Eric Fossum discusses CMOS technology to a crowd of 200 at EOY
The June 13, 2019 Entrepreneur of the Year (EOY) event was the story of two Erics. First, Eric Fossum discussed his key role in inventing the first miniature camera that became the basis for the cameras now included in the billions of smart phones that are sold every year. Second, Eric Soederberg, president of Sunrise Labs received the 2019 New Hampshire Tech Alliance (Alliance) Entrepreneur of the Year award.
Nearly 200 people attended the popular evening networking and celebratory event held at the downtown Manchester DoubleTree Hotel. During the networking time, attendees were able to see robots from two robotics teams – Gluten Free from Hollis and Team Inconceivable! from Peterborough – that recently competed in the 2019 FIRST Robotics Competition. In addition, seven startup companies, most of which recently went through the Accelerate NH program and participated in Startup Shindig run by the Alliance, had their products and services on display.
Fossum is an entrepreneur and senior professor at Dartmouth College who is most widely recognized for his invention of the CMOS image sensor “camera-on-a-chip.” He spoke about how the technology was developed and is now used in billions of cameras, from smart phones to more advanced web cameras, pill cameras and more. The technology was originally developed in the 1990s by Fossum and his team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab as a way to reduce the size of cameras launched on interplanetary spacecraft. Fossum saw the need for CMOS in terrestrial usage, and in 1995, he and his colleagues started Photobit, a company that licensed the technology from NASA. He then led the development and transfer of the technology to US industry.
As the 2019 EOY winner, over the past 10 years, Soederberg has helped transform Sunrise Labs into a world class product development services company by continuously honing and strengthening Sunrise’s engineering skills and processes and building a culture of uncompromising integrity and focus on exceeding client expectations. His career includes over 20 years of product development leadership at Draper Labs and Motorola. He moved to New Hampshire in 1999 to join DEKA and brought to market the world’s first iBOT mobility system.
“This has been an incredible opportunity to look at where we came from and the whole team has worked enormously hard to apply their creativity and talents to make Sunrise what it is today and for them to be here tonight, sit back and say ‘wow, we have come a long way’ is thrilling for me to see. I also think that we set an example of the compassionate way to run a business. We’ve got a culture that celebrates entrepreneurial spirit and we just do what’s right with the best interest of our clients and Sunrise in mind,” Soederberg said.
EOY is a signature event of the Alliance and has been recognizing individuals who make invaluable contributions to New Hampshire’s technology and business community for 31 years. During that time, more than 70 EOY winners have developed or grown companies with highly recognized brands that have employed tens of thousands of people and been major economic drivers for New Hampshire.
The 2019 Entrepreneur of the Year Awards was sponsored by Q7, Oracle + Dyn, Cook, Little, Rosenblatt & Manson, Tufts Heath Freedom Plan, Autodesk, Comcast, Paragon Digital Marketing, New Sky Productions, Slavic 401k, People’s United Bank, Hypertherm, Cirtronics, Roman Lubynsky, Bank of America, Primary Bank, Berry Dunn, Entrepreneurs’ Fund of New Hampshire, Anthem Life and Ameritas.