When I first met Meredith Perry in December, I thought she was full of crap.It’s just that her startup, uBeam, sounded unusually ambitious.
She said uBeam was working on a technology that would get rid of traditional chargers once and for all.
(You know, the ones with wires that can only charge one device at a time? An iPad or an Android, but never both?)
uBeam, she said, would one day be able to charge a room full of devices without ever touching them.
“Imagine sticking something on the ceiling and having an entire office’s devices be charged at once,” Perry said.
It sounded too good to be true. And if it was doable, why hadn’t Apple or Google tackled it?
But it is doable, and Perry is doing it. When she demoed uBeam for CrunchFund’s Mike Arrington, he said it was the “closest thing to magic” he had seen in a long time.
Right now, there aren’t a lot of innovative startups. New York in particular is criticised for making a lot of useless apps. Female entrepreneurs are stereotyped as ecommerce or fashion founders, seemingly incapable of starting anything more difficult.
Perry and her potentially world-changing startup are a breath of fresh air — for women, New Yorkers and entrepreneurs everywhere.
For being only 22, Perry is unbelievably driven. Her impressive list of investors (Google’s Marissa Mayer, Andreessen Horowitz, and FF Angel etc) must think so too. She knew nothing about electrical engineering when she started working on uBeam. Still, she built a working prototype merely by conducting research on Google and Wikipedia. Perry got patents and battled major corporations that wanted to kill uBeam.
Perry’s Twitter stream suggests she’s moving uBeam out west. I hope she doesn’t.
New York needs more hardware and tech companies like uBeam. Women in tech should be more like Perry. And all founders should strive to be that ambitious.
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