S1E9 – Saman Farid

Apple Podcasts Spotify YouTube

A venture capitalist turned robotics entrepreneur, Saman Farid witnessed the low adoption rates for robotics and saw an opportunity to help make robotic solutions easier to deploy. It wasn’t easy going from a venture capitalist to an entrepreneur. However, Farid realized he didn’t want to be a cheerleader for robotics companies, he wanted to be out on the playing field. After years of funding several successful advanced technology solutions, Farid took the leap and founded Formic, which combines financial innovation with a firm understanding of robotics in order to enable manufacturing customers to deploy and scale automation quickly and with minimal risk.

Tune in to Crazy Hard Robots as Saman Farid, founder and CEO of Formic, chats with Tom about how his venture capital experiences led him to entrepreneurship.

Listen to Saman and Tom talk about
  • What it was like to go from being a venture capitalist investing in robotics companies to becoming a robotics entrepreneur.
  • What are the economics of robotic solutions?
  • What does it mean to be a full-service robot operations company?
  • Chris Anderson’s “peace-time dividends of the smartphone wars” as it relates to producing robots.
About Saman Farid

Saman has had a passion for robotics and entrepreneurship since childhood. By age 10 he had disassembled and (often unsuccessfully) reassembled every piece of electronics in his parents house. Saman started his first company at age 14 building custom computers and office networking, and has been enthusiastically finding ways to bring technology to real-world applications ever since.

Prior to founding Formic, Saman was a founding partner of Baidu Ventures, a $600 million technology venture capital fund, Saman also founded Comet Labs, an early stage AI and robotics incubator and investment fund. Across his investment career, Saman has invested and sat on the boards of more than 30 AI & robotics companies. Before becoming an investor, Saman built and sold an ecommerce company and an online video company, and has worked in various roles at companies like Microsoft, Honeywell, and Verizon.

Saman has an interdisciplinary engineering degree from The Cooper Union in NYC, and an MBA from a joint program between Tsinghua University and the MIT Sloan School of Businesses. Outside of Formic, Saman still actively advises and supports other startup founders, does community service and youth mentorship in his neighborhood, and is raising a newborn son.


Back to Episodes