Jinger Zeng - Acing That Drone Industry
What problem are you trying to solve? What opportunity are you taking up?
I’m the co-founder and CEO of Dronesmith Technologies, a company that helps developers to make better drone software faster. Our core team came from background of product design, software, hardware, and we are passionate about using technology to unleash human creative power! We see there’s tremendous enthusiasm and energy around Internet of Things(IoT) and robotics in the last few years, and we believe by providing better developer tools, we can impact the way people build, develop, operate these devices, and tie them into our new technological driven society.
What do you do to solve this problem? Your business or story for the solution?
After developing various drone related products and consulting for big companies, we found that there’s fundamental development process and framework that’s broken that leads to waste of time and energy when creating new drone businesses. We have created a way to improve the developer experience, by introducing a software first virtual sandbox that can simulate drone flight, drone sensors; so developers can start developing drones without any hardware dependency and distraction.
What inspires you every day to do what you do?
I love my team, I love working with creative people and I love building products for innovators. I think as technology penetrates every part of our daily life, we need to redefine “craftsmanship”; I believe the modern interpretation of “smith” should be how humans to use technology to provide better experiences, and the impact and freedom that associates with the outcome of creation is what inspires me daily!
What was your childhood ambition, and how did you share it with family and friends... eg did you play doc, play teacher, sang to any audience you could gather?
I wanted to work for NASA as a scientist. I wanted to do space exploration. I played bass guitar and I watched a lot of Japanese anime.
Your schooling, college: was it targeted towards what you hoped to be... did you become what you 'studied' to be, or did you change course and chart a different path?
I changed major 3 times, from Physics, to Entertainment Engineering, to Mechanical Engineering. I love the cross section of science and art, and a big believer in “anti-discipline”. I never projected to become an entrepreneur, but it happened, and I’m loving it!
How and when did you chose your field?
I’m a naturally curious person and I love everything futuristic and mysterious. I know I want to do science and engineering when I was young, and I picked up a lot of hobbies from my friends.
What were the personal hurdles you had to cross - i.e the reaction of friends and family?
When I was growing up, lots of people think girls shouldn’t go into science/engineering. When I said I wanted to work for NASA, people’s normal reaction was that “that’s cute, it’s just a dream.” I had to block off a lot of negativity and non-believers to stick with chasing my dream.
How did your peers react to you? As a young educated woman, were you at an advantage, or disadvantage?
I try to surround myself with positive friends who love me and respect me for who I am. Im fortunate to have people support me throughout different stages of my life, and shaped me into the whom I am today. But I think that’s also because I’m a non judgemental person, and believe everyone has a their super power!
What were challenges you faced and how did you overcome hurdles?
One of the challenge I had to face was getting support as a female founder. We don’t really have a great ecosystem for startup founder in Las Vegas, one of my mentor introduced me to this Silicon Valley female focused startup lab, and I was able to create my own support ecosystem from that journey.
What do you see changing for women professionals in India? How would you encourage young women to consider entrepreneurship as a viable profession?
Believe in yourself that you can do it
Don’t let anyone say you can’t do it
Build a support circle for yourself
Find your own superpower and maximize it
Just do it
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I want to become a VC to help many companies succeed.
What do you do for fun?
I’m always looking for new experiences, I love trying out new food/cuisine, traveling to new places, and I love outdoor sports such as snowboarding, fishing, and hiking.