#14: From Self-Taught Programmer at 13 to Solving Massive Problems w/ Exponential Technologies at 18 w/ Alishba Imran, Co-founder of Voltx & Developer at Hanson Robotics

Hello! I’m Julian and I’m a Gen Z entrepreneur, software engineer, and podcaster. I am the fusion of an ambitious entrepreneur, a tech whiz, a futurist, a productivity aficionado, and a self-improvement junkie.
I am currently the Co-Founder & CEO at Mindflow (https://apple.co/3QFdPlE). Previously, I was the co-founder & CTO at Vize and worked as a Software Engineer at Meta, LinkedIn, and Goldman Sachs.

“Being able to create something pivotal is so much more meaningful to me than spending my life doing something that is incremental or something that the world doesn’t really need.

– Alishba Imran

At 13, she taught herself programming. And ever since the robotics club in middle school captured her interest, her vigor for driving pivotal change and solving hard technical problems, has been unstoppable.

By 15, her technological bandwidth expanded to machine learning and blockchain. From developing platforms to track counterfeit medication in developing countries to reducing the cost of prosthetics, she was deservingly awarded the “Young Innovator to Watch” by the Consumer Technology Association.

Today, Alisha Imran continues to invent the future at age 18. Her passion? Exploring the intersection between significant problems and the cutting edge technology that can solve them. She manifests this through three key roles: She is the Co-founder at Voltx, a developer at Hanson Robotics, and a Machine Learning Intern at Kindred.ai.

Her startup, Voltx, is a machine learning company that is developing software to accelerate and optimize the development of electrochemical devices such as batteries and supercapacitors (SC). Hanson Robotics is an AI and robotics company dedicated to creating socially intelligent machines that enrich the quality of our lives. They are the creators of Sophia, the human-like robot. At Kindred.ai, she will be developing more intelligent machines using cutting-edge techniques in reinforcement learning (RL) and imitation learning.

I think starting a company is really exciting because you’re building something that literally does not exist. And so you’re really trying to change the way things operate, which can be really scary. But at the same time, there’s so much to learn and so much room to grow.”

– Alishba Imran

💬 Discussed in this episode…

● [02:13] Alishba’s story and entrepreneurial journey
● [06:12] Why she started coding at 13
● [12:04] How she practices her self awareness consistently
● [15:27] Voltx pitch and the problem they’re solving
● [18:33] How she discovered this problem
● [22:33] Why she focuses on solving massive problems
● [26:01] Alishba’s process for researching and discovering different problems
● [28:18] How she decides which technologies to focus on or which problems to prioritize
● [31:44] The one concept she would teach all young entrepreneurs
● [34:13] Challenges, limiting beliefs, or thoughts she faced as a female founder
● [36:12] How will Alishba invent the future?

What is the PROBLEM that Voltx is solving?

Innovations from electric and flying cars to solar panels are enabled by lithium ion batteries. In the development of these batteries and supercapacitors, testing is the primary bottleneck. For example, long duration manual testing for a lithium ion battery can take 3 months to a year to complete. Industry competitors are working towards the next best battery with the highest energy density output, but no one is optimizing the development process. Therefore, batteries are currently unscalable. Companies can’t increase their production and renewable energy can’t be sustained without these massive energy storage systems.

Finding the root of a problem comes from breaking down the Secause of the problem. A lot of it just comes from questioning every kind of hypothesis you have. So when you find an answer to a question, just keep asking yourself, ‘Why?’”

– Alishba Imran

🛠️ What is Voltx’s SOLUTION and VISION?

A software platform to reduce battery testing time.

This will exponentially expedite the development process of batteries. Voltx aspires to collaborate with battery manufacturing companies to increase the number of devices they’re producing annually. Eventually, these applications will allow renewable energies to be more stable and reliable for widespread use and application. Electric vehicles will become more accessible to the masses, improving the environment through less carbon emissions.

As a result, Voltx will increase the adoption of renewable energy and increase electric vehicles on the road.

Voltx’s mission is to “optimize and accelerate energy storage.

“You need to be able to ask yourself why enough times to the point that you can really understand the core thing that relates to the overarching problem”

– Alishba Imran

💣 3 Value Bombs

  1. If you’re not proactive, you’re reactive. Diversify your interests and pursue what naturally piques your curiosity. Build self awareness through self reflection and philosophy. Learn new philosophical concepts and leverage those to become increasingly self aware through your life experiences. Incorporate mindfulness into your routine by journalling or meditating periodically. Thereafter, cultivate your intention in every situation.
  2. Why? To solve a broad problem, first conduct a root cause analysis. Then thoroughly analyze the process, materials and parties involved that lead to the root of the problem. Keep asking yourself “Why?” repeatedly until you gain a deeper level of insight into your potential solution. What do other people not know? This first principles thinking will lead you to conclusions most people have not gotten to, which will give you an unfair advantage in understanding and solving the problem.
  3. Why solve a small, incremental problem when you can devote yourself to something massive? Opportunity cost is always an important consideration with every decision you make. Everyone possesses a limited storage of energy and focus, so become comfortable with complexity and target the problems that matter most to you and to the world.

People & Resources Mentioned 

Alishba Imran’s LinkedIn
Alishba Imran’s Twitter
Alishba Imran’s Email
Voltx’s Website
Voltx’s LinkedIn

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Inventing The Future


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Episode 14