Editorial note: This post is part of a series of posts in collaboration with Lappeenranta University of Technology to promote their expertise and tools in commercialising research based innovations.
The debate continues whether oil will run out or not. Regardless, companies constantly seek improvements in efficiency and reductions in costs for better competitive edge. Visedo, a company located in the campus area of Lappeenranta University of Technology, is building electrical components to machines that help save up to 40% in fuel costs. These machines run fully electric or hybrid engines. While Visedo does not build the engines themselves, they supply the key components to make such engines run. Some of the products include permanent magnet generators and motors as well as heavy duty inverters and electrical drivetrains.
VNT Management, a Finnish investment firm specialising in clean technologies, talked to our interviewee Kimmo Rauma about the growing trend of non-diesel engines and the innovation taking place in that industry. Rauma back then was working for Vacon, but decided to leave the comfort of his day job to get back on the entrepreneurial track. With that decision and the support of VNT Management, Visedo was born in September 2009.
AXCO-Motors, another company we have covered as part of the series with Lappeenranta University of Technology, sold some IPR for Visedo to get things started. Rauma went about the early sales meetings by himself until in February 2010 he managed to close early stage funding for the company which enabled him to expand the team.
In 2010 six key people joined the company. Most of these were graduates from Lappeenranta University of Technology and had knowledge in the area of Visedo's offering. Rauma knew all of the people he hired from previous jobs and everyone was eager to start building Visedo into something bigger.
Five months after the initiation of sales, the first deal was closed. The first products were offered a year later.
"It is the team and knowledge of that team that is able to build a company like Visedo", says Kimmo Rauma. In 2010 the team had more or less nothing and today they have an array of products and a capability to mass produce 4000 parts a year.
One of the philosophies of Visedo, according to Rauma, is that all products are created to address a clear customer need. This may seem self-evident in today's world, but surprisingly many companies forget this.
Furthermore, Rauma highlights that the success to keeping on top of customer needs is to constantly be in touch with them and address the changing needs with your products. The needs of Visedo's customers are constantly changing and developing which means there is no room for staying put.
The company is also aiming for international markets. It has sales offices in Germany and the Netherlands. For Germany, the company is currently looking for a regional sales director.
The newly forming markets for alternative power sources can create huge opportunities for Visedo. It's a growing company with 17 people today, but if some of the largest construction machine building companies in the world, like Komatsu, are betting on technology that takes advantage of technologies similar to Visedo's - things can get very interesting in the near future.
Visedo was chosen as one of the top 20 startups in Finland this year by the prestigious Talouselämä publication.