”Startups Should Test Their Product Before Building A Prototype”, Says Altair

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We spoke to Pietro Cervellera, Altair’s Senior VP EMEA about the vision of the engineering & consulting company as well as their recently established Startup Program. Find out how you can test your product before even building a prototype!

Pietro Cervellera is Altair’s Senior VP EMEA and in this role handles Altair’s business in Europe, the Middle East & Africa. Altair’s simulation software is used by industry giants such as Airbus, Daimler, BMW, and Apple. In this article, we’ll talk about how startups can access the same software to test their products.

Pietro_Cervellera altair

Pietro Cervellera, Altair’s Senior VP EMEA

Pietro, Altair’s “vision is to radically change the way organizations design products and make decisions”. Can you tell us a little bit more?

The key part of our vision is innovation. At Altair, we aim to drive innovation. Using our broad portfolio of software products, companies can improve their product designs and make much better design decisions during the early development process. We enable companies to explore many possibilities, leverage high-performance computing, leverage numerical optimization & Artificial Intelligence to explore a wide range of ideas which leads to creating much better products.

With the Startup Program, you aim to make this software accessible to early-stage companies at a fraction of the price. What has been your experience since the launch?

The Startup Program was an idea of our colleagues in Silicon Valley and you can guess why 🙂 We have made good experiences so far, especially in the European region. The idea behind the startup program is to start relationships in an early stage, where the companies typically face a lot of challenges and need support – that’s where we want to contribute to their success.

Who are the startups that typically benefit from your program?

In terms of technology, we focus on four key areas:

  • Simulation-driven Design
  • Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE)
  • Cloud Computing
  • Internet of Things & Analytics

In other words, every startup working on the design of a physical device at any level of complexity is in the scope of companies that benefit from using our software tools.

It’s said that hardware startups don’t adopt simulation technology early enough. What’s your take on this?

This goes back to our vision – employing the most advanced numerical simulation and artificial intelligence technology very early, has the largest impact on design. Startups can test it virtually long before creating a physical product.

Startups face a special challenge. They are born around an idea and their mission is to develop this idea into a product with very limited resources in a very short time to attract investors. And this is where digital product development, driven by early adoption of simulation and optimization, can make the difference.

Apart from the software, startups also receive free consulting hours from Altair’s experts. What does this look like?

Think about young startups: they are understaffed, have people working 80 hours a week to reach the next milestones. This is because they may have a great idea but they have limited experience and surely limited resources.

This is where the consulting hours come in – a unique offering in the market. As the biggest engineering & consulting group in our space, we have built immense know-how in terms of using simulation technology for product development. Startups don’t have time to waste to become experts, that’s why we stand by the startup’s side to help them achieve results fast.

What is it that makes some startups more successful than others?

In books about the economy, there are millions of pages on startups. I think that nobody really has the answer as it’s hard to standardize. I think that product-centric companies need to have a prototype very quickly. They need to make sure the product is as mature as it can be and explore the design as fast as they can before they get into the big physical prototyping and manufacturing round which costs millions in machines, manufacturing, plants, etc.

So, the challenge here is the scaling. This means they need a much sounder design process, where the product gets mature quickly, is very credible and has been tested virtually under every possible angle so that it can be trusted. Everybody has great ideas on paper, some ideas are feasible, and others are not. The virtual environment is the ideal place to test an idea.

What’s your personal message to startup founders?

If you are a startup, you need to show that your idea works and is feasible. We are a perfect partner for that because we are able to show how your product will work virtually – without the cost and time involved in traditional prototyping.

For more information & to apply, visit Altair’s Startup Program today!

 

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