Stecnius developed a smart training mirror called Solos. It offers smart sensors to detect the execution of an exercise, giving the user instant real-time feedback by measuring heartbeat and tracking movements. By combining the data from these sensors, Stecnius is able to generate an accurate model in terms of both angles and depth resolution. These sensor technologies also enable them to measure the user’s breathing and heart rate to further improve his or her training.
ESA BIC Bavaria Manager Cornelia Gebath (CG) interviews Vladimir Kondic (VK), CEO at Stecnius.
CG: Please give us a sneak peek of your product and the team behind it.
VK: Solos Mirrors (Product of Stecnius UG) is a digital mirror that helps gym users to train correctly by showing exercises and correcting them during the execution without a single sensor attached to the body. The interdisciplinary team consisting of informaticians, electrical engineers as well as business economists was able to create a revolutionary training experience that helps studio owners, trainers and users to further develop their level of healthiness.
CG: What has been your company’s biggest challenge so far?
VK: The biggest challenge so far was to understand the industry. In the beginning we tried to apply conventional methods to the market, but soon we realised this industry works in a different way. Everybody knows each other and new ideas have to be proven first by some key players before they are accepted by the rest. To get into the inner circle it takes a lot of effort and meetings, but once you are in, doors open easily.
CG: Can you explain the three main ingredients of your recipe for success?
VK: The main ingredient is a good team that works as a unit and focuses on the goals. Everybody needs to support each other, no matter how difficult the tasks are. A structured plan is one of the most important components to success, as many influences are coming from outside that can destabilise a young startup. Meeting the right people helps to grow fast and open doors. On our journey a lot of personalities met us, but only a few remained supportive and loyal as promised.
CG: What did you expect from ESA BIC Bavaria and how did the initiative and its network help you to kick-start your business case?
VK: Most programs claim to support a startup by sharing information on events and professional support in various fields. This usually results in tons of emails with irrelevant content. The ESA BIC Bavaria showed us how it should work: Every single event that we were informed about fitted to our industry and product. Every bit of support offered was just at the right time and adapted to the stage of our startup. In the end we had so many opportunities that it was hard to choose to which we should go, as every single one was great.
In addition, the network always promoted our steps so that we were able to constantly count on ESAs support for marketing activities.
CG: How can you benefit from the DLR support?
VK: The ESA and DLR are very careful with the startups. In other words, this means they care about every problem that the startup may have and also tries to help them in every phase. So, besides the technical support that is offered, the institutions also help the startups with their expertise about general issues. With more than 140 startups that already passed the incubation period, they usually know how to help you with every barrier.
CG: Let’s reach for the stars – what is going to happen in Stecnius UG future?
VK: The Stecnius UG wants to digitise the last white spot in the studios, namely free weight exercises and training with your own bodyweight. But this is just the beginning. By end of the year we are also entering the hotel business and corporate fitness: two new areas with similar problems. We want to make people healthier and improve their well-being in every phase of their life.