The Garage is home to more than 60 Resident Teams this quarter, but in addition to incubating new and exciting student startups, we also love to keep up with alumni of The Garage. This week, we caught up with Akshat Thirani, Northwestern ‘16 and alum of The Garage Residency Program. Let’s find out what Akshat and his team behind Amper have been up to.What’s life like after The Garage?After leaving The Garage in August 2016, the Amper team moved to Shenzhen, China to join HAX - a hardware accelerator. The four months spent in Shenzhen have been the most exciting and intense times so far!
Our business pivoted to an industrial monitoring system in which our product monitors machines and manufacturing operations in factories. Prior to that, we were building a home energy monitoring product. At HAX, we developed full prototypes in three to four days and were able to visit several factories. It was insightful to see how products that we use every day are made - from Legos to smart phones! I also had the chance to learn conversational Mandarin and practice it every day! We’ve recently joined Alchemist Accelerator, a program focused on startups selling to enterprises. The program is based in San Francisco, where we will be until June 2017.The Garage was formative to both Amper and my own perspective on building a company. Through The Garage, we were introduced to some incredible mentors and industry experts, who helped us look at our business critically.
The Wildfire program made us (forced us) to talk to customers and validate if customers really wanted what we were building. This led us to pivoting from our first product idea based on what we learned by having those uncomfortable conversations with customers. Also, being surrounded by people working on ideas they are passionate about was the most rewarding part of being at The Garage. The Garage became my second home and family, and it will be the first place I will visit at Northwestern.This is the first in a new series "After The Garage," on The Magazine, highlighting alumni of The Garage. If you are an alum of The Garage, please contact us to share your story.