February 5, 2018

The Colossal Spider Web of iRobot Alumni

Founded in 1990 by MIT roboticists Colin Angle, Rodney Brooks, and Helen Greiner, iRobot is one of Boston's anchor tech companies.  Here's a cool timeline from their website of their products through the years.

iRobot products

Yes, you are probably familiar with the company's consumer robots such as the Roomba and Braava, plus the fact that they are the first consumer robotics success story at scale. But, what you might not know is how large of an impact the company has had in terms of the number of companies founded by iRobot alumni or the number of people in executive leadership roles.

I came to this realization last summer while I was at the TechCrunch Robotics event at MIT. It seemed like almost every entrepreneur on stage was connected with iRobot.

Below is a list of over thirty former iRobot employees who have gone on to great things in the tech world. While this is probably not an exhaustive list, it is certainly an impressive one.

Special thanks to iRobot’s Yen Ngo and Brian Gilbert, as well as Owl LabsMax Makeev and Mark Schnittman for their help in reviewing this list.