Having worked for 13 years in the design side of computer parts (such as chips and wireless components) while being involved in the corporate world, Divyesh Shah was very much familiar with the creation of blueprints for technical goods. However, it had always been a curious thing for the talented designer to wonder about the application of such theoretical work and its application into the end product. What was the real value of all the work that he had put into designing a product? Such pondering had also lead him to consider how better understanding the application side could leverage improvements for designers.
Armed with this curiosity and a motivation to become an entrepreneur, Divyesh prepared his transition from established companies to sprouting startups in 2012, gaining insight from others on starting an enterprise while taking several months to vet out his ideas. In the end, he selected some colleagues to join his team while perfecting the models he had worked on for his new enterprise. It was clear to him that he would focus on industrial IOT (Internet of Things) to capture the application side of production. Despite having no direct business exposure, Divyesh managed to learn such commerce essentials along the way, even gaining knowledge on the customer side of business interactions.
By 2013, Divyesh founded his company LinkeZ and was officially incubated into Sandbox Startups. He was rather fond of the concept of receiving support from the tier-ii incubation center in Hubballi so he felt that his decision to begin his enterprise there was a good one. Divyesh was aware of the fact that startups needed many things to function, but two in particular were crucial to their development. The first was the importance of mentoring not only in the technical but also in the business side, bringing in a fresh pair of eyes to redefine an initial thought. The second were links and contacts where Sandbox Startups helped Divyesh find senior people in the industries for positioning his products while finding early customers. The amount of dedication put forth by Sandbox Startups in these key aspects and the chance to use crucial office space for LinkeZ’s functions have really provided a solid base for the venture.
But despite all the support provided by the incubation center, it is inevitable that an enterprise would run into hurdles. For one thing, Divyesh had to struggle with finding the right kinds of co-founders and partners. But more interestingly, the LinkeZ founder had the unique challenge of convincing industrial customers of the value of his IoT venture. Because of the relative newness of the field, Divyesh spent over a year just to gain a customer who saw value in monitoring the life cycle of products. Even with the first meeting of a potential customer, a startup involved in solar panel development, he had to prove his firm’s technical capabilities and his prowess in understanding the problem through his models. Such confidence allowed Divyesh to pull through, gaining his first customer for his expanding venture.
LinkeZ’s credibility as an IoT venture has really been proven these past few years. With two industrial customers under its belt, 200+ nodes worked on, and no issues reported in the last 2.5 years, this progress has proven the capability of the firm to analyze and report on data involving QC indices, inputs on supply chains, assembly production, and real time machine monitoring. Furthermore, Divyesh hires a perfect ratio of professionals to freshers in order for talented graduates to hone their technical skills and to see the actual problems that customers may face on the system level. Bringing such an understanding adds value to these younger individuals to build and to impact customers with their work. All in all, having 6 months of run time going on for the venture, it will be exciting to see their transition from the MVP phase into product fitting and to observe the scalability of their services.
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