to grow up to be just like him

Things are only impossible until they’re not Captain Jean-Luc Picard, Star Trek

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