Companies Founded by LIDS Community Members

The following are examples of companies — some large, some small — that have been founded or co-founded by LIDS alumni, faculty, and/or researchers. Together, they are an example of the breadth of activities of the LIDS community.

ALPHATECH was founded in 1978 by a team that included former LIDS directors Michael Athans and Alan Willsky, as well as LIDS alum and former LIDS faculty member Nils Sandell (PhD ‘74), and LIDS alum David Kleinman (PhD '67). The company carried out research and development, primarily for the US Department of Defense, in areas such as C4ISR (Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance). ALPHATECH grew to approximately 300 employees, which included many LIDS alums, and was acquired in 2005 by BAE Systems.

Celect, Inc. was founded in 2013 by LIDS faculty member Devavrat Shah, together with Prof. Vivek Farias from the MIT Sloan School of Management. The mission of Celect is to bring the science of decision making to the art of retailing in a data-driven manner. Celect was acquired in 2019.



Celer Network was co-founded in 2018 by LIDS alum Qingkai Liang (PhD ’18), and his colleagues Mo Dong, Junda Liu, and Xiaozhou Li. The company develops layer-2 scaling solutions that enable fast, easy, and secure transactions on blockchains.

DAtAnchor was founded in 2018 by LIDS alum C. Emre Koksal (PhD ‘02), who is also a Professor at Ohio State University. DAtAnchor is a cybersecurity start-up that embeds security within data, allowing it to be moved and used safely, while mitigating potential loss.

Enuvis, Inc. was co-founded in 2000 by a team that included LIDS alum Benjamin Van Roy (PhD ’98) and LIDS faculty member and alum John Tsitsiklis (PhD ’84). The company developed GPS technology for smart phones in urban environments, and was acquired by SiRF Technology, Inc., in 2003.

FastForward Networks was co-founded in 1997 by LIDS alum Abhay Parekh (PhD ’92). The company built equipment for the first application-level network for multicasting video, and was acquired by Inktomi Corporation in 2000.

Immedia Semiconductor, Inc. was co-founded by a group of MIT graduates in 2008 including LIDS alum Daniel Grunberg (PhD ’86). Initially a semiconductor company making image processing chips, Immedia morphed into a consumer electronics company called Blink that sold a battery-operated security camera. Blink was sold to Amazon in 2017.



nuTonomy was co-founded in 2013 by LIDS alum and former LIDS faculty member Emilio Frazzoli (PhD ’01), and is focused on improving the safety, efficiency, and accessibility of transportation in cities worldwide, through the development of software for driverless vehicles. nuTonomy was acquired by Delphi (now Aptiv) in 2017.



Optimus Ride was co-founded in 2015 by an MIT team that included LIDS alum and faculty member Sertac Karaman (PhD ’12). The company develops self-driving technologies that enable efficient, sustainable, and equitable mobility systems.

Polaran Ltd. was founded in 2011 by LIDS alum Erdal Arikan (PhD '86) who is also a professor at Bilkent University, Turkey. Polaran has been developing error-correction coding products and IP related to polar codes.



Signition LP, founded in 2015 by alum Shane Haas (PhD ‘03) and colleagues Ravi Chandler and George Zweig, is a systematic trading firm that uses ideas from statistics, information theory, and machine learning to make predictions in financial markets.

Sycamore Networks, Inc. was co-founded in 1998 by LIDS alum Richard Barry (PhD '93), Eric Swanson, and Desh Deshpande. An innovator in optical transport networks, Sycamore brought software intelligence, mesh networking, and long haul transport to the optical layer. At its peak, Sycamore employed over 1200 employees. In 2013, it was taken private and its switching division was rolled up with Tell Labs and Nokia Siemens Optical to form Coriant Networks. Sycamore Networks hardware and software continues to operate in major networks around the world.



Systems & Technology Research (STR) was founded in 2010 by a team that included LIDS alums Mark Luettgen (PhD ‘93) and Joel Douglas (PhD ‘95), along with Gil Ettinger, Eric Jones, Mark McClure, and Richard Wishner. STR specializes in advanced research and development for defense, intelligence, and homeland security applications, developing and delivering innovative sensors (RF, acoustic, and EO/IR) and information processing capabilities, as well as cyber, data analytics, and command & control.