Keep up with our guest Dave Mathews on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Listen to Dave’s podcast What’s New Wall Street?
Learn more about the Softeq Venture Studio.
Connect with Chris Howard on LinkedIn.
Check out Softeq on the Softeq website.
[00:00] Tinkering with Osborne computers at an early age
[05:21] Creating the CueCat & working with RadioShack
[12:27] Transforming a 747 into an art car at Burning Man
[21:50] Using the Softeq Venture Studio to get startups from zero to hero
[32:17] Forging a future with new radio device technology
How did you become an inventor?
Dave caught the inventor bug early on in his life, spending his childhood in a computer club, attempting to hack an Osborne computer. Tinkering with technology turned out to be a lifelong love for Dave, who went on to work with pioneering technology like the CueCat and Slingbox. While he’s found his passion in inventing and innovating, Dave now focuses on bettering the invention process for startups and helping motivate the tech industry to make a worldly impact.
“I love tinkering and curiosity and have worked with makers and builders. I try to create the impossible with good teams. I was like an inventor for hire. RadioShack hired me to be their in-house inventor, and my parents were happy because it was a brand that they understood.”
Can you tell me about the 747 you brought to Burning Man?
It was a “too big to fail” idea that might have been…too big to succeed. Enter a Boeing 747 plane, abandoned and available for purchase-- and purchase, Dave did. As a frequent Burning Man attendee, Dave and his friends wanted to bring an art car to the Black Rock Desert that was larger than life. As it turns out, as amazing of an inventive opportunity as it was, bringing a 747 plane to the desert was an expensive project that couldn’t sustain itself, according to Dave/
“It was just unbelievable what an experience this was for people because it really blew people's mind that this could be brought from a multimillion-dollar aircraft into something that everyone could enjoy and see the inner workings of.”
What are you currently doing in the Softeq Venture Studio?
Taking a step back from his “inventor for hire” days, Dave is currently making his difference as a CTO with the Softeq Venture Studio team. Inspiration to innovate can come in many forms, but Dave believes his experience in the tech world and his guide as a CTO can make a huge difference for the startups that make their way through Softeq every quarter. Dave wants each startup to have the leadership, skills, and technology needed to succeed quickly and effectively.
“What I love about helping the team you put together with the venture studio, is being able to take all this input from all these different companies, and say, ‘Alright, for this CEO that's on board with this team to be successful, they're going to need to have X, Y, and Z. How do we get them there fastest and most effectively?’”
What’s something exciting we should be looking forward to as you forge the future?
Inspiring innovation is Dave’s secret sauce for forging the future, and he has some amazing products coming down the pipeline that he can’t wait to share. Currently in the works, Dave is attempting to revolutionize emergency services response using Bluetooth radio wave technology. Tapping into the Bluetooth signals devices like iPhones give off might help us locate individuals in crisis, even when they have no access to cellular service or Wi-Fi.
“I want to inspire. Think about how many home improvement shows there are, and how many shows showing you how to fix something on your car or remix something in your life, but that's just entertaining. What I really want to do is motivate.”