Joachim (MEng Mechanical Engineering 2013)
Joachim (MEng Mechanical Engineering 2013) is the CEO of SAM Labs, an Education Technology company that empowers teachers with the most engaging STEAM solution including lesson plans, apps and electronics. You can read recent coverage about SAM Labs in The Guardian and The Sunday Times.
Tell us about your time at Imperial
"It was very difficult to adapt to life at Imperial at first, but then I fell in love with projects and group work during my third year. One of my fondest memories is of working 8am-8pm on designing, manufacturing, and testing a six degree of freedom platform in a group of four MechEngers, as well as setting up the Imperial College Design Collective. There’s a lot to learn at Imperial, so surround yourself with people who are brilliant and passionate."
Tell us a bit about the work you’re doing now.
"I’m the Founder of SAM Labs, an Education Technology company. SAM Labs offers a solution for teachers who are teaching computer science by providing in-classroom support around the STEAM Kit for both the early adopter and the tech-hesitant teacher by offering fully integrated and curriculum-based lesson plans and hands-on educator support. With partners like Intel Education and Microsoft Education, SAM Labs aims to inspire every student to discover the fun in coding and creating.
With a focus on building products that capture all students’ imaginations, SAM Labs is democratising the EdTech industry. By combining highly engaging software with intuitive, user-friendly hardware, SAM Labs teaches coding and engineering to children of all skill sets and interests. Offering projects across a variety of subjects — from Biology to Probability, to Music — SAM Labs builds EdTech products for the athlete and the artist. It makes it possible to instantly create robots, home automation or design projects, such as interactive doorbells, twerk bots, responsive shoes and smart lights.
Founding a company has been a real highlight of my career, dealing with the joys of having to learn everything and making stupid and offensive mistakes every day. I worked hard at Imperial and built a group of friends who were passionate about tackling technical challenges which have been really useful in my work since. I plan to grow SAM Labs to be a great empowering player in the Internet of Things market."
What would be your advice for current students?
"Your friends/colleagues/professors are about a quarter as sure or set on what they’re doing as the impression they give. Allow this to cut yourself some slack in terms of finding exactly what you enjoy and what makes you happy."
What’s the most difficult decision you’ve ever had to make?
"Whether to have jam or Nutella this morning."
Do you have a favourite quote or saying?
"Joseph Conrad - 'I don't like work - no man does - but I like what is in the work - the chance to find yourself. Your own reality - for yourself not for others - what no other man can ever know. They can only see the mere show, and never can tell what it really means.'"
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
"I should have chosen jam."