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Romain Lacombe

Name: Romain Lacombe
Age: 37
Job Title: CEO & Founder
Company: Plume Labs
Years in the Industry: 7
Education: MIT

Dealerscope’s 40 Under 40 Honoree 2021

Describe your current role.
I’m leading a team of talented engineers and innovators trying to help the world learn the quality of the air we all breathe.

What accomplishment(s) are you most proud of?
Our team’s work in bringing to life the first personal air-quality sensor. Flow fits in your hand and tells you exactly what’s in the air your breathe, in real time. Some of our customers have used it to make a huge difference in their lives, even pushing their mayor to electrify a major cruise ship harbor. We’ve built not just a sensor, but a tool for change!

What do you like best about your job?
The environmental cause our team is working to advance gives meaning to all the ups and downs that come with launching a hardware startup.
What technology are you most excited about at the moment?
I’m very excited about the potential for carbon dioxide removal technologies to make a dent in climate change. Watch the innovations coming out of that space.
Who in the CE or technology industry do you look up to, and why?
One of my inspirations is Mark Gainey, the cofounder of Strava. During lockdown, staying connected with running and cycling friends was a ray of sunshine. It’s the darker side of technology that tends to grab headlines these days, but too often we forget how it’s enriched our lives with community and connections.

What career advice would you give to people just getting started in the CE or technology industry?
The learning curve is steep and lasts a lifetime. Take the time to find a great team to join and mentors that can guide you along the way. But don’t forget to have fun, and to find meaning in what you’re helping build!
What, in your opinion, is necessary for the CE/technology industry to thrive in the next five years?
Tackle the environmental impact of our products. Beyond their climate footprint and energy consumption, technology products leave a trail of plastics, metals and materials that is becoming a threat to public health. We need to build more durable products with much more sustainable lifecycles.