Entrepreneur Builds an Actual Ironman (Recruit Rockstars 383)

Love the movie Ironman?

Or your childhood tv show The Six Million Dollar Man?

Well, I recently met an entrepreneur who’s building a futuristic technology by recruiting a genius team.

And his story inspired me.

Coincident with founding his previous company, Drew Perkins developed cataracts in his eyes. He underwent cataract surgery to implant advanced Intraocular Lenses (IOLs) in both eyes, essentially giving him bionic eyes.

While his new bionic eyes gave him perfect vision near & far, they still had some deficiencies.

So, he decided to start a company to solve the problem, not just for himself, but for millions of other people in the world. He founded Mojo Vision with exactly that goal: to give all people superpowers, even if they have impaired vision.

His team is creating the Mojo Lens, the first true Smart Contact Lens.

The Mojo Lens will help people struggling with low vision by projecting enhanced image overlays onto their retinas. It provides real-time contrast & lighting enhancements as well as zoom functionality and other low vision aids.

It remains discreet for the wearer and allows a hands-free experience, while delivering enhanced functional vision to assist in mobility & reading.

The Mojo Lens has a built-in display that also gives its wearer useful & timely information without forcing them to look down at a screen or losing focus on the people and the world around them. Mojo calls this eyes-up experience Invisible Computing, a platform that enables information to be instantaneous, unobtrusive and available hands-free. People can interact with each other more freely and genuinely.

Ironman, indeed.

To scale Mojo Vision, Drew raised $150M in venture capital from Shanda Group, Advantech Capital, Gradient Ventures, NEA, Liberty Global Ventures, Khosla Ventures, HP Tech Ventures, 8VC, and others.

No surprise. Drew is no amateur.

Gainspeed, his previous startup, changed the game for cable operators & was acquired by Nokia.

Drew co-founded Infinera, which developed the first optical system based on large-scale photonic integrated circuits, before its IPO in 2007.

He was co-founder of telecommunications service provider OnFiber Communications, which brought high-bandwidth fiber-based data services to small & medium-sized businesses. OnFiber was acquired by Qwest Communications.

Drew co-founded Lightera Networks, which developed the CoreDirector optical switching platform. Lightera was acquired by Ciena Corporation.

Along the way, he’s built incredible teams to execute on his futuristic visions. In this 20-minute conversation, Drew explains how & why he does it.