Empowering Innovation in Startups at Altair Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Event

The Startup ecosystem, made up of entrepreneurs, universities, investors, and researchers, is a community filled with innovative, thought provoking individuals driven by the desire to produce products and devices to provide a sustainable way of life. Last week Altair had the unique privilege of hosting an event at the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center in San Francisco, “Accelerate Your Startup to Market Leadership”, to introduce our technologies to this community through the lens of their peers. Special guest speakers provided their perspectives on the essence of a startup, their passion for innovation, and the importance of the virtual playground. As their stories of growth were presented, the audience was captivated by the possibilities of the advanced technologies Altair provides.

When designing for both near and far future, physical testing is not always possible. For example, when engineering robots to withstand the environment on Mars, how would one prototype and test these? It is as if simulation was made for the far future thinkers allowing them to apply physics and principles to these revolutionary ideas to build a better future. The event sought out to share these ideas through storytelling and inspiring illustrations.

As an opener to the event, Andrew Beebe presented on behalf of Obvious Ventures. Obvious Ventures has a 50-company portfolio focused on one mantra… World Positive Investing. This chant is a reminder of the company’s focus on tackling systemic world challenges. These challenges fit into three main categories: healthy living, people power, and sustainable systems. From diamond harvesting to air taxis, Obvious Ventures is pushing the technological envelope, defining, designing, and testing through simulation.  As an example, Beebe shared the story of Lilium, a company in their portfolio designing vertical lift electric jet air taxis to transport individuals short commuting distances. This technology is powered by Altair software as noted by Patrick Nathen, Lilium Co-Founder and Head of Calculation & Design. “Altair OptiStruct® helps our engineers to develop robust and lightweight aircraft structures in a more efficient way through its Integrated Analysis & Optimization approach which prepares us for certification.”

Following this provocative overview, Doug Harp, Global VP of IoT at Altair, took the stage sharing a much different approach to startups with his previous company, CANDI Controls, whose technology was recently acquired by Altair. His unique perspective shed light on the failures and successes of a startup in an emerging market. CANDI, expanded to Cloud Assisted Network Device Integration, provides software that easily connects systems and equipment with cloud-based monitoring and control services to help organizations improve performance, conserve resources, and cut operational costs. Although cutting edge in nature as a first to market company, Harp shared the ups and downs of deployment. One take away was the importance of focusing on where the technology fits into the entire package. With IoT, there are thousands of parts which make up the infrastructure. The challenge for Harp was to enable the end user through strong partnerships with complimentary technology. His guidance was candid and encouraging, allowing the audience to reflect on their own endeavors.

Rolo Bikes was represented next through the eyes of its founder, Adam Wais. Wais and his partner set out to design the highest performance road racing bicycles manufactured to date. Unabashedly using Altair’s technology, they did just that, producing an ultra-lightweight bike while hitting extremely rigorous stiffness requirements and impeccable handling. Wais shared the Altair technology used throughout the product development process and reiterated the following statements he had previously made. “We chose Altair HyperWorks for our project because we think that it offers us the most powerful tools for our optimization and development tasks within one suite. In addition, the use of HyperWorks enabled us to develop our own simulation tools for virtual testing. When we realized that we could use additional engineering support and manpower in our development and optimization process it was a natural choice for us to work with Altair ProductDesign, since the company’s engineers are very familiar with HyperWorks and have tremendous expertise in designing and optimizing composite materials. Working with Altair ProductDesign and using the HyperWorks suite has enabled us to develop the highest performance in the world with respect to weight, stiffness, and comfort. This project was completed in record time with close to no prototypes.”

Learn more about Rolo & watch the Rolo Bike video

Wais’ enthusiasm was followed by the introduction to the Altair Startup Program. This program is designed specifically for startups to aid in the development and advancement of product engineering. The audience was exposed to many Altair solutions, including electromagnetics, structural analysis, IoT enablement, CFD, and the entire extensive suite of tools available through the program. With the significant discount for these early adopters and the expansive solution offerings by Altair, a true partnership can be formed at the early stages of the product life cycle. This 80% discount also includes the 50+ Altair software partners and 16 hours of consulting with our highly experience CAE engineers. This left the audience feeling empowered by the opportunities in front of them as they reflected on the stories of their peers and mentors and the possibilities the Altair Startup Program can provide.

For more information on the Altair Startup Program, check out: https://www.altair.com/startup/

Traci Zainea
Traci Zainea

About Traci Zainea

Traci Zainea is the Director of Marketing and Inside Sales for Americas. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering degree from University of Michigan and a Masters of Science in Engineering degree from Wayne State University. She has been at Altair for 7 years and has held several technical and sales roles prior to her current position.