Sameer Saran, ’18 MS Computer Engineering, was expecting rigorous course work, hands-on
experience and a cultural transition when he moved to Silicon Valley from India in
2016. What wasn’t he expecting? To spend the first 30 minutes of class circling for
a parking spot. Within his first few months at SJSU, Saran knew he wanted to devise
a creative solution to address parking and traffic on and off campus. Armed with a
bachelor’s degree in automobile engineering and robotics from Rajiv Gandhi Prodyogiki
Vishwavidyalaya University in India, Saran originally envisioned ParkStash as a sensor
that could communicate parking availability to drivers. When he presented this idea
at the 2017 Silicon Valley Business Plan Competition, however, Saran received some
critical feedback from Hooman Bolandi, ’97 Mechanical Engineering, one of the judges.
Shariq Shah, ’18 Computer Science, remembers the day he first approached the Ideas Club at San Jose State. A group of aspiring student entrepreneurs were tabling on the paseo,
sporting a sign that read “Got an idea?” Not only did Shah have an idea—within two
years, he had created a music sharing platform, Ambii, complete with a business-to-consumer
app and a business-to-business model designed to provide licensed music free of charge
to customer-facing establishments.Continue Reading
L-R: Bill Barton, ’67 Business, with Ambii founders Jacob Motta and Shariq Shah, and fellow Ambii participant Jeremy Mitchell, ’19 Business Administration, at the 2018 Business Plan Competition. Photo by Anu Basu.
Fabio Schmidberger moved to the United States from Germany in 2018 as an exchange
student, eager to take advantage of Silicon Valley’s entrepreneurial spirit. It didn’t
take long for the software engineer to discover SJSU’s Venture Lab class, where he
began a project that in a few months’ time would transform from a hobby into a career.
MedixFlow challenge participants Vincent Weichselbaumer and Fabio Schmidberger with Dan Moshavi, dean of the Lucas College and Graduate School of Business, at the 2018 Silicon Valley Innovation Challenge. Photo by Manny Singh.
ROTA began as a research project by SJSU student Michael Bayne (MBA, MSE, 2009). ROTA Mobility designs and markets innovative self-propelled wheelchairs and accessory products designed to prevent disease, promote consumer-driven health, and contribute to a sustainable planet for future generations.
While attending SJSU, Michael along with his father Chris, developed products RoTrike and RoChair. Michael first introduced the concept products at SJSU's Neat Ideas Fair winning first prize. ROTA was the subject of Michael's graduate thesis. Upon competition, he entered his work in SJSU's Business Plan Competition again winning first prize. With the prize money won, and support provided by the university's faculty, alumni and extended community, Michael has bootstrapped his venture to market.
ROTA Mobility was incorporated in 2009. Manufacturing has been established in the San Jose area. RoTrike and RoChair go on sale in Q1 of 2011 to the medical and consumer markets at large.