Embedl was one of the first startups that joined MobilityXlab. After developing validation projects with five partners, they became one of Mobilityxlab’s accelerations, having signed a commercial contract with Zenseact in 2021. What does the journey from PoC to acceleration look like? We sat down for a conversation with Ola Tiverman, CPO at Embedl to find out.
Founded in 2018, Embedl is a software company that provides tools that optimize deep learning models so they can execute efficiently in embedded systems. Their customers typically have deep learning AI in their products and the startup enables and automizes a very complex part of the development.
One of these clients - and Embedl’s first paying client - is Zenseact, one of the partners at MobilityXlab. From the PoC at MobilityXlab in 2018 to the commercial license contract, signed in 2021, there have been other pilot and development projects, and lots of discussions and knowledge sharing with the engineers at Zenseact.
According to Ola, knowledge sharing is the main benefit of starting the relationship from a close collaboration project instead of a regular sale transaction. “Through this proximity, we could discover early challenges that the customer was facing and implement solutions to that in the product. And for a startup like us, it is super important to make sure that everything we do has real customer value,” he explains.
And it’s a situation that many startups see themselves in, with limited resources and needing to prioritize which product features to develop. “But this tight dialogue as we had with Zenseact allowed us to find what had real-life use cases and commercial value,” says Ola.
So what tips does Embedl have to startups that are also in the journey towards acceleration?
“First, take the opportunity to join MobilityXlab, and when you are in the program, go for the best possible PoC. Make sure it is relevant and meaningful to the partner company.” However, startups should always keep their strategy in mind. “There might be some tempting opportunities, but if it doesn’t lead to a product, then it’s better to say no to that. At the end of the day, there’s only one thing that matters, so you need to find the thing you are best at and work towards that.”
To Embedl, the focus on the strategy has been beneficial. Besides the contract with Zenseact, the company has recently received a 2.5 million Euro grant from the EU to accelerate the development and commercialization of its software technology. The company is also recruiting heavily and intends to double its R&D team in the next six months.
And on top of that, there is also some time reserved for MobilityXlab’s activities. “It’s a very valuable network here, even for alumni, so we are always happy whenever there is an invite to an event. It’s great networking, great sessions, and a great opportunity to showcase your technology.”