When it comes to sports activities, measuring time is of great importance. The team at Smart Gate, the 2018 Galileo Masters GSA Challenge winner, uses the atomic clock behind satellite signals to get more accurate results for its sports performance. By combining this information with RFID technology to identify the athletes using the solution, it provides a platform to compare and share the passion for sports.
Regine Heue, Head of Marketing & Communications at AZO, interviews Marcin Wilk, CEO of Smart Gate.
RH: Please give us a sneak peek of your product and the team behind it.
MW: We are a team of sports and tech enthusiasts who had been wondering how to combine our two passions for a long time. This is how we came up with the idea of Smart Gate – a system that will be able to precisely measure time in sporting activities.
There are three of us: Konrad, Piotr, and I. We all share a technical background and the dream of using our skills to change what we love – sport.
RH: What has been your company’s biggest challenge so far?
MW: There is a long road between the prototype and the product ready for customers. We are trying to improve our product every day. However, gathering the right funds to go on the mass market is something we’re still thinking about.
RH: How and when did the idea for your solution emerge?
MW: We spent our entire childhood practising skiing and snowboarding. Precise timings of ski/snowboard runs are used to improve skills and techniques in every training run. Unfortunately, today’s solutions are very expensive and many sports schools cannot afford professional equipment (the cost is at least a few thousand Euros). We decided to change this. The device was created out of our sheer passion for sport and engineering. Time measurement can thus be performed better and is much more accurate whilst also being cheaper.
RH: What convinced you to enter the Galileo Masters GSA challenge with your business case?
MW: Smart Gate is based on the signal from satellites which, thanks to the atomic clock, can provide precise timings that are not available in any consumer electronics. The Galileo Masters GSA Challenge in 2018 was “WHEN AND WHERE? – EXACT TIMING AND POSITIONING MATTERS!”. I cannot imagine a better challenge topic for our product, which is why we decided to apply.
RH: How did the Galileo Masters help to boost your business case?
MW: The time of the competition was an important moment for us. We had just finished our MVP and we needed additional funds to create several test devices. With the help of Galileo Masters, we were able to push our project towards the market. There is still much to do but winning the Galileo Masters GSA Challenge has given us the strength to take our product to the next level.
RH: Let’s reach for the stars – what do you plan for your business case in the future?
MW: In the beginning, we wanted to build professional tools for skiers and snowboarders. But, let’s face it – a precise time measurement is needed in almost every discipline – so we are not going to stop here. Also, we are always looking for new opportunities to grow our business, if anybody would like to support us, do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.