Prototypes are a thing of the past. With the software platform “Cross Connected” from Rüdenauer 3D Technology GmbH, mechatronic processes can be simulated and visualized in real-time as high-end 3D graphics. This makes it possible for businesses to virtually develop and optimize machine and system solutions and to experience these solutions interactively. The software can be used in the areas of product development, e-learning, sales, and service. In an interview, we asked Rüdenauer 3D Technology about the idea, startup time, and future prospects.
What does your company stand for?
Our goal is to cross-link dispersed knowledge across an industry product and make the respective user need intuitive and accessible anywhere in the 3D world.
With our software platform Cross Connected®, we make the invisible visible in mechatronics. Through the automatic cross-linking of interactive 3D visualization and real-time behavioral data (e.g., simulation, sensor data, etc.), our software platform offers customer-specific product experiences in the industrial environment.
Where and how did you get this brilliant idea?
We are a spin-off of the Department for Mobile Machinery at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). As part of an industry project, an industry partner approached us with the challenge of making the results of fluid mechatronic simulation less difficult to understand. With this, he gave us the foundation for the idea of Cross Connected®. After our own research and interviews, this original challenge was reaffirmed on numerous occasions. The increasing complexity of the products poses ever-growing challenges to businesses, especially when switching from engineering to downstreamed customer-oriented departments. The product know-how is in the minds of the engineers. However, during sales, the sales person needs this expertise for educating the trainers, etc. With Cross Connected®, we deliver a new approach for this.
How did your founding team come together?
We are a family startup. Thus, a large portion of the founders consists of family members that contribute their knowledge and skills. All others came about through contacts at the KIT.
What would you say are the benefits of being your own boss?
Being your own boss carries the great advantage of being able to recognize market opportunities and realize new ideas flexibly and quickly for the customer in order to bring about customer satisfaction and enthusiasm. In realizing the ideas on the market, intrinsic motivation is definitely helpful to truly spark innovation and continuous improvement.
What do you think are the properties that one should have to be a successful entrepreneur?
This can hardly be reduced to a single characteristic. In our opinion, the most important ones are:
- Team spirit – Startups are not the work of an individual but can come only from togetherness. In our case, this applies not only to family members but to the first team members in particular.
- Endurance – We work with a profit-oriented mindset to enable growth. Success and – especially as a founder – the perspective on success must be worked on every day anew.
- Enthusiasm – Finally and certainly one of the most important characteristics is passion about one’s own product, service, the company that is built. The KIT and the KIT Founders Forge offer a great environment to experience the startup spirit with a revived entrepreneurship scene.
What would you term as the hurdles on the way to a successful business? Where did you get support?
Financing – The first droughts must be clearly planned and overcome.
Manpower – The make-up of the team and finding enthusiastic pioneers to carry the spirit can be critical to the success.
Market orientation – Especially from the perspective of a founder, market orientation from day one is important. Coaching sessions and accelerators are very helpful to orient the focus of the entire startup team.
How did you deal with the large workloads during start-up?
Through team organization. From the start, it was clear to us that we wouldn’t just be able to overcome the diverse demands with good teamwork. Of course, it’s also a learning process. A clear and prioritized division of tasks, open communication, and 100% trust in each person were always essential cornerstones. The fact that you are pursuing a joint goal is also a motivational factor.
Do you have any advice for other young entrepreneurs?
Passion Never Fails! (thanks, CyberForum!)