Ten minutes with: Edge Impulse

Published by Edge Impulse

Edge Impulse, the leading development platform for machine learning on edge devices, introduce themselves to the CW community after recently joining as a member.

Find out more about Edge Impulse

How long has your company been in operation, and what was the inspiration for its founding?
Edge Impulse was founded mid-2019 by Jan Jongboom and Zach Shelby. Zach and Jan have a long history in building Internet of Things applications - Zach co-founded Sensinode, which was acquired by Arm in 2013 - and were looking at ways to make IoT devices better understand the real world. It became apparent that machine learning would play a vital role in this, as it lets you find correlations between sensor data and outcomes ("do I hear an elephant?", "do I feel an abnormal vibration?") without manual programming. Recent advances in tinyML technology is enabling machine learning to run directly on devices while gathering additional data. All in all this is super cool because now the device can feel, see or hear what's happening around it, in real-time, with privacy, and without needing an internet connection.

Edge Impulse is now both the largest edge ML platform (with 62,000+ projects created) as well as a very fast growing enterprise business that helps companies like Oura, Polycom, Advantech and NASA make sense of the sensor data they collect, solving difficult problems and developing valuable new features.

Who is your CEO and what is their background?
Zach Shelby is an entrepreneur, angel investor and technologist in the embedded space with a passion for tinyML, embedded and the Internet. Zach is a former Arm VP, founder and CEO of the Micro:bit Foundation and Sensinode, active in several of his portfolio companies, and is working to bring ML to any embedded device as co-founder and CEO of Edge Impulse.

 Zach was co-founder of Sensinode where he has acted as CEO and CTO for the ground-breaking company before acquisition by Arm in 2013. At Arm he has served as Vice President of Marketing and Director of Technology for Internet of Things, and on assignment as founder and CEO of the Micro:bit Foundation. His vision for micro:bit is that in the future every child will be an inventor, and aims for the organization to reach 100M children and educators. He is an active investor and advisor for tech startups, including CubiCasa (PropTech), Augumenta (AR), Petasense (Industrial IoT) and Walkia Lighting (LED lighting).

Before starting Sensinode, he led wireless Internet networking research at the Centre for Wireless Communications and at the Technical Research Center of Finland. Zach is a key contributor at the IETF for IoT standards with contributions in 6LoWPAN, routing, web services and security related standards, ETSI and OMA standardization on M2M, and in several top international research programs. He is known as a pioneer in the use of IP and Web technology in low-power networks with 6LoWPAN and CoAP standards development, and is co-author of the book "6LoWPAN: The Wireless Embedded Internet". Zach has served on the Technical Advisory Board and Board of Directors at the IPSO Alliance, and was awarded the Nokia Foundation Award in 2014 for his work on the Internet of Things.

What is special about your company’s products/services?
Edge Impulse is ushering in the future of embedded machine learning by empowering developers to create and optimize solutions with real-world data. We are making the process of building, deploying, and scaling embedded ML applications easier and faster than ever, unlocking massive value across every industry, with millions of developers making billions of devices smarter.

Where does your company see its industry/itself heading in the next ten years?
Edge Impulse is spearheading a data-driven engineering revolution that will have an immense impact on all industries over the next decade. For the Internet of Things in particular, using ML for data-driven engineering will not only create better systems but will also give life to a whole new class of experiences. And surprisingly, it is going to get a lot simpler to program, update, and manage thanks to platforms like Edge Impulse. With better brains and learning capabilities on the devices, IoT is finally going to live up to its original expectations and transform consumer goods, automotives, agriculture, and manufacturing from the ground up.

How would you describe your company culture?
Edge Impulse consists of a remote-first team who is on a mission to deliver the ultimate developer experience for edge ML solutions. The company was founded on the belief that machine learning can have a positive impact on society, and is dedicated to supporting applications for good.

Which among your recent announcements is your company most proud of?
Series B funding: Edge Impulse closed out 2021 with a $34 million Series B funding round led by Coatue, tripling its 2022 market valuation and growth forecast. Our greatest accomplishment to date has been bringing together the most talented human beings through our community and team, with an incredible culture of empowerment, user experience and tech for good. With Series B we will be rapidly growing the team to support millions of developers and thousands of enterprises for a smarter future.

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