It’s been said launching a new business is like jumping off a cliff and assembling an airplane on the way down.
It’s a powerful metaphor for the entrepreneurial spirit: starting a business always begins with a leap of faith that promises both terrifying risks and the potential for huge rewards. However, like all metaphors, it oversimplifies a more complicated reality.
Many factors will influence the success or failure of a new business. But once that leap is made, time is short to get a new product market-ready, and resources (both financial and human) are limited. Countless startups have crashed and burned because their founders ran out of time or resources or both.
De-risking product development
Based in the McMaster Innovation Park, FYELABS Inc. is a proud partner of the Centre for Integrated Transportation and Mobility (CITM) dedicated to simplifying and accelerating product development for startups. FYELABS de-risks the design and development process for startups and SMEs by providing cross-functional engineering expertise to figure out the “nuts and bolts” of their product.
“Startups have finite resources and must be efficient. They must be profitable or in a position to raise funds sooner rather than later, to ensure their survival,” says FYELABS founder and CEO Suvojit Ghosh. “Trying to do all of this without a steady revenue stream or specialized technical resources in-house can be very difficult.”
Entrepreneurs are often navigating unfamiliar terrain as they try to launch, build and scale their business. Ghosh says trying to solve technical or design challenges on top of everything else can distract founders from what should be their top priority — developing an in-depth understanding their customers’ pain points — and cause critical delays in getting their product to market.
FYELABS provides predictability and stability during the design process using a proven Innovation-as-a-Service (IaaS) model that has helped develop over 100 products to date. From its beginnings as a spinoff from McMaster University’s Computing Infrastructure Research Centre, FYELABS has grown into a diverse team of over 40 engineers, developers and specialists with expertise in:
- AI/Machine Learning
- Computational Modelling
- Industrial Design
Innovation as a Service
By offering guaranteed timelines, costs and deliverables, FYELABS saves startups time and money — whether they’re looking for a fixed-scope contract to build a prototype under a tight deadline, or a retainer agreement that allows them to budget monthly expenses for ongoing technical services.
“We designed FYELABS so that founders could come to us with an idea and leave with a product,” Ghosh says.
The IaaS model is built upon three fundamental pillars to support founders who need to move quickly and keep costs down:
- One-stop shop: FYELABS offers broad array of engineering skill sets under one roof. This saves founders the time and trouble of looking for multiple vendors offering multiple types of services, and avoids the added project management costs of trying to get them all to work together efficiently.
- Lean, no–frills pricing: Every penny spent with FYELABS goes into engineering. FYELABS’ experts in the open-source ecosystem don’t waste time and money reinventing the wheel.
- Fast-paced model: In business, time is money: innovators can’t afford to wait years to get their product to market. FYELABS has created a model to help founders move from idea to minimal viable product in weeks or months, not years.
Breaking down technological barriers to entry in a complex automotive sector
Technology within the automotive and transportation sector is complex and that alone can act as a barrier for startups. However, that complexity also offers potential opportunities for innovators ranging from software to hardware to electrification to artificial intelligence for automotive components, and more.
CITM and its partners like FYELABS are here to help startups and founders overcome those barriers, says CITM Director Richard Dunda.
“As a transportation accelerator, we are constantly looking to add strategic partners to our innovation ecosystem who complement our resources for innovators,” Dunda says. “FYELABS draws upon a highly specialized cross-functional technical team for every design project, and brings credibility as a small business servicing small businesses.”