Living Entrepreneurship Blog / Babson Entrepreneurs

2017 SVP Startup Profile: CrossRoad Optics

Ryan Louie and Jacob Riedel of CrossRoad Optics

Jacob Riedel, F.W. Olin College of Engineering’17: CEO
Ryan Louie, F.W. Olin College of Engineering ’17: CTO

What’s CrossRoad Optics?
CrossRoad Optics uses Computer Vision to monitor and track road users, including pedestrians, bikes and cars. The data we provide quantifies the road and provides new insight for advocates, retail shop owners, developers, municipalities, and many other groups.

What is the story behind your startup?
Our project originates with the Santos Family Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing road safety. With their guidance, a three-year project began in Olin College’s Scope program. At the end of the project in 2017, Ryan and I (Jacob) were two of the member on the team. Since the foundation was limited in its ability to spread the tool that our team created, Ryan and I decided to take up the touch and build a growing business at the same time.

What’s been a big milestone/accomplishment you’ve made since Summer Venture Program started?
We are now incorporated! We were able to identify our beachhead market and are currently exploring potential customers in this space. To meet their needs, we also refined our tech to work live, rather than just a post-processing platform (what we had in the past).

What’s been a big obstacle/surprise that you faced?
We initially approached city municipalities, but realized that they move to slow for a startup attempting to learn and grow. We have pivoted to store owners who are interested in quantitative data on foot traffic.

Any tips for aspiring entrepreneurs that you want to share?
Remember your grand vision for what you believe you can be. That will be your north star when you begin to lose direction and not knowing where or how to keep working.

Meet CrossRoad Optics at the Summer Venture Showcase on Thursday July 27. Register now! >>