Home Business The Trailblazers: Introducing ScoutCam

The Trailblazers: Introducing ScoutCam

by SuperiorInvest

Startups in the limelight can soon become changemakers; meanwhile, their journey may have already contained a valuable lesson for all of us

Focus on innovation

Every start-up’s journey is unique, but the challenges they face are not.

The ways they choose to overcome the obstacles in their path, the creativity it takes to maneuver and win along the way, and their ultimate recipes for success could all fill chapters in a potential guide for new startups.

Every company can contribute to this vast shared pool of collective knowledge.

ScoutCam is a visualization and artificial intelligence platform. It offers video sensor-based solutions for critical systems in aerospace, transportation and energy based on proven visual technologies and products from the medical industry. CEO, Yehu Ofer, Colonel IDF (Reserves) explains:

“Although its initial focus was on the development of miniaturized cameras for use in minimally invasive surgeries, over time it has become clear that our technology can be used in a variety of industries, especially in hard-to-reach areas or harsh environments where visual assessment is essential. for maintenance and safety. The industry was increasingly looking for advanced solutions for monitoring and maintaining critical systems, and this led us to innovate our own visual sensing and video analytics technology,” he says.

“For example, in the aviation industry, airlines and aircraft manufacturers who want to maintain their aircraft and ensure their safety face serious challenges. The same applies to the transportation and energy industries, as well as factories transitioning to Industry 4.0, where critical equipment must be monitored and maintained to avoid costly downtime and ensure worker safety. Our technology provides a distinctive solution to these challenges by leveraging visual sensing technology, embedded software and AI-based video analytics applications to provide real-time visibility in hard-to-reach locations. It enables predictive maintenance and condition-based monitoring of equipment, identifies potential problems and takes proactive steps to avoid downtime and ensure safety.”

Founded in 2019 by a small team that now has more than 50 employees, ScoutCam expects to employ 100 by the end of 2023. It has raised roughly $44 million since its inception; just last month, the company announced the closing of a $14 million private placement.

What were the first steps you took to realize your idea?

“We identified a need for video-based sensor technologies, especially in hard-to-reach environments, and worked to develop the technology while conducting several real-time demonstrations to demonstrate its capabilities. In addition, we have used our own visualization solution to support elevator safety inspections: we monitor the condition of cables and distance-guided counterweights in real time using image-based artificial intelligence functions; we issue a warning as soon as the distance exceeds the permitted threshold. This prevents loss of time and money and even loss of life.”

How do you change the bottom line for your customers?

“Different ways. To name a few, we minimize downtime, enable our customers to inspect and diagnose issues in hard-to-reach locations, while providing faster root cause analysis and new data and insights. Another factor is increased safety, as well as avoiding unnecessary maintenance. Thanks to our high-quality video visualization and analysis technology, our customers can see exactly what is happening inside their equipment; they avoid unnecessary maintenance and only fix what needs to be fixed instead of doing a full overhaul.”

What would you say is your wow factor?

“Our cool factor is our next-generation maintenance solutions, from sensing to real-time statistics and alerts, which enable companies to address big challenges before they become big problems, reducing maintenance and operational costs while increasing safety. Using proprietary visual technologies and products from the medical industry, we can offer high-quality, reliable and innovative solutions that can be implemented in hard-to-reach locations and harsh environments. Additionally, our visualization and AI platform enables predictive maintenance (PdM) and condition-based monitoring (CBM) capabilities that can help businesses optimize their operations and reduce system downtime and maintenance costs.”

What was the turning point for your company?

“When we realized that our patented solution could potentially be used in industries other than the medical industry. This opened up new horizons for these industries. This breakthrough allowed us to facilitate NASA’s use of our HD micro video camera on NASA’s robotic refueling mission 3.”

What mistakes would you say you made along the way?

“Some possible areas where we may have faced challenges include focusing on a specific market rather than broadly expanding our offering.”

What was your best decision on the road?

“Some of our best decisions may include focusing on the medical industry, developing our Camera-as-a-Sensor™ technology, and expanding our product offering to include predictive maintenance and condition monitoring solutions.”

What did you not know about the market or running a startup that you can now teach others?

“I learned that startups need to have a sustainable business model that generates revenue and achieves profitability. This requires a focus on creating a product or service that actually solves a customer problem and creates value for them. It is essential to constantly iterate your technology and product based on customer feedback and market trends to ensure you are delivering the best possible solution to your customers. Another important factor for startups is creating a strong brand identity and a clear marketing strategy. This includes understanding your target audience, identifying the right channels to reach them and creating messages that resonate with them. I finally learned that startups need to be financially disciplined and operate with a lean mindset. That means managing expenses carefully, prioritizing investments that drive growth, and being nimble enough to pivot quickly when needed. It’s important to keep a close eye on cash flow, because it’s the lifeblood of any startup.”

Marketing strategy: how did you pave the way to your clients?

“We have paved the way for our clients by utilizing various marketing strategies that include building relationships with key decision makers in target companies and industries; offering them demos and trials of products that implemented our cutting-edge technology optimized for Predictive Health Monitoring (PHM) and Condition Based Maintenance (CBM). Understanding the pain points of potential clients has been a critical part of our effective marketing strategy. There is a great need for visibility in inaccessible areas or areas that are not suitable for real-time monitoring.”

How big was the marketing element in your overall strategy and budget?

“Companies typically allocate around 10-20% of their total budget to marketing. ScoutCam has a strong marketing focus to increase awareness of our unique technology among companies looking for breakthrough solutions for their predictive maintenance and condition-based monitoring needs. We use a variety of digital marketing tools to meet our clients and potential leads electronically; we also meet them personally at professional conferences.”

Where will you be in a year?

“The demand for Predictive Health Monitoring (PHM) and Condition Based Maintenance (CBM) is expected to increase significantly in the coming years due to factors such as the increasing complexity of industrial equipment, the clear need to reduce maintenance and downtime costs, and the transition to Industry 4.0 technologies . As a result, there are significant opportunities for companies that can provide innovative solutions to such challenges. In addition, although the company already operates in several industries, there may be opportunities to expand into new markets where our visual sensing and video analytics solutions can provide unique advantages. As we continue to focus on predictive maintenance and condition-based monitoring and continue to invest in our technology and capabilities, we expect to continue to grow and expand our business next year and beyond.”

What will the industry look like in 5/10 years?

“Broadly speaking, I think the future of video sensors, predictive maintenance and Industry 4.0 is likely to be characterized by constant innovation and disruption. As technology continues to evolve, companies will need to adapt and adopt new solutions to remain competitive and meet the evolving needs of their customers. Video sensors are likely to become even more complex and widespread. These sensors are likely to be smaller, cheaper and more powerful, allowing them to be used in a wider range of applications. We expect predictive maintenance (PdM) to gain popularity due to the need to reduce downtime and maintenance costs. It will potentially be even more sophisticated and include a wider range of data sources. As with video sensors and PdM, Industry 4.0 will continue to transform the manufacturing industry in the coming years, and we will see further advances in automation, robotics and artificial intelligence, enabling manufacturers to increase efficiency, reduce costs and improve quality.”

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