Interview with Shawn Taikratoke: Redefining the Human Journey with Mozee
I had the pleasure of interviewing Shawn Taikratoke, he is the Co-Founder and CEO of Mozee. A startup focused on redefining the human journey.
Shawn Taikratoke is a seasoned software engineer and leader with a remarkable career spanning over a decade in the tech industry. With an unwavering passion for innovation, Shawn has made his mark on the world by developing cutting-edge solutions and working with leading companies such as Apple, Fossil, and worked with various organizations within the Department of Defense.
More recently, Shawn has delved into the world of unmanned vehicles, leveraging his vast experience and skill set to make strides in the defense sector. With a focus on creating solutions to enhance the safety and efficiency of military vehicles, Shawn’s work has had a profound impact on the industry.
Outside of his professional endeavors, Shawn is known for his dedication to mentorship and community building within the software engineering field. He is a firm believer in the power of sharing knowledge and actively participates in conferences, meetups, and workshops to inspire the next generation of tech innovators.
What motivated you to launch your startup?
As a founder with an engineering background, tackling complex challenges and making a difference has always been an integral part of who I am. Traffic and mobility issues have long plagued America and the world at large. The Dallas/Fort Worth area, for instance, faces significant traffic and mobility challenges. A prime example is Arlington, Texas, one of the largest cities in the US, which lacks a mass transit system. It’s problems like these that present enormous opportunities; unfortunately, this is a common narrative not only in America but also globally.
What is it that excites you about what you’re building?
Every startup aspires to make a significant difference. At Mozee, we have the opportunity to create something that revolutionizes the way individuals travel from one location to another. This goes beyond mere transportation; it embodies liberation, allowing people to park at a greater distance and save money. We can all recall the exhilarating sense of freedom we experienced when we received our driver’s licenses, empowering us to go anywhere. This paves the way for prosperity and so much more. With 45% of Americans having no access to mass transit, our mission becomes even more critical in providing viable solutions for enhancing mobility and improving lives.
What has been your biggest challenge when growing your startup?
Besides securing funding, one of the most challenging aspects of expanding Mozee is forging the appropriate alliances and strategic partnerships. Establishing the right connections, like collaborating with suitable cities, is crucial for promoting widespread adoption and ensuring our venture’s success.
What are your future plans for your startup?
We begin by creating a vehicle that fundamentally redefines our current understanding of transportation. Presently, when we think of transit options, we consider light rail systems, subways, ride-shares, scooters, and e-bikes. Our strategy encompasses a more connected, secure, and dependable mode of transport, while taking a pragmatic approach to autonomy. While we all envision futuristic robo-taxis like those in the Jetsons, our focus lies in addressing the existing problems and working towards feasible solutions. From designing commuter seating to building a purpose-driven vehicle from scratch, we aim to reevaluate how these vehicles integrate into our daily lives.
The industry at large often takes the century-old concept of conventional driving and simply adds sensors to it. However, we’re adopting a distinct approach. Our immediate priority is finalizing our vehicles, which are on schedule for a launch later this year, and continuing to establish strategic partnerships with cities.
If you had to share, “words of wisdom,” with a Founder who’s about to start their own startup, what would they be?
- Embrace the learning curve: Accept that you will face challenges, make mistakes, and encounter unforeseen obstacles. Embrace them as opportunities to learn and grow.
- Stay focused on your vision: Keep your ultimate goal in mind and let it guide your decision-making. Don’t get distracted by short-term setbacks or temptations.
- Build a strong team: Surround yourself with skilled, passionate, and dedicated people who share your vision and can help turn it into a reality.
- Be adaptable: The startup landscape is constantly evolving, so be prepared to pivot when needed and adjust your strategies to stay ahead of the curve.
- Practice patience and persistence: Building a successful startup takes time and dedication. Remain patient and persist through the ups and downs.
- Lastly, take care of yourself: Remember that your personal well-being is crucial to your success. Make time for self-care, maintain a work-life balance, and nurture your physical and mental health.
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This was very insightful. Thank you so much for joining us!