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Onyx Beacon: “We Create Useful Things Able To Change People’s Lives.”

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Doru Supeala of Onyx Beacon shares the startup’s story on how they managed to become a leader in micro-location intelligence and help improving people’s lives.

Describe Onyx Beacon in 50 words or less.

Onyx Beacon is a team of 25 young and passionate professionals who create integrated mobile solutions of micro-location, presence detection and contextual communication, based on Beacons Bluetooth Low Energy. Our solutions, already used by global players in retail, transportation, logistics, hospitality, and healthcare have made us global leaders.

Why did you decide to pursue your own dreams rather than someone else’s?

We wanted to create value by using Bluetooth technology and our ideas, creativity and experience in developing hardware + software rapidly positioned us as a global leader in micro-location intelligence. We have started by creating a city navigation and orientation solution for visually impaired people using the current public transportation systems. This project, suggested by a blind friend, brought us huge market success and big visibility.

7 years from now: How did your startup change the world?

We believe that every day at work we create useful things able to change people’s lives. We are very happy to see our projects implemented, our hardware deployed and our customers’ and partners’ needs being solved in a creative and effective manner. Maybe we will not change the entire world, but for sure we are dedicated to create products and solutions able to change the lives and businesses of our friends, customers and partners for the better.

In what ways do you measure your success and how do you make sure you don’t lose track?

There are many KPIs that we look at, like beacons sold, active corporate accounts on our CMS, downloads of our freely available mobile apps, number of active partners and resellers, growth rate of monthly revenues, number of client complaints and support requests. But the best KPI remains customers’ happiness.

Describe your typical working day from coming to the office to leaving it.

We start the day with an informal coffee meeting, where everybody tells stories about their family, friends, ideas and events and shares their recent personal or professional experiences. It is the best moment of the day, which is continued by business talks, technical and demo meetings or just by funny or friendly moments on our Skype group, where we distribute new ideas, initiatives, projects, jokes and messages from customers or users.

Already pivoted? Did customers use the travel services like you imagined it in the beginning?

Yes, they are already using them, but we continue to improve our projects, products and solutions, positively responding to our users’ best new ideas and requests. And, at the same time, we offer to our corporate customers the chance to adapt our solutions to their context, users and real needs, so our solutions are flexible and modular.

Bootstrapped or financed: What fuels your startup now and what will in the future?

We have started and developed the business by bootstrapping, but four months ago we have received a first funding, covering only 8% of the total shares. It was more a know-how valuable input than a financial input. We generate enough income in order to not consider an investment as a major priority, but we cannot say that we will reject a good proposal which will be able to offer us a better position and perspective in the market.

With ferocious competition and a booming trend to build new companies: How do you make sure you don’t get lost in the shuffle?

We already have key customers and partners who provide an intensive and very useful feed-back and help us organize our agenda, in order to cover exactly the best priorities and solve every problem in a very effective manner. We are fully responsive and adaptive, being a small, positive, and flexible team.

What do you look for in team members?

We recruit passionate, creative and open-minded people, who really want to contribute with their ideas, expertise and connections to meaningful and helpful projects and solutions. The ambition to deliver smart things to the users and to see them happy and satisfied is our daily subliminal objective. Last but not least, our guys should have a sense of humor, imagination and love flowers & animals – especially dogs.

Why would a talent join your team?

We have our own products, solutions and projects, already successful and appreciated by customers in various verticals. By having the chance to contribute to meaningful and helpful solutions, able to change people’s lives for the better, our team mates feel the challenge to invest in their creativity and experience. And the chance to work together with the funniest and friendliest guys in Cluj Napoca – Romania is also a big competitive advantage of us.

What are your most successful projects, that make your team proud?

We have created the first large-scale solution to guide and inform people using public transportation systems, we have implemented the first solution who delivers in-store navigation and commercial contextual communication for a network of 28 hypermarkets, we have developed a powerful and effective solution for indoor wayfinding and, last but not least, we have created the best team in the world, with people happy to work together on smart and innovative projects.

What was your most memorable moment so far?

The day when we have launched the pilot phase of the Smart Public Transport solution dedicated to the visually impaired passengers in Bucharest was the best till now, especially because we have seen users being very happy and because international tech media has covered this story with great enthusiasm.
You can read the full story here.

What advice would you give fellow founders for their startup?

Focus on customers’ needs, be creative and try to surprise them by delivering more than requested. Be ambitious, think big and try to permanently change your perspective, in order to invent new smart ways to solve global problems. Refuse the temptation of imitation and compromise, always go for the top number one position, be the first to do new things. And never forget to enjoy your results and get energy from your customers’ happiness.

 

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