It’s not the technology, it’s the people! - Caleb Chung (inventor)
Groundbreaking A.I., mind numbing algorithms, and ultra-advanced circuitry; the technology behind Pleo is nothing short of breathtaking. But the wonder does not lie in this trio of technomagic but with the people that are Ugobe. Advanced electronic circuits and artificial intelligence may be the brains of the robotics industry, but Caleb Chung is its’ heart and soul.
What makes Caleb Chung special as an inventor? First, he is a talented mime, a terrific skill to have when creating a designer life form whose movements are so achingly real that the word irresistible pales to describe it. Second he is a former stunt man and comedian. This is probably not the kind of background you would expect from someone who is bringing to life an artificial life form; especially one that is so lovable and real that it reminds us of the enchanting designer species in the futuristic film Bladerunner. He is a rare mix of brilliant scientist and gifted entertainer, a unique combination that was the necessary human formula required to bring Pleo to life.
Pleo does not live by technology alone! - Bob Christopher (CEO)
But he is not alone. Next up in our team of passionate Pleo people is CEO Bob Christopher. He is one of the people that help launched the VOIP industry with ISPtel, a company he founded that connects over 35 of the world’s biggest telephone companies. Now he intends to use his visionary leadership and management style to connect people once again, this time with a cuddly baby dinosaur with big blue eyes named Pleo. Your next phone call may well be over a VOIP network he helped facilitate, when you call your friends to tell them excitedly about the new pet baby dinosaur you just bought.
But the technology is cool! - John Sosoka (CTO)
Click here to watch video interviews of John Sosoka talking about Pleo and Ugobe and read a transcript that talks about the upcoming Pleo Developer’s Kit.
Everyone knows the best toys are those that teach. Creating and implementing solid educational toy technology is a tough job and John Sosoka knows that better than anybody. Before jumping on board the Ugobe ship he was CTO at a company called Neurosmith. Under his guidance Neurosmith’s toys won the hearts and minds of nearly every judge that gave out awards to toy companies. Famous for their toys that make your child happy and smarter, such as IQBaby and IQPreSchool, you cannot step very far in the toy industry without running into one of their best-selling Small World Toys brand of toys. As CTO, John Sosoka played an integral part in managing and shaping the award winning technology that is Neurosmith’s claim to fame.
An on-staff anthropologist? Yes! - Diana Stern (Marketing Director)
What could be more interesting and fitting than having a Director of Marketing with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology, from the University of California, Berkeley no less? I don’t know if that’s why Bob Christopher brought her over from Nextsport, but I can’t think of a better person to have market a baby Camarasaurus dinosaur! Although it’s not the same as a degree in Paleontology, I’ll bet she knows plenty about dinosaurs and she obviously has a love for history and evolution and Pleo is history and evolution in the making! Having successfully created and sold a company of her own, Precision Property Services, she has a strong entrepreneurial footing that is sure to give Ugobe the solid marketing guidance it deserves.
Ok, but who’s minding the store? - Liz Gasper (CFO)
Baby dinosaurs need love and baby dinosaur-making companies need love and guidance too. Ever heard of Leapfrog Enterprises? If you are anywhere within 10 feet of the educational toy industry you have, and as LeapFrong’s CFO Liz was a crucial part of their success. With extensive resources dedicated to helping teachers directly, Leapfrog prides itself on providing multi sensory technology to help educators capture the imagination of young students everywhere. Her management background includes well known software companies like Sybase and Rightworks along with an advisory position at Big Bang Ideas, the parent company to Big Boing Toys which was later acquired by noted toy maker Cranium. Liz obviously knows how to get a company funded and how to keep it healthy and that’s important to those of us that intend to keep our Pleos for a long, long time!
Someone’s gotta build Pleo, lots of them! - Daniel Lau (VP - Product Engineering)
All of this great technology, funding, and marketing doesn’t mean a thing unless someone builds millions of little Pleos for us. That job has landed in the extraordinarily capable hands of Daniel Lau, who began his illustrious career at Mattel. Another Leapfrog veteran, he acts as liaison to Asia and uses his talents to make sure that the overseas manufacturing skill and resources are in place to deliver the little green friend we’re all dying to hold. No stranger to bringing unique imaginative products to market, he personally oversaw the production of LeapFrog’s most successful product launch ever, the Flytop Pen Computer.
In the end, it always comes back to Rock ‘n’ Roll! - Mack Fraga (Creative Director)
You gotta be good to do the album covers for music legends like Pink Floyd, Madonna, and Eric Clapton and Mack Fraga is that good! At music media and merchandising company Winterland products he held the prestigious title of Art Director. Later he took his talents to LeapFrog where his special brand of artwork gave their toys a special identity all their own and played an important role in the company’s success. You can also find his work on the print garments for famous fashion companies like Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren.
Extra, extra read all about it, cuddly dino takes world by storm! - ShiftComm (Public Relations)
Pleo has already graced the pages and offices of superstar technolust, robotics, and science fiction sites like Wired magazine, Sci-Fi.com, Engadget, Gizmodo, i4u, Make Magazine, and so many others. Everywhere Pleo goes praise follows and hearts melt when the little blue eyed charmer starts to play. The company behind this massive wave of early but well deserved fame is ShiftComm, Ugobe’s dynamite public relations company. Heavyweight business technology magazine Red Herring included 3 of ShiftComm’s clients in their Red Herring 100 awards, a hand picked list that showcases only the best and brightest tech companies in the U.S. This list, thanks to ShiftComm’s superb strategies for generating publicity, includes Email reputation and accreditation firm Habeas, data auditing and security company Tizor, and finally Vivox, a powerhouse provider of online community services technologies that are the backbone to leading dating and MMORPG gaming sites. All of these notable top tech companies are happy Shiftcomm customers. Time Magazine’s web site has already named Pleo one of the Best Inventions of 2006 and with ShiftComm backing Ugobe’s bid for robotics stardom, I feel confident that Pleo’s bright future is assured.