For Civionics Co-Founders, Southeast Michigan an Accessible Base to Launch Wireless Sensor Company
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wireless sensors are relatively inexpensive consumers are able to install a large number of them, which can often make it difficult to implement a centralized system for analyzing the data provided by the sensors.
“It’s just like having 1,000 computers running on one router, how do you manage that in a scaleable way?” Zimmerman says. “And that’s where we sit, to help that and then to avoid the need for someone sitting at that router to make decisions based on all that data that’s coming in.”
So far Civionics has managed to fund itself without the help of a venture capital firm. In addition to the capital the founders injected to launch the startup, the company is bringing in revenue through government contracts and by selling a flexible wireless sensing system that incorporates some of the hardware and software they’ve developed, but Lynch says that’s only a temporary plan.
“That’s more of a commodity based revenue stream whereas right now we’re trying to position the company to be based more on selling a complete solution to the market,” Lynch says.
And Lynch and Zimmerman say they’re taking advantage of the resources offered by Ann Arbor’s startup community to help them navigate the market. Lynch says Civionics is currently in discussions with a company they can’t disclose to create a strategic partnership, and the advice they’ve received from the mentors in residence at U-M’s Tech Transfer office helped to make the founders more comfortable during the negotiations.
“These are grey haired experts that have been through it all before,” Lynch says. “It allays a lot of our concerns as we negotiate these types of things.”
And as much as Lynch and Zimmerman praise the accelerator, the mentors in residence, and the pioneering spirit of entrepreneurs in southeast Michigan, Lynch says he only expects the atmosphere for startups across the state to improve.
“With the new governor in place, I think that the climate is actually going to get better,” he says.