Solvers from Diverse Countries achieve Successful Results

IdeaConnection Interview with a Problem Solver
By Jane Mundy
Francis Cho received a PhD in mechanical engineering from The University of Texas, and is the CEO and co-founder of VoRo Technology LLC.

photo of Dr. Francis ChoDr. Francis Cho says his experience with IdeaConnection was not only enjoyable; it also gave valuable insight to help with a venture business he has in the works. In fact Cho found IdeaConnection because he was setting up his own company and seeking seed money to support the business idea. "I was looking at all the web searches and frankly I didn't expect much from," says Cho. "I was pleasantly surprised when I got a call from Scott Wurtele."

"The reason I was skeptical was simply because of the characteristics of web business," he explains. "People jump in and jump out and don't know who to trust. As well, lots of companies outsource and we are currently downsizing our company."

It didn't take long for Cho to change his attitude. "For projects to become successful, companies will post their problems and look for solution solvers from the outside. In other words, I see as cutting edge and significant. It needs a bit of tweaking but on the whole, I think there is great potential; it is a great business model."

One reason Cho believed in IdeaConnection and enjoyed the project was the absence of team member hierarchy. "It took some time to fully understand each other, our strengths and weaknesses and personalities," he says, "and that is rarely experienced in a formal company environment."

Cho has done similar work managing a project in the US for a Korean/Japanese company, "but it was very much a hierarchy." Cho says it was wonderful to see experienced people working in different fields. The team comprised two people with mathematics backgrounds and two business people with different characteristics. And they spanned three countries: Canada, England and the U.S. Make that four countries – the initiator (the Solution Seeker) hails from the European Union.

Getting back to the project, "The first part of the problem – the definition – took a long time," says Cho. "We should be able to convert the seeker's need for the solution to engineering specifications and that was the hurdle. Once that was clear, as Einstein said, the rest are all details."

Cho adds that, although the project was technically familiar to him, "The application was a bit different compared with an American counterpart – the project is related to gaming but the Europeans are looking for a different way of applying it."

Given some unfamiliarity, Cho didn't feel overwhelmed by the project but he still felt a strong desire to meet members face-to-face while collaborating on the prototype. Regardless, he would definitely get involved with another project.

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