This year's Project Kairos Asia took place at the Marina Bay Sands, Singapore with the some of Asia's most innovative startups competing to win the crown of overall winners. This year's victors were Marvelmind Robotics who were chosen by the esteemed judges. Marvelmind Robotics are an exciting startup designing, manufacturing and selling robotic systems for the Internet of Things such as robots & autonomous vehicles. To celebrate, we managed to grab Marvelmind Robotics, CEO & Founder, Maxim Tretyakov to discuss their involvement in Project Kairos Asia and Maxim's advice for startups.
Could you tell us about yourself and your position within Marvelmind Robotics
I have been deeply passionate about robotics and more specifically about autonomous robotics for 15 years or even more.
The first robotics company I founded in Helsinki, Finland, back in 2005, while still working for Nokia. The company developed and sold small autonomous robots for universities.
Then, I had a break of several years with Marvelmind because I was just too busy with my job with Nokia. I had been living in several countries: Finland, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Russia.
When I came to Moscow in 2010, I started building the team that later became Marvelmind Robotics and I became a founder and CEO of the company. We also developed autonomous robots and then focused on Indoor "GPS". The development started in 2013 and we started selling it in 2015.
Marvelmind Robotics were this year’s Project Kairos Asia winners, can you tell us a bit about Marvelmind Robotics?
Thank you for giving the opportunity to participate in the event and presenting our solution to judges, potential customers, investors and the general public!
Marvelmind Robotics specializes in autonomous robotics: autonomous delivery robots for warehousing, autonomous indoor drones for warehousing and shows. We have many products in the pipeline with different level of readiness.
Our lead commercially available product - that has been already sold to customers in more than 40 countries - Precise (+-2cm) Indoor "GPS" for autonomous robots, copters, vehicles, VR and humans. That is what we presented at Project Kairos Asia
How has Marvelmind Robotics grown in the past 18 months?
In the last 12 months, our monthly sales grew up 200%. We don't have statistics for 18 months, but it is even more than that.
What are the major obstacles Marvelmind Robotics have overcome?
We built pretty complex systems that combine HW, SW and special mathematical algorithms. SW is complex by itself, of course, and we spend 90% of our R&D time on it, but HW is very challenging too. So, combining all these together and make a sleek product that can profitably sold for very reasonable money - that is a pretty challenging task. But we have done already and now expanding our product portfolio based on the customer demand
For someone establishing their own startup, what advice would you give them?
Oh! There are hundreds of pieces of advice! I wish I could follow them myself, especially, on work-life balance:
- Cash is the king
- Team is everything
- Customers are the most important people in the world - cherish them and listen to them
- Your family is important too
- Balance your life.
I personally need 120-150h per day, because I must be at the same time with customers in the US, with R&D team in Moscow, with factory in China, and present on Project Kairos in Singapore. So, I am still trying to figure out my own formula
How do you plan to build on the success Marvelmind Robotics has already achieved?
We will follow the advice I listed above: listen to customers, develop what they ask fast, run the team, and try to balance work and family life.
We know what customers want. We will expand in terms of portfolio, in terms of SW features, in terms of countries of presence, in terms of distribution channels
Why did Marvelmind Robotics get involved in Project Kairos Asia?
We love innovation and Singapore and Asia is a place of innovations. We have had customers in Singapore already and some of them came to meet us. But we wanted to get even more exposure and wanted to listen even more what our existing and potential customers are looking for.
Would you recommend other startups getting involved with Project Kairos?
Just go for it. We had very productive two days. Very productive. I am running now into plenty of follow ups with everyone whom I met and discussed.
And, of course, winning is always great. So, just go for it.