Apex.AI is a Palo Alto, Munich, Berlin, Stuttgart and Gothenburg-based company that is developing breakthrough safe, certified, developer-friendly, and scalable software for mobility systems.
Our software products are based on proven open-source software, such as ROS or Eclipse iceoryx, so that we don’t spend time redeveloping what already works. Instead, we fork software that has been developed and proven in use by large developer communities. We then add what is missing: Functional safety, flawless performance, and support for application in commercial and safety-critical products. In order to do so, we have developed a proprietary process to rework open-source software in record time such that it conforms to the highest requirements of the applicable functional safety standard.
Distinguished by our experienced and agile team, we bring in the right pedigree: Expertise in modern software engineering to build software that scales to massive systems, leading know-how in software functional safety to make software reliable, experience bringing software to market so that we know what to takes to build actual products, and twenty-plus years of experience building autonomous systems so that we can take the perspective of our customers and know their needs.
We launched our award-winning first product Apex.Grace, formerly known as Apex.OS, after three years in 2020 and have taken it through certification in record time for launch in 2021. We have more in the pipeline to revolutionize the use of software in the automotive industry. Stay tuned.
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Jan Becker is President, CEO and Co-Founder of Apex.AI, Inc. He is also the Managing Director of the Apex.AI GmbH, our subsidiary in Germany, the chairman of the board of Apex.AI Sweden AB, our subsidiary in Sweden, and Managing Director of Apex.AI Japan GK.
Prior to founding Apex.AI, he was Senior Director at Faraday Future responsible for Autonomous Driving and Director at Robert Bosch LLC responsible for Automated Driving in North America. He also served as a Senior Manager and Principal Engineer at the Bosch Research and Technology Center in Palo Alto, CA, USA, and as a senior research engineer for Corporate Research at Robert Bosch GmbH, Germany.
Since 2010, Jan is Lecturer at Stanford University for autonomous vehicles and driver assistance. Previously, he was a visiting scholar at the University’s Artificial Intelligence Lab and a member of the Stanford Racing Team for the 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge. In 2019, Jan was appointed to serve on the external Advisory Board of MARELLI to provide strategic advice to the MARELLI Board. In 2018, he co-founded the Autoware Foundation and was on the foundation’s board of directors until 2020. Jan earned a Ph.D. in control engineering from the Technical University of Braunschweig, Germany, a master’s degree in mechanical and aerospace engineering from the State University of New York at Buffalo, USA, and a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany.
CEO and Co-Founder
Dejan Pangercic is CTO and Co-Founder of Apex.AI, Inc. In his role, he's leading the development of Apex.OS, our flagship product, and coordinating all development activities at the company.
Prior to founding Apex.AI, he was the Perception and Framework Lead at Faraday Future and the CTO at Deepfield Robotics, developing an autonomous asparagus harvesting robot and most recently a 4D-scanning-robot for plant emergence counting and 3D leaf area measurement. Dejan also worked as a Senior Research Engineer at the Bosch Research and Technology Center in Palo Alto and as a research assistant at the Technical University of Munich. He is an author of several papers and publications in the field of robotics and robotic perception and the author of two patent applications in the area of field robotics. He is also a contributor to the Point Cloud Library (PCL) and one of the early developers of ROS. Dejan is a member of the ROS 2 Technical Steering Committee. He has organized various workshops and a frequent reviewer for leading conferences.
Dejan earned a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Bremen, Germany, and a master’s and bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia.
CTO and Co-Founder
Paul Balciunas is Chief Financial Officer of Apex.AI. In his role, Paul leads fundraising efforts that enable Apex.AI to expand its product offerings as the company eyes new market opportunities in and beyond mobility, including Internet of Things (IoT) and industrial automation.
Balciunas has nearly two decades of experience in finance and investment banking in the automotive industry. Paul spent a decade at Deutsche Bank, where he was involved in a number of landmark automotive transactions. Most notably, Paul acted as a lead underwriter of the initial public offering (IPO) for Tesla in 2010. Paul was also involved in the IPO of General Motors, which at the time was the largest IPO in U.S. history, and the sale of the UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust’s 41.5% stake in Chrysler Group to Fiat North America.
Paul has a proven track record of successfully raising capital to fund growth for technology companies. Most recently, Paul served as Chief Financial Officer for the electric vehicle company Canoo. During his time at Canoo, he raised over $1 billion in equity financing and supported the company’s transition from a private to publicly traded company listed on NASDAQ.
Chief Financial Officer
SVP Corporate Development
Tavis Szeto is SVP Corporate Development at Apex.AI with regional responsibility for operations in APAC.
Before joining Apex.AI, as Director of the Automotive & Mobility Solutions Division in Panasonic Industrial, Tavis led an organization supporting global OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers with electric and autonomous mobility technology.
With over 20 years of marketing, technology, and business development experience across various industries, Tavis has been at the forefront of transformative technologies. Tavis served as Director of Strategic Partnerships at Faraday Future, developing a pipeline of partnerships across auto OEMs, EV charging networks, advanced technology, and markets beyond the US and China. Before Faraday Future, Tavis held various leadership positions at ChargePoint, which included executing the company's early OEM partnerships with BMW, General Motors, Honda, Kia, Nissan, Toyota, and Volkswagen. Tavis also held senior leadership positions at Arris (formerly Pace and 2Wire),
KLA-Tencor, and following his entrepreneurial spirit, founded and ran two of his businesses.
