Joachim Horn, CEO of SAM Labs, aims to level the playing field in innovation development with SAMs, wireless electronic building blocks connected to an app and to the internet with an intuitive interface, enabling kids, young designers, start-ups and small businesses to create smart products and hardware apps in a matter of minutes. 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 CEO and Founder of SAM Labs, an Internet of Things company. SAM is a toolkit that empowers creatives, students and designers to innovate and build interactive prototypes, products and apps in seconds without any previous coding experience needed. The combined hardware and software toolkit includes wireless sensor and actor modules that connect to the intuitive 'drag and drop' SAM Software, turning any physical object to an internet connected smart device.

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 in 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 has 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."