Masoud Motamedi: President & co-founder, LocationSmart

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Bio:

Masoud Motamedi is President and a co-founder of LocationSmart. He is responsible for business operations and management of corporate resources. His successful entrepreneurial experience and operational oversight drives organizational efficiencies and execution. Prior to LocationSmart, Masoud was the President and Co-Founder of TechnoCom, the incubator of LocationSmart and led the delivery of products and services to the wireless location industry focused on E911 and LBS. Additional prior experience includes serving as Director of Systems Engineering of PacTel Teletrac where he led the development and deployment of their Vehicle Location Systems. Prior to that, he worked at the Jet Propulsion Laboratories (JPL) where he was responsible for proving the feasibility of direct audio broadcast to mobile users. Before JPL, as Director of Mobile Communications at Geostar Corporation, he was involved in the design and development of the first Radio Determination Satellite Service system. Masoud holds two patents related to wireless location and he obtained his M.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the George Washington University.

How did you get into the industry?

When I was in middle school, I took a technology-focused class that taught wiring and it sparked my interest in learning about electronics. I became hooked pretty quickly. Whether it was building a simple circuit to turn a light on and off, or finding a way to fine tune the reception of our TV with rabbit ear antennas, I wanted to learn it all. This interest led me down a path toward becoming an electrical engineer.

My involvement in the wireless location industry started more than 30 years ago when I was working for a company called GeoStar. It was a position determination company before GPS was developed and it used two satellites to locate a handheld device or transmitter. GeoStar’s founder was inspired to create this technology after losing a few friends in a private plane crash that occurred while attempting to land on a runway during a foggy night. The founder’s goal was to be able to safely land a plane using precise navigation information based on the technology his company created.

Any emerging industry trends?

The Internet of Things (IoT) has been in the news a lot lately but the devices being used have been around for years. It’s fascinating to see all of these readily available gadgets and machines coming together to create this new trend but enabling them to connect is a small part of the puzzle.

Managing all of the data that is gathered and transferred is the larger and more interesting piece in this puzzle. Figuring out effective and efficient solutions will be a major undertaking and new trends are likely to develop as this process unfolds.

Any industry opportunities or challenges?

One emerging challenge and opportunity in my industry has to do with the need for and access to data and location information. Device connectivity and intercommunication present a wealth of opportunities, but there needs to be a workable standard for privacy and security. We need to keep privacy and security top of mind, yet we cannot slow down progress by imposing unachievable standards.

Inspiration for the business idea, and your vision for the Business?

One of the main inspirations for our business was SMS or text messaging because communication could occur across wireless carriers. The need for cross-carrier access to location was no different, and we wanted to provide a platform where the exchange of location information between carriers was possible.

Since LocationSmart’s inception in 1995, we have innovated with the pioneers of the location industry knowing that location would become a fundamental element of the data relayed with every phone call. That day is here and location information continues to be vital for enterprises and consumers alike.

What's next for the Business in the near future?

In the next couple of years, we will be focused on revenue growth. We have created a very scalable and profitable business that is primed to capture a larger share of the market. While we will be expanding to new use cases for our services, we will always be on the lookout for emerging technologies and offerings that may lend themselves to evolving our platform.

Your key initiatives for the success of the Business?

A couple of years ago we merged with our primary competitor. Streamlining the operational and financial processes was challenging, yet rewarding. Within nine months, we were able to move all of their customers to our platform and remove all the operational expenses that were influencing the bottom line. The end result is an extremely effective, efficient and cash flow positive business.

Your most difficult moment at the Business? (and what did you learn?)

At one point early in the business, one of our partners approached us with an offer to acquire the company. It was an interesting offer so we negotiated a little and then decided to get an agreement in place to complete the acquisition. Everything was going well on both sides and our companies even started doing joint marketing activities because we would be working under the same umbrella.

Unfortunately, they canceled the deal on the day the stocks and funds were to be transferred.

Our company was near bankruptcy when this happened because of legal fees related to the acquisition and we put sales on hold as well. We did not have any investors so we were faced with the closure of the company. Luckily, we survived by accepting a small investment.

From this situation, I learned to always have alternatives even when things look bulletproof. There are often many things that can happen in the process so it pays to be prepared. We created multiple business segments so there were fallback options if one segment struggled or failed.

Ideal experience for a customer/client?

We offer enterprises the unique ability to access location of millions of devices using a single connection so ease of access combined with very personalized customer support are highly appreciated by our customers. We have a very dedicated team of people who believe in the product we offer and will do everything in their individual power to make each and every customer successful.

How do you motivate others?

I enjoy working alongside others and I give them the ability to shine on their own while knowing that I am always available to help when needed. In my experience, people seem to be motivated when the goals and expectations are clear. Clarity in direction goes a long way.

Career advice to those in your industry?

Do what you love but do not get completely consumed by it. Try to remain flexible as change is inevitable. Also, do your best to stay connected to those you meet as you never know where people will end up.

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