The “INSPIRING MINDS” podcast delves in to experiences of innovators & pioneers that are changing the world around us.

Take notes as they share with Justin how they navigated through research, development, and in true Thomas Edison fashion, marketed and sold their new found innovations.

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Nano Material Focus with Global Commercial Success | Episode 6

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Jenny Yiu
Jenny Yiu, Director of Operations, Nano and Advanced Materials Institute

Jenny Yiu, Director of Operations at Nano and Advanced Materials Institute ( in Hong Kong, joins Justin Starbird to talk about how NAMI achieves technological advancements and commercialization of technologies that are developed within their organization. NAMI focuses their research and development on five market sectors which have the highest potential; construction, electronics, energy, environmental, and healthcare. As of this posting, NAMI has already commercialized over 20 products that have launched to the market in 2020.

Jenny shares that “… We (at NAMI) believe in this miniature (nano) world of materials because our focus is on the materials. Materials can take on distinctive chemical, electrical, magnetic, mechanical, optical, and other properties. When working at the nano-size, our researchers are able to exploit these properties and we leverage our cutting-edge equipment, laboratory and infrastructure to create solutions that will have commercial success.”

Listen as Jenny and Justin discuss the business model, the types or relationships that are successful, and insights on what can work to help you commercialize your next project.

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Read more about Nano and Advanced Materials Institute in our blog post: Perspectives in Innovation: Nano and Advanced Materials Institute

Hardcore technology is now driving the beauty industry with Wayne Liu of Perfect Corp | Episode 5

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Wayne Liu, SVP of Perfect Corp.

Wayne Liu, SVP of Perfect Corp, joins Justin Starbird to discuss how a hardcore technology company applies their innovation to the beauty industry.

Yes, to their roots, Perfect Corp incorporates R&D, engineering and innovation to all of their projects. According to Wayne, “…More than two-thirds of our employees are really technically driven. However, it’s not only technology. The spirit of the Edison Awards is really how to apply the technology into the real world and commercialize it, and then create benefit for the majority of the people. That’s really something we are looking at. We use our technology to create a product, and then we find a place where it can be useful and can benefit all the people. Then we commercialize, and get the business successes.”

That business model is confirmed by winning the Edison Award. Wayne adds that, “we recognize that we are having an impact on the market which we are choosing, which is the beauty industry. We are really mainstream now.”

Listen as Wayne shares how Perfect Corp is getting set to celebrate their first 5 years!

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Read more about Perfect Corp in our blog post: Technology in Beauty: Marrying Innovation and Commercialization

The Sanitizing Solution That Could “Re-Open The World!” – an innovation that is making a difference | Episode 4

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Chris Vazzana
Chris Vazzana, President/CEO, Hydra-Stop

This is the Sanitizing Solution that could “Re-open the World!” Chris Vazzana talks about and the journey to a whole new product line with Host Justin Starbird.

In true Edison fashion, Chris and his team asked themselves if, “… there is a way that we could take some of our existing core technology and change it up so that it can be consumer-ready?”

On this Inspiring Minds Podcast, one exciting piece we learn from Chris is how he and his team went over to their Director of R&D’s house (because of the Covid-19 quarantine) and they sketched out and developed an entirely new product with a couple of other folks and a couple of our key engineers here. They said, “We can take the core technology that we have, change some orifices and pressures and inlets and outlets, make it simpler and make it consumer-ready and be able to put a sanitizing and disinfecting solution into the apparatus and allow for the mixing and the ratio mixing to occur.”

Incredibly, the team was able to take 25 years of experience in technology and existing products and reconfigure it all to be in a new application that could help us open up society, help us open up the world!

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Companies are Vehicles for Change in the World with Ryan Morris | Episode 3

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Ryan Morris
Ryan Morris, Executive Chairman of Software Motor Company

Ryan Morris, Executive Chairman of Software Motor Company, has always viewed business and companies as vehicles for solving important problems in the world. He shares and explains the SMC mission is to transform all motors in the world to be optimally efficient systems.

Software Motor Company, a 2020 Edison Award WINNER, is poised to disrupt an industry that relies on patents over 100 years old. As the leader of SMC, Ryan shares how his quest started at a very young age and continues to evolve as the company keeps breaking down barriers. Listen as Justin and Ryan discuss innovation, best practices, and true leadership during the most challenging of times.

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People, Culture, and Vision: Ken Gray on Innovation | Episode 2

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Ken Gray
Ken Gray, Former Global Director of Innovation, Caterpillar, Inc.

Ken Gray, Edison Awards Steering Committee member and former Global Director of Innovation at Caterpillar Inc., joins host Justin Starbird. Today they discuss Ken’s unique and insightful perspective on the elements companies should consider while focusing on innovation.

Justin & Ken go back nearly 10 years and their friendship started at the Edison Awards in Chicago in 2012 when Ken and his team at CAT disrupted an entire industry by launch the Hybrid Excavator and won GOLD that year. Ken also explores how the size of an organization redefines the appropriate approach to innovation, informed by an extensive career working with companies from large corporations to nonprofits and startups.

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