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July 26, 2020

#128: Saurav Agarwal, Co-Founder, CEO and CTO of SIERA.AI, Providing Digital Inspection, Active Collision Avoidance, and Automation for Industrial Vehicles

#128: Saurav Agarwal, Co-Founder, CEO and CTO of SIERA.AI, Providing Digital Inspection, Active Collision Avoidance, and Automation for Industrial Vehicles

Saurav Agarwal is an entrepreneur and engineer. He is currently the founder, CEO & CTO at his second startup, , which uses AI-driven solutions to boost compliance, prevent accidents, and fill labor shortages in logistics through digital...


Saurav Agarwal is an entrepreneur and engineer. He is currently the founder, CEO & CTO at his second startup, SIERA.AI, which uses AI-driven solutions to boost compliance, prevent accidents, and fill labor shortages in logistics through digital inspection software, forklift collision prevention, and automated material handling.

Saurav got his start in robotics during his undergrad at IIT Bombay. He went on to do an M.S. and Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering at Texas A&M University in the EDP Lab and garnered several awards including the Qualcomm Padovani Fellowship. His research work is within the field of Motion Planning Under Uncertainty and SLAM for mobile robots. In 2013 he founded an online travel marketplace for finding local guides called GuideBuddy. Over the past 12 years he has developed self-driving cars, autonomous drones and computer vision systems. In his free time, he enjoys making music with his wife, cooking, reading and writing.

Connect with Saurav Agarwal

Some of the Topics Covered by Saurav Agarwal in this Episode

  • How Saurav started SIERA.AI
  • Getting a grant from the National Science Foundation and the customer discovery process
  • Defining their initial product and building the first prototype
  • How they got connected with their first customer
  • How the company began to grow
  • Networking and fundraising through Dorm Room Fund and angel investors
  • Saurav's experience as a POC entrepreneur in Texas
  • SIERA.AI's current traction and team
  • How Saurav balances the roles of both CEO and CTO and the division of work with his co-founder Suhas
  • How Saurav approaches hiring
  • The why, what, how approach
  • SIERA.AI's product offerings
  • How they approach growth and customer acquisition
  • SIERA.AI's response to COVID-19 and its affect on the business and team
  • SIERA.AI's pricing model
  • How Saurav views competition
  • The biggest challenges Saurav has faced as an entrepreneur
  • How Saurav approaches short term versus long term planning by being impatient with action and patient with results
  • Saurav's advice regarding fundraising
  • Saurav's grand vision for SIERA.AI
  • Saurav's book recommendations
  • How Saurav manages his time daily
  • What Saurav does to recharge
  • Saurav's advice for entrepreneurs

Links from the Episode