Automated vehicles hold promise to reduce traffic congestion, pollution, crashes, and parking demand. But this promise can only be realized with advanced technology that ensures a vehicle’s situational awareness through perception and mapping—in other words, letting it “see” its surroundings. Current systems, however, do not fully support automated vehicles on any road shared by driver-operated vehicles. A major need is a high-performance sensor that uses laser light—LiDAR—to give “sight” to the automated vehicle. Julie Schoenfeld founded a company with unique technology to produce such a sensor. She discussed this technology and shared her journey as a serial entrepreneur to illustrate how technology entrepreneurship’s pitfalls can be rerouted to successful peaks.
About the Speaker
Julie Schoenfeld is a serial entrepreneur with a passion for identifying talent and assembling effective teams. Her most recent company, Strobe Inc., was acquired by Cruise Automation and is building groundbreaking LiDAR sensor technology for the self-driving car. Schoenfeld was formerly CEO of Perfect Market, Inc., a digital publishing software company backed by Trinity Ventures, Idealab, and Comcast. Perfect Market was acquired by Taboola in July 2104. She also served as CEO and founder for two other successful venture-backed start-ups. In 1999 she led the sale of Net Effect, Inc., for over $300 million to Ask Jeeves.
Schoenfeld is a recognized industry thought leader and has presented at conferences such as The Milken Global Conference, TechCrunch Disrupt, Business Insider Ignition and AdMonsters. She serves on the board of Protégé LLC and is the Vice Chairman of the Young Presidents Organization, Angeleno Gold Chapter. In 2015 Digital LA named her to the list of Top 50 Digital Women. In 2012, National Association of Women Business Owners in Los Angeles acknowledged Julie with the prestigious “Innovator of the Year” award. She holds a B.S. in engineering from Tufts University and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.