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Meet Daniel Chesher of ChesherTech in Irvine

Today we’d like to introduce you to Daniel Chesher.

Daniel, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
After earning a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the University of California, Santa Barbara, I accepted a position as a software engineer in the defense industry. Over the next 7 years, I worked with a lot of very talented people on a wide variety of systems for the United States military. We worked on everything from low-level embedded applications to smartphone apps. In my time there, I learned a lot about the rigorous process of engineering safety-critical software applications and felt fortunate to have the opportunity to help build systems designed to improve the safety of our troops as they put their lives on the line for our country.

As the last of those projects ended, I transitioned into the aerospace industry. Over the following 4 years, I worked on mission planning and navigation software for satellites. I again had the opportunity to work with some very intelligent and talented people on a number of extremely challenging projects. At the end of it all, it was pretty amazing to watch a satellite lift into space atop an enormous launch vehicle and then execute the flight plan that had been calculated using our software.

As that work came to a close in 2016, a friend introduced me to the growing number of startup companies in the IoT (Internet of Things) industry. For the past few years, I have been very interested in a subset of the IoT industry: smart home systems. I feel that this industry has a lot of potential to help people automate their homes, saving them time and money. There is also great potential for helping the environment by enabling homes to run more efficiently, using less of our natural resources. For some time, I have wanted to contribute to this growing industry. I decided that the time was right to start my own business and in August of 2016 I founded ChesherTech, Inc. For the past year I have been using the skills that I honed in the defense and aerospace industries to design and build devices for smart home systems. It has been a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to releasing the first of our smart home devices in the near future.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
There have certainly been a few bumps along the way. While I have a lot of experience in engineering, I am constantly reminded how much I have to learn about the business side of things. It’s one thing to design and build one device, but building a business to manufacture, market, and sell that device is an entirely different animal. Every day is a new learning experience.

The biggest challenge has been funding that period of time between initial conception of an idea for a device and bringing that device to market. Designing and building a quality product takes a lot of time and there really is no income until the product is complete.

Finding funding for research and development has been a challenge. I was able to fund this partially by leveraging my experience as a software engineer to contract with clients who needed help with writing software for their business. While this has helped offset the cost of R&D, it also takes time away from R&D. Fortunately, I was able to build a decent amount of personal liquid assets during my time in the defense and aerospace industries, and I have been able to use the majority of that to fund our initial R&D costs as well as the business infrastructure necessary to manufacture and sell it.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about ChesherTech – what should we know?
ChesherTech designs and builds devices for smart home systems. We build devices that help people to run their homes more efficiently, saving them time and money. We believe that what sets us apart from other companies is our commitment to quality and innovation. We are committed to finding new ways to help people automate their homes and we are determined to build the highest quality devices to achieve that goal by applying the same rigorous engineering principles that are seen in the defense and aerospace industries.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
The support that I have received from family and friends has been absolutely essential. I couldn’t have done this without them. Starting a business is a very daunting task, especially when you know that it will take at least a couple of years for the business to become profitable, if it does at all. Their constant feedback and encouragement is vital to the success of the business.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Personal photo by: Light & Shine Photography

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