CEO Forum Recap – 12.11.19

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CEO Forum – 09.12.18

Jason Eichenholz has the vision to save lives

Every day, the equivalent of a plane full of passengers on a 747 die on America’s roads. Unfortunately, the death march caused by automobile accidents often goes unnoticed.

Jason Eichenholz, co-founder and chief technology officer for Luminar Technologies, knows we can do better. He recently spoke to a group of C-level executives at the CEO Forum in December. His talk came just days before he was the commencement speaker at UCF.

Luminar, an Orlando-based autonomous vehicle firm, is working diligently to keep roads safe. The company is creating industry-leading automation systems that will give cars the vision to drive safely. Its revolutionary advancements include providing automobiles with 360 vision and the ability to see clearly several football fields down the road. Currently, Luminar is working with 12 of the top 15 automakers.

Although technology is sprinting forward faster than ever before, Eichenholz said it could be 25 years before self-driving is safer than manned vehicles. This means there is still work to be done.

“We must to do better,” said Eichenholz, who one day sees a world where mobility is a service. Already, people are cutting down from two cars to one because it’s more economical and easier to use Uber and other rideshare services.

Superior safety is not a luxury; it’s something we must all work toward. Humans drive safely more than 99 percent of the time. Luminar’s mission is to solve the remaining one percent.

After a quarter century as a serial entrepreneur and a pioneer in laser and photonics product development, Eichenholz holds dozens of patents on technologies that can make our transportation system safer. For Eichenholz, his work at Luminar is personal. He has a son with autism and aging parents – he wants them and every American to have access to safe, trusted mobility.

Eichenholz is a prime example of doing what you love and finding success. Once a self-admitted distracted and mediocre student, Eichenholz is now widely respected from Central Florida to Silicon Valley for his vision and innovation.

When surrounded by other entrepreneurs, Eichenholz gets excited and inspired. His favorite part of growing his company was the journey from two to 50 employees. Today, Luminar has offices in Silicon Valley and Orlando. Its workforce is more than 350. Even though he admitted the job can get less fun, and sometimes even harder as you add to it, it is still an awesome entrepreneurial journey.

Half of Eichenholz’s talk was off the record so he could share private personal insights. Attendees received HR tips, venture capital insights and more background on Luminar’s work. The personal chat highlights that it truly pays off to attend the CEO Forum.

The CEO Forum is sponsored by the Rollins College Center for Advanced Entrepreneurship, GrowFL, and CEO Nexus.

CEO Nexus participants can access a PDF of the presentation by logging into the Media Archive section of the website. Click here to learn more about the innovative work of Luminar Technologies.

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