University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
AirV Labs develops interactive mixed reality (IMR) environments to transpose learners to educational settings where anyone who wants to learn new skills can do so without having to visit specialized centers at a major university or an institute. They leverage artificial intelligence to create next generation virtual reality environments. They have developed a new portal for VR enhanced synchronous and asynchronous tele-conference and educational content delivery.
Thenkurussi “Kesh” Kesavadas is the founder Director of the Health Care Engineering Systems Center at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the Co-founder of AirV Labs. He is a professor of Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering, and holds faculty appointments in the Department of Computer Science, the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and with the Carle-Illinois College of Medicine at the university. His current research focuses on medical robotics and virtual reality for medicine. He is a serial entrepreneur and has started two successful companies in the area of VR and training. Kesavadas developed the world’s first stand-alone virtual reality Robotic Surgical Simulator called RoSS that is used around the world to train residents and medical students. This invention led to forming Simulated Surgical Systems to commercialize RoSS. He also co-founded Tactus Technologies, a company which introduced several pioneering products such as the V-Frog for K-12 frog dissection curriculum, a forklift simulator for industrial safety, and a 3D modeling software called Protean Clay. In 2019, Kesavadas co-founded AirV Labs, a company with focus on rapid prototyping of VR content which combines knowledge with AI. Kesh Kesavadas has also won numerous awards including SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Innovation, Inventor of the Year award in Western New York and the University of Buffalo’s Visionary of the Year award. He was also named as one of the five gurus of biomedical engineering by Business Week Magazine for his work on VR based medicine. Before joining Illinois, Kesavadas was a professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the State University of New York at Buffalo (NY) where, in 1996, he founded one of the first Virtual Reality labs in the US.
Faisal Yazadi, CEO, is responsible for running all facets of the business including overall operations and business strategy. Faisal is an accomplished executive with 20+ years of proficiency in building operations, leading business cultures through changes, and forming solid key business relationships that lead to overall profitability. Prior to joining AirV Labs, Faisal has held executive position at Immersion Corporation where he built the hardware/software business unit for the VR market from ground up. He later exited Immersion and took the business unit with him to form CyberGlove Systems as one the most successful VR companies in the Silicon Valley. Faisal is seasoned in setting up domestic and international sales channels, product distribution, P&L oversight in a start-up organization in the technology sector. Faisal is result-oriented, decisive leader with proven track record of sales and growing bottom line through tactical market planning and global strategic alliances. Faisal holds a BS in Computer Engineering from State University of New York.
Chinmay Sengupta, CEO of India Operations, is a visionary leader in developing innovation and implementing large scale development sector projects. Until 2018, Chinmay worked at the ICICI Foundation for Inclusive Growth as its Chief Operating Officer. Chinmay’s core expertise lies in building organizations and teams. Over 35 years, Chinmay has consistently demonstrated the skills of nurturing startups, strategic planning, human resource management, management of change, business operations and entrepreneurship in large, medium and small scale industries spanning aircraft manufacturing and avionics, food processing, packaging, consumer durables, telecom technology and development sector. A graduate in Economics, Chinmay is an alumnus of Xavier Institute of Social Service, Ranchi, where he did his Masters in Personnel Management and Industrial Relations in 1984. In personal life, Chinmay is an avid marathoner. He started running at a young age of 53 years, ran his first half marathon in 2013, a first full marathon in 2015 and the first ultramarathon, the Comrades Marathon of 90 km in 2016.