Tavis has been an advisor for several stealth startups and a contributing member of various industry-standard organizations. He enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, experiencing great food, and keeping up with his San Francisco Bay Area sports teams.
Sanjay Krishnan is VP of Engineering at Apex.AI, Inc., where he is responsible for the products and partnerships that define next-generation Autonomous Vehicle technology. In this role, he oversees product strategy and key initiatives to accelerate industry-wide adoption of a modern, modular stack of algorithms and software framework for self-driving cars, drones, and robots.
Earlier, at Google, he helped launch and scale Virtual Reality (VR) as a software-defined stack for Android developers. He executed the visionary goal of running 3rd party VR/AR applications on commercial Android phones, scaling it to over 100M phones in production. He managed the technology platform of a billion-dollar ecosystem of hardware, firmware, and software for Chrome OS, the remarkably robust and secure open-source operating system that runs Chromebooks.
Over two decades in the hardware and software industries, he has developed, managed, and deployed cutting-edge technologies for consumer and enterprise users at leading companies including Cadence, Skyworks, and Maxim. As a strategy consultant at Keystone Strategy, he advised leading technology companies like Microsoft alongside the firm’s chairman, HBS Prof. Marco Iansiti. He has served on the Advisory Board at Geomagical Labs, a pioneer in Machine Learning techniques in computer vision, and is a frequent speaker at events on the commercial future of advanced technologies.
VP of Engineering
SVP of Business Development and Sales
Serkan Arslan leads Apex.AI’s business and account development for autonomous vehicles and transportation, working with customers, ecosystems, and industry partners to accelerate developing software-defined next-gen autonomous cars based on Apex.Grace. Serkan brings more than 20 years of international experience in automotive and software domains, including autonomous vehicles, infotainment & cockpit systems, connectivity, transportation, and mobility services.
Before joining Apex.AI, he held various positions with companies, including Nvidia, Daimler Group, and Delphi. He has an advanced bachelor’s degree in Transportation and Logistics from the University of Heilbronn and currently lives in Stuttgart, Germany.
VP of Product
Stefan comes with 20 plus years’ experience in leading automotive software development with a focus on operating systems and middleware. His professional life is characterized by developing leading-edge technologies, transforming them into products and building effective organizations and value streams.
Before joining Apex.AI, Stefan was with Elektrobit responsible for Elektrobits global product development covering infotainment, connectivity, system test and infrastructure products.
His focus was Automotive OS including future products like Linux for safety applications, over-the-air software update and virtual test lab for ADAS. Furthermore, he led the agile transformation of Elektrobits product development to a SAFe based workflow organization.
VP Brand and Marketing
Nicole Pavelka is Vice President of Brand and Marketing at Apex.AI Inc., where she is responsible for global marketing strategy and handles strategic brand management.
Before joining Apex.AI, she spent 18 years working for BMW and other Fortune 500 companies, emphasizing the automotive industry, leading her team, and experiencing both the corporate and entrepreneurial worlds. She cultivated skills in design context research, design strategy, and brand and business development.
With an extensive background in leading various sectors of the creative industry and as a certified professional coach, her passion for holistic processes, design thinking, and personal and professional development led her to use her creative mindset to apply and translate strategic thinking into executive leadership development.
Head of Legal Operations
Rabea Woerthwein-Mack acts as Head of Legal Operations for Apex.AI providing expert and strategic advice on contracting, regulatory, compliance, risk, and other legal matters. With a global perspective through work experience in jurisdictions in Europe, Asia and the US, she is managing the company’s third-party relationships with external counsel, business partners, and customers.
Prior to this role, Rabea worked in Higher Education for almost 10 years, initially as a Legal Counsel with a focus on R&D agreements in Germany, and later on in the US with a focus on operations, running the contracts and purchasing department for a large campus in San Francisco.
Rabea holds a German J.D. from Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz. She qualified as an attorney in the State of Rhineland-Palatinate and also holds a Master of Law (LL.M) in Public International Law from Leiden University in the Netherlands.
Anita is the Head of Global People Operations at Apex.AI. She is responsible for leading the overall strategy and execution of people team initiatives. In addition, she works to cultivate a positive workplace culture and ensures the organization is set up in a way to do its best work.
Anita brings a decade of experience in leading the people function for high-growth, venture-backed tech startups. She has a proven track record of building high-caliber teams focused on operational excellence and creating people-first cultures.
Head of Global People Operations
Michael Pöhnl is Product Architect and in this role is coordinating product architecture and development.
Prior to joining Apex.AI, MP was with Bosch, the largest automotive supplier, for 16 years and held positions in engine control systems, video-based driver assistance, corporate research and automated driving. For more than 10 years, the majority of his work has been zero-copy data communication. The µController version of a software that he developed is running in radar, front video, and surround-view systems in millions of production vehicles of various manufacturers. The µProcessor version became Eclipse iceoryx and he is also leading the Eclipse project that went open-source in 2019. Between 2014 and 2017, MP was also the Bosch representative in the communication subgroup of the AUTOSAR Adaptive consortium.