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Shahin Farshchi

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Things are only impossible until they’re not


Shahin empowers entrepreneurs aiming to accelerate humanity towards a brighter future through feats of engineering. He is passionate about artificial intelligence, robots, space, cars, and engines—pretty much anything you might find in an episode of Star Trek.

He led Lux’s investments in Silicon Clocks (NASDAQ:SLAB), which shrank electronics by baking bulky quartz crystals into silicon chips; SiBeam (NASDAQ:SIMG), which aims to eliminate wires from living rooms by introducing full-HD wireless connectivity; Planet Labs, which is launching the world’s largest fleet of Earth-imaging satellites; Plethora, which is rolling out a fleet of robotic machine shops; Flex Logix, making chips that can reprogram themselves; Nervana, the first full-stack platform for machine intelligence; and Scaled Inference.

Previously, Shahin co-founded Vista Integrated Systems, which built wireless vital sign monitors based on a neural interface technology he developed during his PhD at UCLA. Shahin also developed hybrid electric vehicles for GM in Detroit, worked as a software developer in several Silicon Valley startups, and researched new techniques for semiconductor manufacturing. He earned his Bachelor’s in EECS at UC Berkeley.

What is your favorite innovation from the past decade?
Using cheap, mainstream electronic components to build magical things, such as robots, driverless cars, rockets, and disposable satellites.

What are you most looking forward to in the future?
Artificial intelligence. When they come, we will not have the luxury of time to discriminate against them before we embrace them as equals.

What was it like growing up?
I spent my early childhood watching my dad work on his PhD in Aerospace Engineering at UC Berkeley; he later worked at NASA, where I became fascinated by rockets and satellites. We moved to Iran when I was a teenager, where I learned to read and write in Farsi.

What was your first paying job?
I built PC clones at a small computer store.

Key Facts

  • Built a wireless neural recording system (brain sensor chip) for mice

  • Has been a loyal subscriber to Car and Driver since the age of 10

  • Read Lee Iacocca’s autobiography in 7th grade; decided then he wanted to grow up to be just like him

Things are only impossible until they’re not Captain Jean-Luc Picard, Star Trek