Meet Calvin Cheng, CTO and CO-Founder of Edgehog
Calvin is CTO and Co-Founder of Edgehog. He heads external engagement and works with the technical team on R&D strategy. Here, we talk to him about his day-to-day, his vision for Edgehog, and everything in between.
- By Jaspreet Kaur
What does your average day at Edgehog look like?
With shifting priorities and limited resources, every day at our start-up looks different. What does remain constant is our focus on identifying and addressing what’s important. Our team works best when we can best make use of each member’s strengths and assist with each other’s weaknesses. As such, we take great care in assigning task ownership. For my own responsibilities, maintaining a to do list helps me to maintain a balance on short-term and long-term needs.
Tell us about your background.
I completed my PhD in nanomaterials chemistry . During my schooling, my supervisor, Prof. Cynthia Goh from the University of Toronto, inspired me to think about how science can benefit society. I’ve used this as a guiding principle for my career thus far. I’ve co-founded an e-commerce platform for the global sales of new innovations from research labs, accelerating the adoption of such technologies in commercial products. I’m also an early member and current President of Pueblo Science, a charity dedicated to inspiring the next generation of thinkers and scientists, especially in low-resource areas around the world. By providing training for science teachers on performing fun experiments using only everyday materials, we’re ensuring the longevity of our work’s impact on local children. I bring these entrepreneurial and operational experiences to my current venture, Edgehog, and I’m excited to directly bring cutting edge research to commercial scale.
What are the challenges you face?
I think the biggest challenge for start-ups is to find the right product-market fit. Before we dive deep into developing new features and functionality for our antireflection glass, we spend significant effort trying to understand the needs and preferences of our users and partners. If the market doesn’t respond to our ideas, we find alternatives.
How do you like to spend your leisure time?
I am an adventure enthusiast. I enjoy scuba diving, backpacking, camping and trying new sports where- and whenever I can. Winter is just getting underway in Montreal now, and I’m looking forward to a season of skiing and snowboarding.
How would you sum up your experience at Edgehog to date?
I am captivated by the cross-functional nature of start-up work and how team members from different training backgrounds bring to the table unique points-of-view. Each day is a crash course on the nuisance of balancing external factors and internal resources. Thankfully, Edgehog has managed to assemble an impressive group of bright, motivated, and cohesive team members. Every day, I’m excited to come to the office to work with and learn from my peers.