The Deep Tech Award 2021 in the IoT / Industry 4.0 category goes to Staex

Deep Tech Berlin spoke with the two of Staex founders, Dr. Alexandra Mikityuk and Philip Toepffer, about their Deep Tech Award victory and what they plan to do next with their company. Alexandra and Philip also shared which other product among the finalists they found exciting.
(Original version of the article was posted on the Deep Tech Berlin blog on 1st of July, 2o21)

Images: © Senatsverwaltung für Wirtschaft, Energie und Betriebe / Andrè Wunstorf.
First of all, congratulations again on your Deep Tech Award. With the Deep Tech Star award, Staex has launched one of the most innovative solutions in 2021 in the Internet of Things/Industry 4.0 category.

Could you please summarize again how your distributed machine management works exactly and what the advantage is?

We have created a unique technical stack that combines the power of Clouds, distributed technologies and secure networking. Lightweight Staex agents have been designed to be installed directly on machines. Those agents interconnect into a smart and sophisticated environment called Swarm Cloud. Being inspired by nature, our Swarm Clouds use swarm intelligence to manage machines and their applications in a very efficient, scalable and secure way.

That sounds exciting. Can you give us an insight into the development history of your product? How long did it take, for example, from the idea to the implementation of your solution?

Dr. Alexandra Mikityuk came up with the idea three years ago. From there it was a very educational and exciting journey finding the right customers who were innovative and bold enough to jump on our train and use our product for the first time. We are now at the third version of our system and learned one important thing: it will not be the last one!

That certainly took a strong team to support you. What would you say, what distinguishes your work in a team?

All positions in our team are filled with highly educated people in their particular working environment. They not only share the startup spirit but also have the same love for complex IT infrastructures. We are convinced that the reason for success is not just putting together many smart brains but finding a goal and a purpose that each additional team member can identify with. That's why our team is united by the idea of a sustainable economy with zero-waste IT infrastructure.

How did you actually get your IoT focus? Is there anything that you find particularly exciting about IoT / Industry 4.0?

IoT will change the centralized data economy since the isolated data silos will need to open up to share data. This development will be a huge opportunity for not only building energy-, cost-, and time-efficient IT infrastructures but also to create a more balanced data allocation. This will result in an overall fairer economy. With Staex, we are able to set a standard to create these unprecedented IT Infrastructures for IoT networks.

But exciting times are not only ahead in this area. What is the first thing on the agenda at Staex after you won the DTA 21?

We will work even harder! The number of devices just keeps growing and companies need our support to manage them and create secure, scalable and easy-to-use systems on top of complex distributed ones.The price of €10k will help us to bridge the gap between our Family & Friends invest and the Seed Round money which is necessary to focus on enhancing our platform and keep our customers happy in parallel.

With you, many great companies made it into the DTA finals. Was there a competing product that also impressed you?

We are very excited about the idea of SunCrafter. We think the technology provides a lot of flexibility as it provides energy access independent of power grids. They also have a very sustainable concept by reusing decommissioned products.

Now I'd like to turn to a topic that has occupied us all over the past year and a half, and still does to some extent: Corona. Can you describe what exactly your company learned from the pandemic? Were there any particular challenges for you during this time?

We have learned to ask second degree questions. A first degree question will be: "How to recover the world to the state it was in before the pandemic?". The second degree question however is: "How the world is changing, and what are the tools that we can provide to help this change happen?". We have learned that digitalization of our processes, especially in IoT/Industrie 4.0, became more important than ever.

Besides your victory, what do you take away from the Deep Tech Award?

This was a great opportunity for us to be recognized for all the work we've done so far in the area of IoT and Industry 4.0. Deep Tech Award is a very reputable competition with a very knowledgeable jury and great organization, so we highly recommend deep tech startups to apply next year!

(Original version of the article was posted on the Deep Tech Berlin blog on 1st of July, 2o21)

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