A friend posted a link on Michigan Engineering's Facebook page letting us know of Aminur Rahman's company, Invisi-Tag. Believing that there was a good chance of this being an EECS student, I decided to check it out. Yep - EECS student! I invited Aminur down to my office to find out more, and met an incredibly articulate and hardworking EE student who wants to make a difference in the world.
"Did I want to be an entrepreneur?" said Aminur. "No, not at all. But I can't imagine being anything else at this moment."
Listen to the impromptu video interview, above - and learn more below.
Tell me about yourself:
I'm an EE major, soon to be 22 years old, and about to graduate. I was born in Bangledesh, but grew up in New York for about 10 years, and have been in Michigan for about 12 years. I live in Detroit and went to Cass Technical High School.
Did you always want to be an engineer?
I have always wanted to be an engineer. I have a passion for cars, and wanted to be in the auto industry, but when I saw what was happening in the industry, I thought to myself, 'What can I learn about in school that everything is moving toward, that I can use later in life? And I saw that since everything is becoming electrical, I wanted to be an electrical engineer.'
I like to be in the forefront of new, innovative technology.
I like technology that actually makes a difference in people's lives.
How did you get involved in starting your company, Invisi-Tag?
In 2010 I did an internship with a venture capital company, Sargon Partners, which I got through the MPowered Career Fair (open to all engineers). My boss wanted an asset tracking company using RFID technology, and I made it happen for him. Their business strategy is that the person who is putting in the time and effort to start the companies should be rewarded. I'll have the chance to own up to 80% of the company, and Sargon Partners will have 20%.
Does this company "make a difference"?
I strongly think it does. Our target industry is the landscaping industry. They don't currently have an automated inventory system. Keeping track of their tools takes a lot of time. Using RFID technology we can keep track of all the inventory instantaneously. Just one landscape company that comes to mind is a multi-billion dollar company, so there's a huge market for this technology.
I went to a company tradeshow in Cobo Hall and passed out information about our company, and many saw the value in what we do. This tracking system could also be used in military situations, where time and equipment are critical to their success.
Tell us about being an entrepreneur.
I never thought about pursuing entrepreneurship. I thought, 'I'm going to get a good degree from one of the best universities in the country and go into industry.' But I found out that there's such a reward working for a startup company and being an entrepreneur. Every input you have is taken into account. You see results immediately. I love to learn new things and in a startup company, every day you learn something new.
|This is such a rewarding experience because everything you do makes a difference.
Whatever is needed of me, I do. I may be a Business Analyst for the day, or I may work on the actual technology to make improvements. I'm currently working on developing a core team that understands our product and our vision.
What are your plans after you graduate?
After I graduate I'll be working for the company full time, and working to expand the company. I produced prototypes back in 2010, and we currently we have 3 Michigan landscaping companies using our units. I recently went to a tradeshow in Louisville which resulted in a few new customers on the East Coast. Once I get majority interest in the company I'll become CEO.
Posted December 8, 2011
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