Jimmy Hsiao (BSE EE ’85, MSE CSE ’87) has made Ann Arbor his lifelong home. He finished college, worked two jobs, met his wife, and started a family all in A2. But settling down so close to his alma mater hasn’t slowed the ambitions of this multinational entrepreneur.
20 years ago, Jimmy founded Logic Solutions, Inc., a consulting company offering website development, web and mobile applications, and other tech solutions to companies around the world. In his time as CEO, he has led Logic from a local startup to a global company boasting four international offices in China and Taiwan, a presence in California and Chicago, and over 200 employees.
And all that success is headquartered just a short walk from North Campus.
Jimmy’s bold moves began as early as high school. Growing up in China, he and his sister decided to pursue schooling in the US. They came to Toledo, OH as seniors in high school – not an easy thing to do at the time. While his sister pursued computer science at Utah State University, Jimmy ventured north to U-M to put his interest in math to use as an electrical engineer.
It was here that the forward-thinking student first took an interest in the Internet. “It was always in the back of my mind that the Internet was going to take off,” Jimmy says.
As a graduate student, Jimmy studied supercomputer performance. But without a supercomputer of its own on campus, U-M tapped into networks of powerful processors to run its programs. These networks were run on the Internet protocol suite, and Jimmy had to develop programs around this platform.
That early fascination with the fledgling technology persisted during his time spent in industry. At his job with Fortune 500 company Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, he worked on user interfaces for medical devices and helped to make them more globally accessible. While working on these devices, Jimmy was struck by how big an opportunity the company had to introduce networked devices – medical instruments connected to the Internet. In the early ‘90s this was a revolutionary concept, and not one the company was willing to venture into at the time.
So he left his job and started his own compnay, Logic Solutions. After being approached by Ford Motor Company just two months later for a special consulting job, Logic became a consulting company focusing on Internet-related software. The company quickly expanded into the manufacturing, health care, and financial sectors.
Fast forward about 15 years - and Jimmy decided it was time to carve a niche in another growing frontier: mobile apps. As the use of sensing and device integration continue to grow with the Internet of Things (IoT), says Jimmy, the opportunities will only expand.
Logic Solutions has already begun to apply big data analysis in their environmental health and safety (EHS) management tools. “There is a lot of manufacturing in China, and with that comes a growing concern about environmental impact,” Jimmy says. “We are spending a lot of time there trying to educate the market on the importance of having good tools to monitor and manage that impact.”
This endeavor relies heavily on integrating their software products into networked sensors, a process that Jimmy looks forward to seeing expand into new areas.
“The sensor technology developed in a cleanroom setting can easily be applied in other areas, such as hospitals and industry,” he says. “Those are things that software needs to help. That’s really what we do.”
With its consultation work thriving, the company has been able to make strategic acquisitions to get two mobile apps on the market. The first, their EHS management app, has already taken off throughout their Asian market. Their second, developed three years ago, helps sales companies do order management on mobile devices.
Throughout its growth and development, Logic has always remained Michigan-centric. Jimmy employs many U-M grads, and encourages them to keep a local mindset when they graduate.
"Being a graduate of U-M naturally gives you a leg up,” he says. “When you’re looking for opportunities, consider staying. Ann Arbor has a lot to offer, and you’ll find many exciting opportunities here.”
If anything, he says, his work and education in Michigan has helped his global aspirations.
“U-M is great because of its diversity – not all universities are like Michigan. Over here, students are likely to know students from other countries. That connection is very, very valuable. While students are at school, they should be open-minded in learning the cultures of other countries and collaborating with other students.”
Logic Solutions is currently celebrating 20 years as a company.
Logic Solutions provides technology solutions and services, including custom mobile strategy and application development, web applications, and comprehensive websites for businesses.
200 employees globally (50 in US, 150 overseas)
Ann Arbor, MI
Logic Solutions Celebrates 20 Years of Local Software Development Expertise, Logic Solutions, July 7, 2015
Jimmy Hsiao, CEO Podcast: Conversations on Economic Opportunity, MLive, December 17, 2014
Logic Solutions named Digital Company of the Year at Corp! DiSciTech Awards, Ann Arbor Journal, May 3, 2013
EXECUTIVE PROFILE: Jimmy Hsiao, CEO, Logic Solutions Inc., MLive, March 29, 2007