For Pozyx founder Vadim Vermeiren third time's the charm. He has the entrepreneurial spirit. He already founded two other startups, but this time he seems to find real success . The Pozyx system is a hardware solution that provides accurate positioning and motion information. Forget about WiFi, GPS or bluetooth, Pozyx manages to spot the difference between your couch and your coffee table. The system very accurate with just a few centimeters margin of error!
Through a masters thesis, the founders came to the conclusion that there was need for more accurate positioning. They developed Pozyx en validated its use through Kickstarter. Which turned out to be an unexpected surprise. ‘What do you mean unexpected’, you ask? At the campaign launch they didn’t exactly have a target group in mind so they just took a leap of faith. A good one, fortunately. Through online press they got a lot of traction. After their Kickstarter, they founded their company. “That valorization process is crucial. If no-one wants to buy your idea, it just stays an idea. Crowdfunding seemed the perfect way to target the potential Pozyx users”, Vermeiren explains.
Their market appears to be the big retail and logistic sector. They can use Pozyx to track and trace their supplies, but Pozyx can also be used in amusement parks, art galleries,… You can even let a drone fly safely in your house through their technology. It seems the be a very wide branch. This is intentional. The Pozyx technology offers pure API-based X-Y-Z-coordinates at anyone’s disposal. This means that companies can plug-in fast and easy. Look at their Kickstarter video and you’ll understand it immediately.
“Above all the difference in dynamic”, says Vermeiren when we ask him about his view on working in a corporate company versus working in a startup. “In a corporate company you’re one part of the machine, in a startup you are the machine.” He doesn’t believe that entrepreneurship is for everyone, but he strongly suggest that everyone should get the chance to try if it works, at school for example. “A big company gives more stability then a startup. But we should learn how to deal with risks”, he argues.
“In Belgium is not easy to start a company”, Vermeiren says. “If you want to raise € 5 million, investors ask what can you do with € 2,5 million? In the United States they say, what can you do with € 10 million?"
Are we lagging behind? “Pozyx started it off as an Irish company because Kickstarter wasn’t supported in Belgium at the time. 80% of our costumers are worldwide, so we have to cover every time zone for support, but to regulate night work is difficult and quite expensive. Also they expect a high-end product.” Trail & Error is not the way to go for entrepreneurs in Belgium. “There is something wrong with the people’s perception about entrepreneurs”, says Vermeiren, “they think we are piling up money but instead I go to work in my wife’s car, because I can’t buy one for myself."
So it seems like there’s still some work to do if we want to create a good entrepreneurial climate in Belgium.
Entrepreneurship runs through Vermeirens veins. He always felt the need to solve problems. Due to earlier experiences, he learned that the moment you go to market with your product is very crucial. With his first startup he was too early, with the second one just too late.
At the same time focus is also very important! “Quit your day job”, says Vermeiren determined. “You have to jump. It’s the only way to move forward.” Finding the right focus is one of the key factors to Pozyx’ success. They define their focus every month and don’t let it out of their sight until it’s done. “And search for a good accountant!” We’ve heard that one before. This advice is less sexy but essential. Pozyx is cost-effective after only two years, which is relatively fast.
Vermeiren give us 3 good tips to leave with: explore your market in advance, timing is of the essence and adapt quickly, and see to a perfect investor deck. This is the first thing people see of you and competence has to be written all over it!
We like to wish Pozyx good luck with their further growth! You can support them by passing them your vote on the Bolero Crowdfunding Summit.
Text: Kim Cnudde