While a doctoral student and part-time graduate researcher at theInternational Center for Applied Studies in Information Technologies, School of Public Policy (SPP) alumnus Sarasin Booppanon discovered that he spent numerous hours at the library photocopying sections of books assigned by professors.After one too many sessions at the photocopier, Booppanon decided there must be a better way to digitize the information in books. So he recruited a team of engineers and software developers to help him turn his idea into a fully functional automated page-turning scanner.
Many people would not start a company and pursue a doctoral degree at the same time, but Booppanon decided to do just that. In March 2005, he founded Atiz Innovation, and in January 2008, he graduated from SPP.
“The entrepreneurial spirit of SPP, along with the large amount of required reading, helped to bring about the inspiration of Atiz,” says Booppanon. As founder and president of products at Atiz, Booppanon is involved in all aspects of the company, particularly business development and product creation.
The company’s CEO, Nick Warnock, focuses on the sales and marketing efforts for Atiz products in the United States. A finalist on NBC’s The Apprentice, Warnock headed a sales team for an office equipment manufacturer that offered scanning, copying, and printing solutions for companies before being selected out of 250,000 people to compete on the program.
Newsweek and Forbes have noted Atiz’s products such as BookDrive and BookSnap, which are designed for use by libraries and home users to convert printed books into an electronic format with ease. These digitizers use two digital cameras to photograph book pages quickly; the photographs are then enhanced through image-processing software and turned into e-books.
According to the company’s web site, Atiz is “a team of people passionate about book digitization and supporting global effort[s] to create a universal library. We work to make the best scanning experience possible and put our digitizers in the hands of people around the world, in every home and school.”
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