About Moonbeam

Our Mission

The Moonbeam team have spent years working in corporate innovation and corporate ventures and they know that the current model of technology scouting does not work. We started with a disjoint swirl of industry professionals working in Corporate America, learning that our organizations were not structured to be agile enough to move at the pace of innovation. But we understood that to change the economy, startup agility and the power of disruption needed to scale beyond the technology industry into incumbent industries. From this realization, Moonbeam was born.

Startups avoid Enterprises because they are Too Hard to Sell to

Emerging technology startups attempt to go straight to consumer markets because they view enterprise sales as too time consuming. Many Venture Capitalist view enterprise focused startups as unlikely to achieve a 7-10 year exit, largely due to challenges enterprises face around tech adoption. If the startup is targeting a risk adverse or heavily-regulated industry this challenge is even greater.

Technology Scouting is Serendipitous, and Returns are Hard to Measure

Corporations compete to get brash, entrepreneurial talent to bring fresh ideas to their staid brands. They open innovation labs in Silicon Valley or some other innovation economy to be where the action is. Technology scouts network and find promising companies to connect with product line owners, only to find progress too slow or the focus of the startup misaligned with corporate need. And, in the worst case, the promising talent leaves the corporation to go work for the startup.

Energy is Wasted on Businesses that don’t Fit — Diamonds in the Rough are Overlooked

For a startup, focus is essential and misdirection costly. Time spent selling to a enterprise that is not a fit can sink a startup. Likewise a corporate innovation lab that does not produce quarterly or annual value can lose sponsorship. They need tools to organize serendipity. Further, they need to be able to have strategic and creative conversations irrespective of geographic separation.

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Social Responsibility
Our concern to climate change is real: we decrease the need for business travel. 

Moonbeam helps provide tools for people with disabilities as it decreases the need to travel and have enablement technologies like automated notetaking. As part of our interest in making our app suitable for everyone, Moonbeam is currently taking part of the XR ACCESS research group.

We also support entrepreneurship in developing countries by decreasing the geographical barriers to innovation… following along the urge need to integrate multiple talents, cultures and experiences without any barriers.

Leadership Team

Nirav Desai
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Chief Executive Officer

Strategy & Partnership Guy – bold visionary with a road-map to catalyze innovation

  • A 18+ year career of helping corporations innovate
  • Over 5 years running virtual reality practices and businesses
  • Experience in startup mentorship (Techstars, UW Comotion Labs)
  • Connects industry with government and academia (Innovation Working group Co— Chair for Pacific Northwest Economic Region, Affiliate Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Washington)

Troy DeFrank
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VP of International Programming

Going Global – understanding of complex global economic development and FDI ecosystem

  • Trade and investment expert with deep expertise generating business for public and private organizations in new markets
  • Portfolio of work which include dynamic economies like British Columbia, UK, Spain, and Washington State
  • Expertise in software, clean tech, aerospace, and building technology

Phil Lamb
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CTO

Interaction & Infrastructure – front and back-end expert

  • 20+ years’ experience at the cutting edge of augmented and virtual reality, spanning fundamental research, technology transfer in a startup environment, and multinational enterprise.
  • Managed VR research & development at Mozilla Research, including the Firefox Reality browser on standalone and PC VR systems.
  • CTO of one of the first commercial XR companies, ARToolworks, acquired by DAQRI, and led development teams at DAQRI and Realmax.
  • Author of over 500,000 lines of code in public open-source projects, and lead engineer and architect on award winning products and projects

Rajen Savjani
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Chief Business Officer – Moonbeam Envision

Startup & Gamification Guru – producing compelling experiences

  • Technology enthusiast and investor with experience in videogames, biotech, and consumer tech.
  • Eighteen years of experience as a founder in multiple startups focused on film production, videogame development, career networking, and dating/relationships.
  • Rajen has a special passion for retrogaming, the future of food production, and productivity technology and tools.

Trond Nielsen
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Chief Operating Officer

Rigor & Process – product developer, team builder, community leader

  • Research scientist and leader with 18+ years in immersive technology R&D, leadership, and building product teams.
  • Seattle VR community leader, hosting hackathons, unconferences, meetups, and online events; collaborates and supports events around the world.
  • Ph.D. in Human Interface Technology from the University of Washington

The Crew

Filipa Matos
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Data Scientist

Ryan Park
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Virtual Reality Developer

Muhammad Usama
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Software Engineer

Joana Alemão
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Virtual Reality Curator

Bridget Swirski
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Scrum Master and Project Manager

Sean Siem
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VR Application Designer

Julian Looser
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Staff Software Engineer

Lindsay Randall
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Accelerator Program Manager

Raquel Jacinto
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Data Scientist