Digital Manufacturing • Future of Work • Future Forecasting • Entrepreneurship • Customer Experience • Augmented Reality • Artificial Intelligence • Design Thinking
LexSet CEO Leslie Oliver Karpas has deep experience in 3D technologies including 3D printing, 3D scanning, robotics, and CNC manufacturing. He started 3D modeling as a child in 1993, by the late 90es he was interning for architecture firms to help them 3D print their buildings (long before the rest of the world had become familiar with 3D printing), later majoring in architecture & technical theater at Wash U.
He started his career with Auerbach consultants, designing lighting for museum exhibits and mechanical design for Cirque Du Sole’s theaters; specifically working on Beatles Love, Zumanity, & Viva Elvis among others. As well as helping to design the lighting for the Wrightsman Galleries at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art.
In 2008, Les then moved on to engineering sculptures for the sculpture artist Anish Kapoor, at Performance Structures Inc in Oakland. Where he cut his teeth learning robotic/industrial manufacturing, bridging the gaps between machine vision and custom built CNC manufacturing processes; eventually becoming the Lead Mechanical Designer for the firm. While there he worked on world famous sculptures including Cloud Gate (aka The Bean), Turning The World Upside Down (aka the Jerusalem Hourglass), Sky Mirror, C-Curve, S-Curve, Spire, and Dented Box.
In 2011, he went on to study industrial design at Art Center College of Design, which he left a year later to start Metamason, the first startup funded by the Caltech/Art Center Design Accelerator. Les invented a method to 3D print medical grade silicone; which was applied to the problem of properly fitting CPAP masks to treat sleep apnea. Building a scan-to-fit mass customization process in collaboration with 3D printing luminary Francis Bitonti and 3D Systems. Francis and Les would soon find themselves as regular speakers together at many 3D medtech focused conferences, where they preached the gospel of mass-customization.
Metamason was named a CES Innovation Award Honoree in 2018, won the Inside 3D Printing Startup Competition in 2015, and the 3D Heals Pitch Competition in 2017; additionally it was nominated for many awards including 2x SXSW Innovation Awards, and a SU Global Grand Challenge Award. Most unfortunate, due to an FDA snag that hit simultaneously with the bubble burst in the 3D printing market, Metamason had to close its doors in spring of 2018.
Les was immediately recruited by Seattle based innovation lab Intellectual Ventures to be an EIR, by thier Director of New Ventures, Azam Khan (former Deputy Chief of Staff of the USPTO). Les was tasked with going through the IV patent portfolio and coming up with startup concepts around the IP. Eventually he encountered a set of inventions that triggered a eureka moment to create an AI focused on interior design, LexSet. Les reached out to Francis Bitonti who agreed to come aboard as CTO; and the two of them convinced Azam to leave IV to join LexSet as it’s third co-founder.
Today LexSet is creating AI powered B2B SaaS tools focused on the e-commerce furniture industry, with Visual Search & Auto-Tagging to identify and describe furniture, whether in a retailer’s catalog, inspiration photos, or from a photo uploaded by a shopper- the end result is vastly improved text based search and discovery for the online shopping experience.