The Silicon Review
“Technology is very similar in that if you aren’t moving forward and innovating, then eventually you will lose your value in the market and be relegated to the dustbin of history.”
During the 1980s, the Ethernet cable was the biggest innovation of the decade. It let users connect to the World Wide Web and took them places they’ve never been before. However, when WiFi was invented in 1998, people moved away from Ethernet cables to WiFi as it promised wireless connectivity at better speeds. Importantly, having portable connected devices that are battery operated and can be charged wirelessly is the latest trend to hit the technological market.
In light of the above, we’re pleased to present Spark Connected – a pioneer in the wireless power industry.
Spark Connected was founded with a purpose to transform wireless power delivery and intelligent battery charging with innovative platforms, disruptive technology, and breakthrough products enabling an enhanced user experience for all.
The company specializes in product development and engineering solutions with a team of innovators who have over two decades of combined deep domain experience. Spark takes pride in delivering advanced end-to-end wireless power system solutions that benefit industries and markets as diverse as industrial, medical, automotive, telecomand consumer areas.
In Conversation with Ken Moore, Spark Connected CEO
Can you brief us about the history of your company?
Spark Connected was founded in 2017 in Dallas, Texas. With a focus on specialized product development and engineering solutions, the firm has produced cutting-edge inductive and resonant wireless power and charging solutions. We are early pioneers in creating safe products, passing and exceeding regulatory requirements. We have partnered with Infineon Technologies, AG and are a full member of the Wireless Power Consortium (Qi). Our Spark team members hold WPC co-chair positions in the Mobile Laptop, Automotive and Next Generation Transmitter committees, where we help guide the future wireless power standards.
What is your greatest fear and how do you manage it?
My biggest fear in both technology and business is to stop moving forward. There is an old saying that some people are like sharks. A shark must continue swimming forward to breathe through its gills, and if a shark stops swimming, it will die. Technology is very similar in the sense that if you aren’t moving forward and innovating, then eventually you will lose your value in the market and be relegated to the dustbin of history. Spark is all about innovating faster than our competitors, who are often much bigger than we are.
What were the biggest initial hurdles to building your business and how did you overcome them?
The biggest initial hurdles to building our business were funding and market awareness. Funding a startup in the post-2008 era is difficult, and making customers aware of your existence in this information-overload age is even more difficult. To solve the funding issue, we took the self-funding route. I would not recommend this road for those who value their peace of mind, but in business, you often have to place bets on your vision and your ability to execute. For market awareness, there is no substitute for good old-fashioned relationship building and word of mouth campaigns.
‘It is difficult to start a venture, but far more difficult to maintain it’. How would you and your team interpret this saying?
This goes back to moving versus standing still. In the beginning, everything is new and exciting. But very soon, you have to execute on all those promises you made to the market. So you now have to maintain your focus on innovating ahead of your competition, while still executing so your current customers can develop their products. This is a delicate balance that many find difficult, if not impossible. As a leader, if you have done your job by building a strong team around a clear strategy, you can make the present a reality while still keeping your foot on the accelerator and moving forward.
If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
Talk to someone who has done it before (and been successful), and make them your mentor. It will save you quite a few stubbed toes and smashed thumbs.
What do you think is the most memorable moment in your career?
The most memorable moment would be when I received my first promotion ever to lead a team. It changed me in ways I never thoughtpossible. A team is a very effective mirror that forces you to try and be a better leader, and a better person.
What are your future focus areas?
If our technology can improve the user experience of someone who is trying to power or charge a device, then that is where our focus will be.
The Visionary Leader of Spark Connected: Ken Moore
Ken Moore, CEO of Spark Connected, has always been interested in taking things apart. Alarm clocks, radios…whatever he could get his hands on. Then in the mid-1970s, his father brought him to “bring your sons/daughters to work day”, and sat him down in front of a very early computer terminal. He ran a program and the computer asked Ken his name. When he did so it responded “Hello Ken, my name is PDP. Would you like to play a game with me?” Ken was completely fascinated by that funny green TV that seemed so alive, and after that it was all about technology.
Ken went on to attend the University of California, Irvine, where he received his BS in Electrical Engineering, and the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University where he received his MBA. Ken has been elected as the Co-Chair of the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) Mobile Laptop Task Force.
“If our technology can improve the user experience of someone who is trying to power or charge something, then that is where our focus will be.”