Looking at Problems from an Innovative Perspective with Sanjay Parekh

Why is Atlanta the innovation capital of the Southeast? “Might Could: Stories of Innovation in the ATL,” is a new series from The Hatchery, Emory Center for Innovation, that seeks to answer that question in conversation with innovation thought leaders and disruptors in non-profits, higher education, and industry who are making Atlanta a city of the future. On the last episode of Might, The Hatchery had the pleasure of speaking with Sanjay Parekh.

Sanjay is a serial technology entrepreneur. Currently, he is the founder of Mirage Data, a startup focused on securing data to prevent data leaks, and a co-founder of TogetherLetters, a service for groups to share without using social media, and Edgewise, a marketing content creation company using podcasts as a content engine. He is also a co-host of Tech Talk Y'all, a self-proclaimed tech comedy podcast.

Sanjay's startup journey started as the founding CEO and inventor of Digital Envoy's patented NetAcuity IP intelligence technology. At Digital Envoy, Sanjay led the company to raise $12 million in angel and venture funding. Digital Envoy was acquired by Landmark Communications in June 2007. Sanjay then launched Startup Riot, a conference for startups that pioneered the three-minute, four-slide presentation format. Sanjay subsequently co-founded Solidfire in 2010 which was acquired by NetApp in 2015.

Sanjay is an inventor on twelve issued U.S. patents and holds an electrical engineering degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology and an MBA from Emory University's Goizueta Business School.

Sanjay has learned a great deal about what makes for a successful innovator through his incredible diversity of experiences. He encourages innovators not to get trapped into looking at problems the way their discipline has always looked at them but instead to ask how someone from an entirely different discipline would solve that problem. Sanjay also described the vital importance of getting out of one's social circle to get to these diverse vantage points, encouraging innovators to intentionally meet people who are not like them.

In addition to discussing different ways to identify new solutions, Sanjay also gave great advice about how to present solutions to a variety of different stakeholders. The key is to tell compelling, human-centered stories. For Sanjay, storytelling that resonates is the number one skill for an entrepreneur.

You can watch the full conversation here or listen to the podcast version here. To keep up with everything going on at The Hatchery, be sure to subscribe to their newsletter.   

To learn more about The Hatchery visit Hatchery.emory.edu or email The Hatchery staff at thehatchery@emory.edu. The Hatchery is a unit of Emory University Academic Innovation.

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