Dania Ghantous | Co-founder and V.P. Technology | Qnovo, Inc. | Newark, California, United States
Dania is a visionary technologist and an entrepreneur who has cofounded two successful companies in the battery field, NanoGram Devices (acquired by Greatbatch Technologies) and Qnovo Inc. She pioneered a new branch of technology marrying computational algorithms with electrochemistry to make batteries more efficient, greener, safer and less costly. Her innovations and unique understanding of lithium ion batteries are at the foundation of Qnovo’s intelligent battery management software used in smartphones and electric vehicles globally. Known as the “Battery Diva”, Dania is an inventor on more than 50 patents reflecting her battery solving creativity.
What do achievements mean to you?
Achievements are about overcoming adversity. That is something that you live and breathe every day when you start a new company. The industry experts always see you as a threat and try to discredit what you do. At Qnovo, we pioneered a new branch of technology and faced a lot of resistance to advance it. However, the more difficult part was the time it took to gain industry acceptance which required a lot of patience and perseverance to educate our customers and ecosystem in order to commercialize our technology.
What excites you most about the work that you do?
Over the past decade at Qnovo, we pioneered a new field in the battery ecosystem that has changed the battery experience for our users. We are super proud of shipping over a 100 million smartphones with our intelligent battery software and are forging ahead to provide the same experience for electric vehicles. Our intelligent battery algorithms are the key to enabling safer and greener vehicles. I am excited to work with our amazing team where our collective efforts turned innovations into real products and helped overcome many barriers to commercialize our technology.
What was your journey like to get where you are today
My journey has been unexpected and exciting. I started working on batteries when I was in graduate school and did not really like it. Ironically my first job out of college was in the battery field! After spending more than 25 years developing different ways of improving battery technology, I cannot imagine working on anything else. The challenges and experiences associated with building a new company and the ups and downs of hiring the right team, developing game changing technologies and gaining industry acceptance resulted in many lessons learned that have led to where I am today.
How do you stay motivated?
I am motivated by not knowing what will happen next. When you start a company and are developing a new technology, time and money are never on your side. You are wading through unchartered waters with little direction while working under continuous pressure to produce the right results. While this combination is a little scary, I find it very motivating to create something new and change the way people think or view a certain problem/product. More importantly, this unfamiliar territory is more tolerable when you are surrounded by the right people who can challenge, support, and motivate each other.
Most important lesson learned
Working in a startup forces you to think about the company all the time. Waking up at 3AM at night wondering if you made the right decision and its impact makes life more intense. No one will understand this unless they have been through it. When your coworkers experience that same intensity then you know you have the right people to make your company successful. It’s easy to live and breathe your work and get caught up in the minutiae but it’s the journey that will always be a special part of our lives.