The Institute - December 2019 - 7

philosophy will gradually become the
norm in self-driving cars, as these vehicles
no longer will simply be a means of transportation but an entertainment center."
Femrite says the startup's two dozen
prospective clients include vehicle manufacturers, headphone makers, and a
five-star hotel chain.

The two Chos have been working on the
technology since Brian was a child. The
idea came about when Brian wanted to
give his mother a gift of a picture frame
outfitted with an embedded speaker.
He couldn't figure out how to make a
speaker fit within the thin structure.
He asked his father for help. LH said it
wasn't possible with the current speaker
technology. The two have been trying to
figure out solutions ever since.
Brian studied finance and applied
mathematics in computational science
at Notre Dame. As a junior, he recruited
three cofounders including Femrite,
who was pursuing a bachelor's degree
in electrical engineering, minoring in
engineering corporate practice and actuarial science. Cho told them about the
speaker technology he was working on,
and together they started Resonado to
commercialize it in the United States.
The group has since participated in multiple startup competitions, winning prizes
and recognition at the national level.
With the traction received from those
competitions and networking events in
Silicon Valley, plus the $1 million the company received from its first fundraising
round, the team was able to get the company off the ground.

The startup has benefited from links
with IEEE. Femrite was a member of
Notre Dame's IEEE student branch
and served as president of the Delta
Sigma chapter of the IEEE-Eta Kappa
Nu (IEEE-HKN) honor society.

Brian Cho spent time in California, network helped us develop our compitching to investors, and along the pany and technology to the next level."
way met IEEE Senior Member Joseph
Femrite shared his own piece of advice
Wei, a partner at SkyChee Ventures and for entrepreneurs: Don't give up, regardcofounder of the recently acquired hard- less of the obstacles.
ware incubator Lab360. Wei also is a
"Be ready to endure the barrage of noes,"
member of IEEE-HKN, a member of the he says. "Any startup will go through
IEEE Consumer Electronics Society's that, and the successful ones are those
board, and past chair of the IEEE Santa that endure it long enough to get the
Clara Valley (California) Section.
one that says yes.
Taking note of Wei's success with his
"I can't tell you the number of times
Lab360 portfolio startups, Cho asked we got knocked down and were told,
Wei for advice and later invited him to 'You'll never be able to do this' or 'You're
join Resonado as an advisor. In addition too young,'" he says. "And every time,
to counseling Cho on startup strategy, we've proven them wrong by continuWei introduced him to several investors. ing with our upward trajectory."
"Joseph has been a great advisor to -KATHY PRETZ
our team," Cho says. "His background
This article originally appeared online as
in manufacturing, venture capital, and "Startup Resonado Reinvents the Speaker
startup ecosystems and his cross-border With Its Flat Core Technology."

ONE FLUSH AT A TIME Her sewerbots
monitor wastewater to identify
at-risk neighborhoods


ost people
don't think
about what's
in the waste
they flush
down the toilet. But health officials do. The urine in sewer water
is a surprisingly rich source of
information about the health of
communities. Epidemiologists
can analyze wastewater to check
for viruses, chemicals, and both
illegal and prescription drugs.
Armed with that information,
public health officials can stock
up on vaccines, equip ambulances
with life-saving medications, and
run awareness campaigns.


DEC 2019



The Institute - December 2019

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