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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Powering Motion and leading by example during challenging times with Steve Ingel | Episode 9

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EVP of Healthcare Solutions at DJO Global, Steve Ingel, joins Justin Starbird to talk about working to continue to innovate and meet customer demands in an ever changing world.

DJO, the 7th Largest Orthopedic company in the world, is a leading global provider of medical technologies designed to get and keep people moving. The Company’s products and software solutions address patient care from injury prevention to rehabilitation after surgery, injury or from degenerative disease, enabling people to regain or maintain their natural motion.

The DJO software platform, MotionMD, recently won a Gold Edison Award for its web based, integrated solution, with Internal development teams. Steve shares how “we test new features and modules on our own business (insource/outsource), and then also pilot with direct Customers for Voice of Customer and work closely with industry leaders and Industry groups and associations. Recently we reached 3 Million Patient Agreements, have well over 2,500 locations across the US and now Canada using our software, 25k providers, and integrated with 47 EMR vendors. We did a very rapid pivot to tele-health to support Customers with unique software features, and we continue to add more features to our platform to meet evolving Customer and Industry needs.”

Listen as Steve explains how… “nobody else in the industry is as uniquely positioned as DJO to deliver on the continuum of care promise. Nevertheless, we continue to focus on the innovation gap, on solving real Customer and market needs, provide even greater value, while also leveraging our strengths. My goal is to constantly challenge my teams to widen our competitive advantage.”

Steve and DJO are a great example of how to lead and continue to innovate as the world changes all around us.

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Leading during a pandemic with Dan Harden of Whipsaw | Episode 8

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Dan Harden, CEO and Founder, Whipsaw

Dan Harden, CEO and Founder of Whipsaw joins Justin Starbird today to discuss leading a company through adversity. Dan and his team are a group of true pioneers and innovators in the product design space.

Dan shares that, “We bring that attitude to our clients, that optimistic like good old fashioned American, “let’s roll up our sleeves and solve this problem” attitude lives in those companies so strongly that it’s benefited us during this pandemic. Our clients feel that they’re really grateful to us for sticking with them and helping them through this difficult time.”

Listen as Dan talks about how his team works explaining that it’s really just about the celebration and the joy of creative problem solving.” Everything that we do stems from this belief and this purpose, that the world can be a better place. If you think openly and creatively, we live and breathe innovation. It is our way of expressing ourselves. It feels natural.

If you are not familiar with Whipsaw, they have had a lot of big hits ranging, from Google Chromecast, Nike FuelBand many products for Brita, Dell products. The list goes on and on. They’ve helped clients produce and ship well over a thousand products since Dan founded the company back in 1999.

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Industrial Technology Research Institute takes home TWO Edison Awards | Episode 7

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Dr. Lin
Dr. Lin, Research Director of Materials Research and Development, ITRI

Industrial Technology Research Institute is located in the northern part of Taiwan, Hsinchu, won two Edison Awards for 2020 for their contributions to innovation.

In the first of their two wins, ITRI took the Edison Award Gold in the Adhesives category for their product Celluad, a product developed in part by Dr. Lin, Research Director of Materials Research and Development at the company. Dr. Lin joined Justin Starbird and explained how Celluad was created using cellulose, an organic material found in plant cell walls, this adhesive is low-cost, strong, water-resistant, and environmentally friendly.

Compatible with existing manufacturing processes, Celluad provides excellent adhesion when applied to plywood, flooring, and lumber core board. Most importantly, ITRI’s adhesive is completely free of formaldehyde, a carcinogenic chemical found in the resin used to construct most artificial wooden boards. In this way, ITRI offers an adhesive solution that is effective and affordable as well as healthier for manufacturers, consumers, and the environment.

Dr. Chen
Dr. Chen, Director, ITRI

The second award ITRI received this year was bronze in Cellular Research for iKNOBEADS, the world’s first and only biomimetic magnetic beads capable of fighting cancer by stimulating, expanding, and strengthening T cells through imitation of the immune system. Dr. Chen also joined Justin and worked directly on their development, explains that the knobby shape which gives iKNOBEADS their name and makes them so effective was the result of a happy accident that occurred while experimenting with different bead sizes when it was found that the addition of texture to the beads increased expansion rate. Because of this, iKNOBEADS not only fight cancer but do so with an incubation period reduced by three to four days, reducing opportunities for contamination and saving money.

Listen as Dr. Lin and Dr. Chen talk through innovation, commercialization and what winning an Edison Award has meant for ITRI.

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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