CEO, Mobile Pixels
When Jack Yao was a grad student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), he was working for Amazon in a small co-working space. He felt he needed a second screen for his laptop, and with that, Mobile Pixels was born.
Mobile Pixels makes lightweight portable secondary monitors for people on the go.
“When my business partners and I were first founding the company, we knew we needed IP protection, but our challenge was the price,” Jack says. “Our mentor introduced us to Peter Lando at Lando & Anastasi, and he helped us discern maximum protection for minimal cost. Now that we’re more established, so are our fees, but when you’re first coming up with a product, it’s hard to justify a cost that isn’t product focused.”
“What Peter really did for us was help us to understand the importance of IP and the broader strategy for us as a hardware company,” says Jack. “We wanted to be around four years later, and here we are.”
Mobile Pixels was blindsided in February of 2020 by a sharp increase in demand. “Our lift in monitors on Amazon was 300%. We tripled in size in a year. Looking back, we were really lucky to have our IP in place at that time.”
“Secondary screens are more important than ever, especially as people work outside of the office,” Jack says. “Our monitors are adding value to people working from home. We’re also working with schools in Boston, New York City and Los Angeles to procure monitors for teachers, so they can have their pupils on one screen and teach on the other.”
“Now we involve Peter at every stage,” explains Jack. “From a strategic standpoint, the conversation has grown from how to protect our products to how to grow the value of the company. We’re positioning ourselves for an acquisition down the road, so it’s important to have our IP in place.”
“I fell into being an entrepreneur by accident,” reflects Jack, “but making decisions that make a difference in people’s lives is rewarding. Innovation is born out of necessity.”