A highly increasing number of Business Services empowered by IoT has created a huge demand for SW development for cloud and embedded programming, mobile and desktop applications. While in average more than 18 months is required to automate an industry process, Yodiwo, the winner of MITEF Greece Startup Competition 2016, reduces this time even by 90%; the same goes for the development and maintenance cost of Services, thanks to Yodiwo’s code-free cloud platform that integrates Logic with SW and HW functions all modelled as drag and drop blocks in graphs.
The digital world consists mainly of network devices, Internet services and mobile Apps. “We encounter all of them as Sensor & Actuator Hubs“, explains Alex Maniatopoulos, CEO at Yodiwo, an IoT Application Development and Deployment Cloud Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), provider. “We expose every single component of a hub to our cloud platform as a box with functional inputs and outputs. In addition, we provide ‘logic-in-a-box’ elements which vary from simple combinatorial logic to advanced visual content analytics and by using modern graph technology, we allow development of Services by connecting dots, in minutes than months”. With a disruptive technology for connecting distributed systems through artificial intelligence services, the platform is used for creating applications in 10% of the time of the time compared with other methodologies. Especially in verticals such as smart infrastructure and supply chain management for retail and wholesale, services based on Yodiwo’s platform have a profound impact in process reliability and resource saving which in some cases exceeds 70%.
How did it all start?
The idea of a platform that would enable everyone, even people without an engineering background, to develop IoT systems for personal or enterprise use, had been cultivated over a period of more than 3 years before the official start of the company. The founding team of Yodiwo, with more than 10 years of professional career on the development of wireless systems had realized how ironically disconnected the world of connected devices has been, discouraging enterprises to embrace IoT for improving the productisation and quality of their services. While working in Nanoradio R&D centre of Samsung (SNDC) and providing IoT solutions for some of the biggest companies in the world, the executive team of SNDC had to deal with long design cycles, immature tools for integration of heterogeneous systems and expensive infrastructure. Over time and through painful integration processes, the team gathered a list of innovative features that a sophisticated platform for IoT Application Development should support. The feature list was the basis of a business plan with which the team reached an agreement with the Korean company and the group was spun-off as a separate company under the name Yodiwo, fully owned by its founders and investors.
Yodiwo has been the destination of a 15-year career journey that most of the 16 members, who joined Yodiwo from day one, had shared. Through these years, the team developed not only unique system integration skills but, most importantly, a collaborative workplace culture that respects the different opinions for the realization of a common vision: to make Yodiwo a game changer for an abstractive communication between people and devices; to give the company’s people the opportunity to enjoy a journey of growth, innovation and worldwide recognition.
Financing a startup business
“Initially, we faced the hesitation of financing source managers to believe on our business development time plan, as the product complexity made them think that it could not be delivered on time without huge investment and a much bigger team“. On the other hand, the successful professional record of the team was enough to make some big international companies trust Yodiwo for the execution of their IoT projects. “Overall, our financial needs have been covered mostly by our organic growth and the commercial success of our products and less by investors’ money which however we still need to realize our vision“.
One of the biggest challenges the team had at the beginning of the company was how to pitch our business to friends and family. “A 14-year-old child is the toughest judge, especially when you pitch an enterprise product. My daughter was so little convinced for the necessity of an IoT platform when I told her about our intentions that she kindly asked me to keep my well-paid position and defer my plans until after she has succeeded with her studies and be able to earn her own money“. Having her expressed such anxiety, first, strengthened the team’s desire to succeed and second, made them think of how to continuously improve our pitch until they convince her! “While we have gone well with the former, I am not sure we have achieved the latter“, admits Alex in laughter.
Which are your biggest achievements so far?
The end of MITEF Greece Startup Competition 2016 found Yodiwo in the first place, a significant breakthrough which shaped the company’s identity. “Not only did that contribute to Yodiwo’s accreditation, but it also strengthened the team’s self-confidence. This competition created leads, many of which came from the network we had developed through our participation in the competition. It also played a significant role in our trust-building effort with existing customers which culminated in the appointment of our first strategic investor”.
Nowadays, Yodiwo is most proud of its partners and customers’ network. Being trusted by market leaders proves the value of the product. They managed to create a remarkable ecosystem to deliver IoT solutions that improve the conditions in working, office and outdoor environments. “Gaining trust and being influential in the evolution of a target sector is invaluable achievements“.