The success story of NavVis started in 2013 when they began their incubation at ESA BIC Bavaria with five shareholders. Today, the company already counts close to 100 highly qualified employees. Their technology as well as the team convinced a number of investors, who came on board at the end of 2015. NavVis is running a type of Google Street View for indoor environments. Their trolley creates photorealistic 3D models of even the largest indoor spaces on the go. Explore them with their web-based IndoorViewer for virtual exhibitions, real estate presentations, construction monitoring, etc. Via these models, their patented indoor positioning engine lets the camera of your smartphone ”see” where you are. Meter accurate and without any infrastructure. Just like GPS for outdoors, this technology is an enabler for the indoor market, incl. navigation, augmented reality, context aware ads, and a myriad more.
ESA BIC Bavaria Manager Cornelia Gebath (CG) interviews NavVis.
CG: Please give us a sneak peek of your product and the team behind it.
NavVis: NavVis was founded as a spin-off from the Technical University of Munich in 2013 by Georg Schroth, Felix Reinshagen, Robert Huitl and Sebastian Hilsenbeck. Our products consist of: The M3 Indoor Mapping Trolley, a highly-accurate mobile scanning device that enables fully comprehensive digital data capture; the browser-based IndoorViewer software brings this data to life by enabling users to access and interact with 3D building models and maps from any device; and our pioneering vision-based Indoor Navigation technology, which brings highly-accurate and intuitive navigation to indoor spaces, without the need for any additional infrastructure.
CG: What has been your company’s biggest challenge so far?
NavVis: Bringing hardware to the market is notoriously challenging and initially it took us longer than anticipated. It has certainly been a learning experience and now we have built a team of expert electrical and mechanical engineers who manufacture our M3 Trolley. Also important is that we have put a lot of effort into sourcing good suppliers and building up relationships with them to ensure smooth production.
CG: Can you explain the three main ingredients of your recipe for success?
NavVis: First, an awesome technology: NavVis is a university spin-off and before it was established as a company our products benefitted from years of academic research. Second, an exceptional team: we have an amazing team that brings together business and technical expertise
Third, the timing was right: indoor environments are far behind when it comes to adopting digital technology and NavVis fills a huge void in an underserved market. We are able to bring customers an end-to-end solution that gives them virtual access to digital representations of their properties.
CG: What did you expect from ESA BIC Bavaria?
NavVis: We expected access to a well-established network, mentoring, financial support and the increased credibility of being associated with a well- recognized organization.
CG: How did the initiative and its network help you to kick-start your business case?
NavVis: It helped with customer contacts, financial support to develop our products and team, and in establishing credibility among new investors by being part of the program.
CG: Let’s reach for the stars – what is going to happen in NavVis’s future?
NavVis: We started with a team of four people in a room at the TUM less than five years ago and now have a team of 140 that take up three floors of office space. We are present in 35 countries and have many industry leaders using our technology. We plan to keep up this rate of growth and bring digital technology to every property and make it accessible to everyone!
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