Startup of the Day – Avetrium

The BizSpark startup of the day is Avetrium, based in Canada. You will find below an interview with Tim Smith, COO of Avetrium. All the best to them and congrats for being the startup of the day!


Interview with Tim Smith, COO of Avetrium

Tell us who you are and your role in the company:

I’m Tim Smith, COO of Avetrium inc. My role is to oversee operations and evolve the company into a leader in enterprise data collection, such as GPS hosting and RFID data collection.

What did you do before creating your company?

I have participated in 14 startups over the last two decades. Of which the majority have been technology companies. My role as chief technology officer or chief operations officer are well earned. I managed companies and helped architect solutions for realtime content editing of websites almost a decade ago. SMS gateways to all carriers 7 years ago, mobile software devoted to field work a decade ago. I helped create technology solutions before their time. I am a visioneer.

How do you feel being the most promising ‘Startup of the Day’ per Microsoft BizSpark?

It’s a real honor to be considered for such recognition. I hope that our story will motivate other startups to forge ahead.

What is your company’s mission?

Our mission is to provide the tools for Asset Visibilty, corporate Efficiency and overall accountability through asset Traceability. That is how the name Avetrium was birthed. AVETrium (Assets, Visibility, Efficiencies, Traceability). With the explosion of ubiquitous sensor networks, RFID, GPS location platforms and other communications technologies such as Zigbee, Xbee and others, data collection devices or DCDs are being deployed everywhere. Our mission is to capture all the data, regardless of the device or network.

How did you get the idea for your company?

Our customers needed visibility and traceability to demonstrate accountability . As system integrators, we were always creating one-off solutions. We came to realize that we could create a solution once, to collect all the data generically to address all industries’ needs. Then specialize the output of that data into the information that specific industries’ need.

Tell us about your funding history. Are you currently looking for funding? If so, how much?

We are currently looking for funding to productize our Avetrium platform to allow it to work across all the industries that we have determined can use such visibility. To continue aggressive development without refocusing on short term revenue bridges we would require between $750,000 to $1 million. To take our Avetrium platform and generate its capabilities to easily add any type of DCD (data collection device), collect such data and backhaul it into the enterprise reliably will take an aggressive development timeline.

How many employees do you have? How many developers?

Five employees and two developers.

Are you hiring? If yes, what are you hiring and where?

As revenue increases we will continue to expand our team, both at the developer level and all other supportive staff.

Which platform are you building on? Why?

We are building on the newest Silverlight framework available. Our products originally started on Silverlight 2 framework, but when Silverlight 3 was released our developers worked all night and switched us over to version 3. We’re looking forward to migrating to Silverlight 4 once it is released. It’s hard to believe that Silverlight 4 is already in Beta since we just migrated to 3 in the summer of 2009. We feel Silverlight is a more robust web application platform than other web presence platforms such as flash, Adobe Air, etc. Avetrium inc. developers are developing our Avetrium Suite applications which are a range of applications which comprise our data collection platform. It’s built upon the .NET 3.5 framework and Microsoft SQL server 2008.

Where do you see opportunities today in the Software/internet area?

We see vast potential in mass data collection across all industries. To date many vendors have promoted data warehousing, creating huge silos of data, but not necessarily information. To aggregate all sources of data into a cohesive information base will prove to be critical to maintaining efficiency and improved productivity in corporate enterprise around the world. Visibility within the enterprise will become critical.

What do you think about the BizSpark Program?

The BizSpark program is a stoke of genius. It allows development companies like ours to devote critical development time to rapidly create a product without the constraints of software costs, especially when one considers all of the test machines and environments needed to properly test our product. Furthermore BizSpark allows new companies to use some of the best tools and frameworks that are available in the software market.

Do you have any advice for young Software entrepreneurs?

Yes I do, it’s not how wonderful technology is, nor how technically superior you may think you idea is, it’s the need factor. Make sure you’ve done your home work on how critical is the need to which you will create a solution, how big is the market and how many players are in the market. Software companies have the benefit of a much lower cost to enter the market, however, where a widget company can sell a widget one day after they are in the market, a software company has to survive as long as it takes to productize their offering. That can take months.

Who’s your role model?

Bill Gates, hands down. Gates is truly a visionary. He created a need and then fulfilled the need.

What’s the ONE THING you would like readers to take away from this interview?

In this global community every corporate entity throughout the world will be required to demonstrate visibility as a means of responsible corporate governance. Up and coming software companies can find their niche in turning data into information. Avetrium can supply the data.

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