The Future Is Now: Michael Mo of ‘KULR Technology Group’ On How Their Technological Innovations Will Shake Up The Tech Scene
Be comfortable with getting uncomfortable. DON’T be afraid to leave your comfort zone. With every new milestone in your business, you are going to face new struggles. Embrace those challenges…it’s those challenges that provide you and your company the opportunity to grow.
As a part of our series about cutting edge technological breakthroughs, I had the pleasure of interviewing Michael Mo, CEO of KULR Technology Group, Inc.
Mr. Mo is a technology entrepreneur and successful investor with over 25 years of experience in technology management, product development, and marketing. Mr. Mo received a master’s degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from UC Santa Barbara in 1995. He began his career as a design engineer at Hewlett-Packard and started three technology companies as founder and CEO. Mr. Mo was an early venture investor in many successful technology companies, including Spreadtrum Communications (NASDAQ: SPRD) — later acquired for $1.9B.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I come from a semiconductor background, so I’ve always been interested in the correlation between heat and performance degradation at the integrated circuit level. In the mid-2000’s I first met Dr. Timothy Knowles, the CTO and the co-founder of KULR Technology Group. We realized there was a real commercial need for thermal management solutions but in all honesty, a lot of the markets were still quite nascent. Now in 2021 EV’s, drones, battery storage, crypto mining, it all makes sense. But 10 years ago, thermal management wasn’t on very many design engineers’ minds. Today, with the ubiquity of batteries and emphasis on portability, it is on everyone’s radars.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
Not sure about the “most interesting” but the most constant aspect of my career is change. I started my career doing Software / Hardware co-design work at HP. Then I started Internet software companies. From there, I moved back to Semiconductor for many years both from operational and investment side. Currently, I am in thermal and energy management for batteries. I think the next chapter of KULR will be how to build totally sustainable renewable energy systems that are both safe and leave a minimal carbon footprint. The business model and technology will continue to evolve. The most interesting part of my career is its constant evolution.
Can you tell us about the Cutting edge technological breakthroughs that you are working on? How do you think that will help people?
KULR enables leading aerospace, electronics, energy storage, 5G technology, and electric vehicle manufacturers to create cooler, lighter, and safer products for the consumer. It’s pretty obvious why the safety part is paramount and why it will help people and society in general. You hear on the news of sporadic EV’s catching on fire, or the Arizona battery facility that sent four firefighters to the hospital in 2019. These occurrences are going to become more frequent over time as demand on batteries becomes greater over time. KULR wants to work with companies and help solve these thermal issues before they arise so there is no loss of life in the future when batteries fail and violently explode. We will build sustainability on the foundation of safety.
How do you think this might change the world?
The holy-grail is to build a close-loop battery system that is 100% safe with all parts that can be recycled and reusable. It’s our goal to build such a fully sustainable renewable energy source for the world.
Keeping “Black Mirror” in mind can you see any potential drawbacks about this technology that people should think more deeply about?
In general, Black Mirror contemplates a bleak and dystopian future society. Though every generation is concerned with the perils of technology advancing, our company’s goal is a noble one. Help society create a sustainable energy source. Personally, I don’t see any drawbacks in that mission.
Was there a “tipping point” that led you to this breakthrough? Can you tell us that story?
I am a believer of success by accumulation, which means overnight success stories take years or decades to build. That being said, the “tipping point” for KULR’s rise in the market is when EV and battery storage technology become the hot topic of 2020, no pun intended. Now, the 30 years of thermal management technologies developed by our engineering team is finding its breakthrough applications.
What do you need to lead this technology to widespread adoption?
From a company perspective, just work hard, execute, and do not get distracted. As EV’s, battery storage, drone delivery, etc. become more widely adopted, we are prepared to ride that technological wave. We are a company built on innovative infrastructure, components, and testing solutions. If the different verticals we serve gain wide acceptance, to some degree, our thermal solutions will as well.
What have you been doing to publicize this idea? Have you been using any innovative marketing strategies?
We found the digital medium to be the most effective to get our story out there. Channels such as LinkedIn and Twitter are highly engaging and cost effective.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
There have been too many people helping me along the way… I have been fortunate with a lot of support from my family, my friends and people who I have done business with for the last 20 years. The best advice I will give on this topic is to be nice to people around you.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I try to help others around me. Additionally, I strive to do good in my community and to my partners.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why. (Please share a story or example for each.)
- However long you think something will take, multiply it by at least 5. Whether it’s raising capital, hiring employees, securing a contract, it will always take longer than you think. And it will test your resolve along the way.
- Finding good people to populate your team with is hard. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of great people that are the perfect fit for your team out there — finding them is the hard part. It will take time.
- Quality research is paramount. Before you jump into a new opportunity, pivot to a different vertical, or allocate substantial capital, I implore that you research, research, research. You need to do your homework before making a big company decision. Otherwise, it will cost you much more than just time and money. Chasing short term trends is very dangerous.
- It is not always about the money. Of course, I have taken on projects because of a financial opportunity. Looking back though, the most successful ones have always been the ones that had more of personal connection and did not necessarily appear to be that lucrative.
- Be comfortable with getting uncomfortable. DON’T be afraid to leave your comfort zone. With every new milestone in your business, you are going to face new struggles. Embrace those challenges…it’s those challenges that provide you and your company the opportunity to grow.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
The movement and mantra I am post passionate about is “Treat others the way you want to be treated.”
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
Steve Jobs “If you enjoy what you do, you will never work another day.”
Anonymous “Never Give Up!”
Some very well known VCs read this column. If you had 60 seconds to make a pitch to a VC, what would you say? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂
KULR takes space technologies to make battery and electronics cooler, lighter, and safer.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
For up-to-date info on our company please follow us on Twitter @KULRTech
Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational.
The Future Is Now: Michael Mo of ‘KULR Technology Group’ On How Their Technological Innovations… was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.