Paul Berberian is an experienced chief executive and entrepreneur who has founded and run seven high-tech companies over the last 18 years. In 2010 he became the CEO of Boulder based Orbotix. Orbotix are the creators of Sphero, an app-controlled robotic ball that is a completely new type of game system.
Paul is the former CEO and co-founder of Raindance Communications (NASDAQ: RNDC), a web and phone conferencing services company acquired by West Corporation in 2006. Before founding Raindance, he was co-founder and CEO of LINK-VTC, a video teleconferencing company, which was sold in 1995 to Frontier Communications. Paul is a distinguished graduate of the US Air Force Academy.
Ian Bernstein has always been a tinkerer and a problem solver. As far back as he can remember he was taking apart cameras, cassette players, and other electronics to create new inventions. In elementary school, Ian began homeschooling and started to learn more about electronics from one of his father’s students. At the age of 12 he attended the BEAM International Robotics Games and his lifelong passion in the field of robotics was sparked. Under the mentorship of Mark Tilden, a notable robotics physicist and founder of the BEAM Games, Ian spent his teen years building robots not only as a hobby, but also for university research students, for international robotics competitions, and even the Space Center Houston Science Center just to name a few. In line with his passion, Ian studied Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at New Mexico Tech and Colorado State University. His senior year, Ian he dropped out to learn about business by starting a web development company. Over the next four years he did web development while maintaining a part-time job at RoadNarrows Robotics doing research and design to keep his engineering skills fresh.
One night in late 2009 while playing with his iPhone, Ian wondered why he couldn’t use this amazing computing device he was holding in his hand to control the robots he was working on. Armed with this thought and hungry to do something big, Ian started a new company called GearBox, later renamed to Orbotix, with the mission to create the next generation in gaming devices – specifically, interactive smartphone controlled gaming robots. In the summer of 2010 with the backing of TechStars, a seed accelerator/investment program, Ian and his co-founder Adam Wilson created their first product, Sphero, an app-driven robotic ball.
Today Ian spends his time at Orbotix working on Sphero and other new robots that he hopes will revolutionize the gaming industry.
Adam is a Colorado native from Woodland Park. Like Ian, Adam grew up obsessed with all things robot, but his interests were on the software side. He attended the University of Northern Colorado and graduated with a degree in Mathematics and Physics. Adam developed custom software apps during his free time and worked in penetration testing for RMSTek – a true hacker at heart. He was involved in a NASA project with Internet controlled robotics when Ian reached out to him to get rolling with TechStars.
During the initial stages of the program, Ian and Adam dabbled with phone-controlled robotics to program everything from cars, to motorcycles, to garage doors. But along the way, they realized they needed to do what they loved. One night an epiphany struck – why not make something fun. How about a ball? Both Ian and Adam were hesitant, but after a conversation with investor Brad Feld they knew they’d landed on the perfect idea.