Today we catch up with CODE_n Alumnus and Industry 4.0 (smart factories/connected manufacturing) startup Evercam. The founders Marco and Vinnie embarked on their business idea in 2010 by filming construction projects in Berlin. Much has happened since then. They’ve relocated to the capital of Ireland and now work in partnership with Lensmen, a leading player in the Irish photography and videography market. The startup is gaining success providing a monitoring software platform for the worldwide construction industry.
Hands-on: Vinnie and Marco support the construction industry with the developer platform Evercam. (image: Evercam)
In 2015 Evercam pitched their business idea to selected judges at the CODE_n CONTEST at CeBIT, competing in the Industry 4.0 category. The team has solved a problem frequently faced by site operators: keeping foremen up to speed on what’s happening on the construction site. How? By using time-lapse videos and streaming to track all activities on the site, providing cutting-edge camera management software that is hardware-independent, hosted, and open source!
We talked to the founders Marco and Vinnie about their startup life in Dublin, what next steps they’re planning to really get the business off the ground, and of course any advice they would give to entrepreneurs thinking of founding a company.
1. Hi guys! First of all, thanks for sharing some of your insights with us! It’s fantastic to catch up with you again. How are you doing in Dublin?
(That is a nice Dublin expression to describe anything from terrible to wonderful, which as you know, is startup life).
2. In 2015 you participated in the CODE_n CONTEST. Besides your fruitless efforts trying to teach the Germans 😉 – what did it feel like pitching your idea in front of a large audience and the expert judges?
CODE_n was a great experience. CeBIT is very overwhelming and it was wonderful to be in the centre of the action. The whole opening ceremony was exciting, Jack Ma etc. Best of all was to be amongst the CODE_n group. Our business is to promote the use of cameras with Industry 4.0 and IoT so we were surrounded by all the people at the cutting edge of innovation and development in this field. The pitch itself was fun & relaxed.
3. What is the proprietary element of your technology? What do you offer your customers with Evercam that no one else does?
We’re the only open source camera management platform. So, our proprietary element is that we’re not proprietary ! 🙂
4. You’ve set up a company in a highly technical field. Can you provide us with a couple of insights into the major challenges? How have you dealt with them?
Perseverence. Seriously. Our idea isn’t that clever, everyone knows cameras are going to play an important role in automation and IoT. Few people have the perseverence and patience to make it work. It’s not easy
5. You have already closed your 3rd round of seed funding. Did the investment accelerate your business significantly?
Yes and no. In truth we spent our investment badly and it gave us the luxury of falling into the “build it and they will come” trap instead of talking to customers. I would hope to not raise more money unless one of 2 things happens:
- We have no other choice (we run out of money) and at the same time we remain confident that the business has a good future.
- The business reaches a point where, despite being profitable, we feel that the overhead of raising money would be worth it for us and investors.
Those points probably sound obvious, and I think many people say them, but don’t really believe them or act on them. My opinion is that both scenarios are pretty unlikely as I think we’re now on a path for good self-funded growth. One thing that has worked out quite well for us has been taking part in one of the EU H2020 schemes that was synergetic to our business. We also dramatically cut our overheads which has of course helped.
6. Are there any tidbits of advice you can pass on to other entrepreneurs, especially on acquiring funding?
Try not to. Sell to your customers first. Build it later.
7. Last one: We’re curious to hear about your next steps to inject momentum into Evercam.
We’re having great success in the construction sector. Our plan is to double down on this, further improve the product, deliver more value and then see what we can achive in terms of international growth.
Vinnie, Marco, thanks for your time! It’s always great catching up with you. Good luck with your business and we’re looking forward to keeping in touch.
Stay tuned for further exciting CODE_n Alumni stories on our blog! Next week we’ll be talking to another startup from the family. ☺