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Oculi® is a deep-tech, fabless semiconductor company that produces the OCULI SPU™ (Sensing & Processing Unit), a novel architecture and product in the world of AI and vision technology. The OCULI SPU is the only single chip Software-defined Vision Sensor™ that delivers Real-Time Vision Intelligence (VI) at the edge. The OCULI SPU is the product of over 18 years of R&D led by Dr. Charbel Rizk, Founder CEO CTO of Oculi which started at the Johns Hopkins University, and was specifically focused on developing efficient Vision Intelligence on a single-chip that delivers fast response and low bandwidth, power, size, and weight.

 Our Team 

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Charbel Rizk, PhD

Founder, CEO, CTO

Dr. Rizk is a thought leader, Systems Engineer, Principal Investigator / S&T manager with expertise in drones, machine learning, multi-modal semiconductor sensors, sensor fusion, and perception for autonomy. He also made key contributions at Rockwell Aerospace, McDonnell Douglas, Boeing, APL and Johns Hopkins University.


Chad Howard

Founding Member,

Lead Solutions Engineer

Chad Howard is leading Oculi's applications team in the development of novel solutions. He has a BS and MSE in Electrical Engineering from the Johns Hopkins University and worked on the rapid development of wireless communications systems from R&D to operational deployment at APL.

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Sana Kouatly

Executive Administrator

Sana Kouatly is a Senior Administrator with more than 15 years of work experience in the field, and a marketing and communications background. She has worked on several projects in different domains varying from manufacturing to education, and has supported C-level executives in fast-paced and high-pressure environments.

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Philippe Pouliquen, PhD

Founding Member, Co-Inventor

Chief Scientist

Dr. Pouliquen is a researcher with a focus in the design of application specific analog and mixed-mode integrated circuits. He has authored and co-authored over 60 articles in journals and conferences in this area, of which 3 have best paper awards, and is also a co-inventor on 4 patents.

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Jay Moon

Country Manager

Jay Moon is a hardware/computer engineer with over 30 years of experience in technical support and semiconductor sales. He was an FAE for Western Digital and Cirrus Logic in the 90’s and has helped many startups go-to-market in the last 20 years. For example, he was the country manager for Genesis Microchip (acquired by ST Micro in 2007) and for PrimeSense (acquired by Apple in 2013) and he has helped to develop business at Samsung and LG over the last 10 years.

Our Members

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llana Diamond 

Managing Partner at 412 Venture Fund.

As Managing Partner of 412 Venture Fund, Ilana leads fund activities, including sourcing, evaluating and investing in the Pittsburgh region's most promising startups. Previously, Ilana was a Managing Director of Riverfront Ventures, Innovation Works' Venture Fund for early stage companies. She also served at Innovation Works as Managing Director of Hardware and AlphaLab Gear where she led a team that helped startups make rapid progress through the early stages of product and customer development. Earlier in her career, Ilana led and grew tech companies from startup to exit — building management teams, raising venture capital, and managing mergers and acquisitions from both ideas of the table (buyer and seller). Ilana frequently serves in leadership roles on boards of private companies and not-for-profit organizations. Her academic background includes a B.A. in Biological Sciences and Economics from Northwestern University, and an M.B.A. from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

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Jennifer Zhao

Executive Vice President and General Manager, ams Osram

Jennifer Zhao, a visionary executive in the semiconductor industry, currently holds the role of Executive Vice President at ams OSRAM. Renowned for her strategic prowess, she has expanded the company's global footprint by establishing design and application centers in China, India, and Europe. Jennifer is also the President and CEO of ams OSRAM USA Inc., showcasing her leadership in both domestic and international arenas. With a background at Nexperia, where she managed over a billion dollars in revenue as the Managing Director of USA and Senior Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing, Jennifer has consistently propelled companies to success. Recognized for her achievements, she has received prestigious awards, including Silicon Valley Business Journal’s 2021 Women of Influence and the Chinese Institute of Engineers (CIE-USA) 2021 Asian American Executive of the Year (AAEOY). Jennifer, a sought-after speaker, has shared her insights at major industry events, backed by her educational excellence with an MBA from Suffolk University and a Bachelor of Science from Beijing University.

 Our Advisors

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Geoffrey Maroun Akiki

Geoffrey Maroun Akiki has spent almost 40 years in high technology, including executive positions with IBM, GLOBALFOUNDRIES and is currently President of HOYA LSI. He has extensive international experience in both the technical and business side of semiconductors and their associated ecosystems. He holds a B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from Clarkson University and an MBA from the University of Vermont.

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Steve Lamont

Steve Lamont focuses mostly on strategy and marketing for technology businesses. He was previously a managing partner in Accenture's strategy practice, head of marketing for McCaw Cellular Communications, and a senior engagement manager at McKinsey and Company. He currently is an angel investor at Sand Hill Angels and Silicon Catalyst Angels. He has a B.Sc. in computer science from the University of Toronto, and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

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Jay Steinmetz

CEO of Barcoding, Inc. Jay graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in Inventory Management and Management Information Systems, and began his career designing and developing tracking systems. He later founded Barcoding, Inc. in 1997 and has since led the company to become an Inc. 500 company and be recognized by Forbes as one of the top privately held technology companies. Steinmetz has been honored as a Top 40 business leader Under 40 and Entrepreneur of the Year for Technology, and has multiple patents under his name. He has been a guest speaker, guest columnist, and board member for various organizations, and under his leadership, Barcoding, Inc. now employs over 200 people in 17 states and three countries and generates revenue of over $200 million.

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Sam Smith, PhD

Sam Smith has over 25 years experience in a variety of disciplines including computational intelligence, machine learning, network automation, autonomic systems, cloud based computing, intelligent control, embedded systems design, autonomous vehicles and blockchain technology. He has over 120 publications in the fields of intelligent control, survivable network automation, autonomous systems, simulation, computational search, and expert systems, including seven book chapters, 20 journal papers, and 100 refereed conference papers.

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Drue Freeman

Drue Freeman is the former CEO of the Association for Corporate Growth, Silicon Valley, he is also a 30-year semiconductor veteran, with 15 years focused on automotive. He advises companies in the connected car and ADAS/Autonomous ecosystems and is on the Advisory Boards of several public and private.

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Ted Tewksbury

Dr. Tewksbury is an experienced CEO and board director with a proven track record of commercializing disruptive technologies and growing new businesses. Most recently, as CEO of Velodyne Lidar, he led the industry’s game-changing merger with Ouster, where he now serves as Executive Chairman of the Board. Prior to that, as CEO of Eta Compute, Energy Focus, Entropic Communications and IDT, he led transformational change and created significant value for stakeholders. Over the course of his 40 year career, Ted has held management and engineering positions at leading semiconductor companies including AMI Semiconductor, Maxim Integrated Products, IBM Microelectronics and Analog Devices. He currently serves on the boards of Ouster, MaxLinear and Jariet Technologies. Ted earned his MS and PhD degrees in electrical engineering from MIT. Ted brings a wealth of relevant expertise and wisdom to help guide Oculi through its next stage of commercialization and growth.

Oculi® Around The World


Rochester, NY 14604, USA

Baltimore, MD 21228, USA

Raleigh, NC 27614, USA

Contact Information:

(410) 205-5513‬

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