Q&A with Joyce Reitman of Motionloft | Innovators
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This week we are talking with successful entrepreneur, Joyce Reitman, CEO of Motionloft, a leader in the physical analytics industry collecting real time traffic data of pedestrians and vehicles. Joyce has been leading emerging companies for most of her career, founded five of her own companies, and advised over 50 others. Joyce has additional experience as a licensed financial advisor working for financial institutions. Joyce has found that the cross-industry experience layers on intelligence to business decisions that gives a competitive edge to her pursuits.
Joyce resides in San Francisco with her husband, and has two grown sons. She has a B.A. from the University of Illinois, an MBA from Santa Clara University and certification from Wharton.
Motionloft is a technology company that provides data on pedestrians and vehicles behavior via an AI platform. For example, Motionloft is working with smart cities to improve walkability, global retail brands to track the effectiveness of merchandising campaigns, and commercial property owners (REITS) to provide ROI to their properties. Based in San Francisco, Motionloft’s team can be found passionately discussing sensor accuracy, computer vision, and the future of edge processing.
What is Motionloft and how does its leading edge technology give your clients a competitive edge in business?
At Motionloft, we strive to deliver detailed data about how people and vehicles move. Our sensors leverage computer vision, neural networks, and edge processing to turn the behavior of pedestrians and vehicles into quantifiable trends that developers, REITs, and retailers use to adapt to a changing marketplace. Our clients are realizing that to hone their competitive edge, they need to embrace new data sets. Motionloft delivers that unique data, helping our clients go forward with more confidence.
Motionloft was selected as 2017 Red Herring Top 100 North America Winner earlier this month. What does this mean to you and the company’s achievements?
Being selected as a Red Herring Top 100 winner was an enormous honor. Red Herring's experts have been evaluating the world's startups for decades and to be included with the likes of Alibaba, Google, Skype, and Twitter says a lot about the path we are on. Motionloft has since received exposure to the investment community, and research analysts in several industries as a result of our winning this prestigious competition.
What inspired Motionloft’s tech development?
Motionloft was founded on a simple question “how can you count how many people are passing by?” Due to the powerful processors that have been introduced to the market in miniaturized form, it became possible to build a sensor that had the flexibility to be installed at the point of interest, and collect data of people walking by.
Motionloft has a variety of uses, from pedestrian safety to consumer behavior, can you tell us more about some of the company’s most rewarding work?
The latest installation for the City of Las Vegas, in conjunction with the Vision Zero Project (goal: Zero pedestrian accidents by 2024 in San Francisco) has been tremendously interesting and rewarding. One of the surprising benefits that has come from this project is that traffic engineers now have the ability to see the velocity of individual vehicles going through an intersection data that was impossible to access regularlybefore.
An area where I am particularly obsessed is how autonomous vehicles will change the landscape of our cities, shopping centers, parking lots, and even our fan and citizen experience. These driverless vehicles will likely operate independently, creating a brand new set of technological problems. Motionloft’s data will give cities and business the full picture of their interactions in this quickly evolving and complex system.
Does Motionloft have any new developments on the horizon?
We have a creative, talented group at Motionloft. Motionloft is addressing a market that is changing before our eyes. What was the latest and greatest technology today, is getting commoditized, as we speak. Motionloft works on stretching the limits every day in our computer vision software, developing classifiers that are unique and generated from our own assets. We understand where CPU and GPU development is heading and building in the most powerful processing and making our devices more compact, easy to install.
We have a sensor under development that will be able to get more original data from the environment. We are developing our classifiers to add features that would identify age and sex demographic trends for retailers and business to better service their customers. And we are doing all this at a level of accuracy and consistency that’s approaching our goal of 100%.
What piece of advice would you give to a first-time entrepreneur starting out?
Startups are a marathon, not a sprint. There will be many highs and lows, usually every day! I would advise an entrepreneur that you need to do your homework, no short cuts. You need to persist in moving your idea and company forward, every day, don’t give up. Your friends and family will support you and tell you your idea is great, and probably give you some startup cash (they love you). Listen to the critics and absorb what helps, but don’t let them get you down. And get that first paid customer (and the next and the next). This is the best proof that your company has something for which the market is willing to pay.
What is your “one thing” that most drives your professional success?
No question, the energy, passion and persistence I put towards everything I do. I love what I do.
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