SAN FRANCISCO – July 27, 2009 â€“ Fueled by successful entrepreneurial founders, a high-profile advisory board from the game industry and $4 million in venture capital (VC) funding from Granite Ventures and Keynote Ventures,
today announced its debut as a company. Based on research from Stanford Universityâ€™s BioMotion Lab and co-founded by 3D pioneers, Nazim Kareemi, CEO, and Stefano Corazza, CTO, Mixamo plans to bring to market the first online service for customizing and creating high-quality character animation in a fraction of the time required by traditional methods.
Kareemi was the founding CEO of Canesta, a VC funded startup that developed the worldâ€™s first CMOS 3D sensors. Corazzaâ€™s research at Stanford produced the first practical markerless motion capture system based on off-the-shelf video cameras. Mixamoâ€™s entrepreneurial founders are backed by the companyâ€™s key advisory board, which includes prominent leaders in the game development and animation industry such as: Jim Levy, founding chairman and CEO of Activision Blizzard; Luc Barthelet, CEO of Tirnua and former CTO/VP of Electronic Arts; and Isaac Babbs, successful mobile gaming entrepreneur and former general manager of Alias. Their collective expertise positions Mixamo to quickly obtain market acceptance for its innovative technological approach.
In operational mode for over a year, Mixamoâ€™s technology was developed in collaboration with Stanford University, Toronto University and the Max Planck Institute. The company currently employs a team of outstanding computer vision experts, 3D animators, software engineers and serial entrepreneurs from across the world.
Nazim Kareemi, Chief Executive Officer
With a highly successful entrepreneurial track record, Nazim Kareemi brings to Mixamo a wealth of knowledge and proven leadership capabilities. Kareemi co-founded Canesta in 1999 as its CEO, and subsequently served as its chairman of the board. Granted 40 patents, Canesta develops breakthrough CMOS 3D sensors used in automotive, industrial, consumer and video game markets. Other accomplishments during Kareemiâ€™s tenure at Canesta include assembling an outstanding team and raising several rounds of VC funding. He currently serves on its board of directors.
Prior to Canesta, Kareemi founded PenWare, a VC funded technology firm, in 1992. Under his leadership, PenWare attracted and retained some of the best people in the industry to develop award-winning software for mobile devices. PenWare acquired another company to successfully enter the retail point-of-sale terminal market and became public in 1996. PenWare was later acquired by Symbol Technologies, Inc. Before founding PenWare, Kareemi held engineering and management positions or consulted for companies such as Zilog, Xerox and Intel. He has a S.B. in electrical engineering from MIT and an MSEE and Engineer’s degrees from Stanford University.
Stefano Corazza, Chief Technical Officer
The mastermind behind Mixamoâ€™s advanced technology; Stefano Corazza applied his experience from the University of Padua Human Movement Lab and the Stanford BioMotion Lab to develop the effective mathematical and machine learning solutions that support Mixamo. Prior to Mixamo, Stefano was a research associate at Stanford University BioMotion Lab until 2008 developing markerless motion capture technology, CTO and co-founder of dublit.com, a Web 2.0 Site for short-form literature based in San Francisco, and co-founded and served on the board for Memory SRL, an enterprise software company based in Italy.
Corazza holds a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering from University of Padua, a master of design from University of Florence, a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering and a Ph.D. in bioengineering and computer vision from University of Padua, part of which was completed at Stanford University.
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