Programs: Advisory Solutions & Labs - EIR Emeritus, Speaker, Team Mentor, Idea to Plan, NSF I-Corps, CoMotion Innovation Gap Fund, CoMotion DubPitchLinkedIn
- Computer Systems
Areas of expertise
- Business development and strategic partners
- Marketing–early stage
Mohan is an entrepreneur with over 35 years of experience in leadership, marketing, and engineering management in the semiconductor and consumer electronics industry. Mohan was responsible for growing the consumer TV and LCD Panel consumer electronics chip business at Pixelworks into a multimillion-dollar outfit over nine years. In 2016, he started OneRadio Corporation, a University of Washington spinoff. Mohan has a passion for making a difference, with a laser focus on a purpose-driven approach to creating new solutions. For him, working through unchartered waters has been the norm. His expertise lies in identifying pathways from concept to commercialization and putting a team together to build on the idea and lay the foundation for scaling big.
Working with CoMotion
In 2014, I resigned from Pixelworks to spend more time with my family. I had always wanted to be associated with the University of Washington again and give back my time as I had fond memories of my work with UW during my DEC days and the executive program I completed in 1999. In addition, I wanted to engage with and learn from some of the brightest minds at the UW. My chance meeting with Patrick Shelby in 2014 started my engagement with CoMotion. I got involved with CoMotion as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR) where I helped mentor budding entrepreneurs and principal investigators as part of the CoMotion Innovation Gap Fund in the areas of engineering, life sciences, and clean energy. I also helped with presentations on strategy for Fundamentals for Startups. I also assist with other CoMotion activities (DubPitch, Pitch Screening) on a regular basis.
I mentored a couple of PIs involved with a wideband high dynamic range (HDR) invention that was being planned for passive radar systems in UW’s Electrical & Computer Engineering department. I helped the project through the CoMotion Innovation Gap Fund, and then helped spin out the company as OneRadio Corporation, where I am currently the CEO. OneRadio has patented the invention licensed from the UW, sold its first MVP, and has developed a form factor shrink of the design, which is now ready for scaling. Target markets include the US government, academia, and mobile carriers.
Every project that comes through CoMotion is interesting and merits looking at. The caliber of principal investigators (PIs) at the UW is simply outstanding. It is hard to pick a favorite project as every one is special. I have has fond memories of working on projects relating to wireless charging (WiBotic), nuclear fusion (CTFusion), self-cleaning surfaces for solar panels, and wideband HDR receivers (OneRadio), among others.
Advice to innovators
For EIRs: Respect and give space to the PIs at the UW. While they may be narrowly focused on their pet areas, leveraging their strengths and their idiosyncrasies is crucial to the success of the commercialization phase.
For UW Entrepreneurs: Most often, inventions take a long time before they can be paired with a successful commercial application. Stick with it as long as you can, search for the purpose, and you will find a path forward.
On the lighter side
During the early penniless days of OneRadio, there was total joy in going to the RAM Restaurant & Brewery at University Village for a company Christmas dinner and splurging on beer and food. This tradition continues, although with a little more money in hand and more people to celebrate with, and will resume post pandemic!