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Startups: Digitalization to Realization

Startups: Digitalization to Realization is a podcast series where we interview startup owners about their journey to turn their idea into a reality and become the next industry leaders. Launching a startup is never an ea
Latest Episode10/25/2021

A New Way to Experience Space with Space Perspective

Ep. 14
The dream of going to space and experiencing zero gravity has only been realized by a handful of people. Commercial space flights are seeking to change this by creating a space tourism industry that will make it possible for more people to go past the edge of the earth. Currently, companies that are heavily invested in the industry compete on how far you can go, the quality of the experience, and the cost of getting there.Today, I’m talking to Taber MacCallum, co-founder, and co-CEO of Space Perspective, a human spaceflight company planning to take people and payloads to the edge of space by balloon. He was also a founding member of the Biosphere 2 design, development, test, and operations team as well as a crew member in the first two-year mission.In this episode, you’ll hear about the goals of Space Perspective and the achievements that they’ve had so far. You’ll also learn about the spacecraft Neptune and what it’ll take to be on the initial commercial trips to space. We also discuss the role that Siemens plays in helping companies create digital designs and perform well-rounded simulations.Some Questions I Ask:What does Commercial Spaceflight Federation do? (05:57)Why is the sea the preferred landing place for the spaceship? (17:58)Will there be any navigation aids on the capsule itself? (19:51)Do you and your wife still have the aspirations of going to Mars? (25:28)What You’ll Learn in This Episode:The fundamental idea behind Space Perspective (08:20)The price of going to space on Spaceship Neptune and the expected departure year (13:34)What the Stratis project entailed and the record that was set (16:42)How Space Perspective uses Siemens software for digital design and simulation (29:29)Connect with Taber MacCallum:LinkedInSpace PerspectiveConnect with Paul Musto:LinkedIn
10/25/2021

A New Way to Experience Space with Space Perspective

Ep. 14
The dream of going to space and experiencing zero gravity has only been realized by a handful of people. Commercial space flights are seeking to change this by creating a space tourism industry that will make it possible for more people to go past the edge of the earth. Currently, companies that are heavily invested in the industry compete on how far you can go, the quality of the experience, and the cost of getting there.Today, I’m talking to Taber MacCallum, co-founder, and co-CEO of Space Perspective, a human spaceflight company planning to take people and payloads to the edge of space by balloon. He was also a founding member of the Biosphere 2 design, development, test, and operations team as well as a crew member in the first two-year mission.In this episode, you’ll hear about the goals of Space Perspective and the achievements that they’ve had so far. You’ll also learn about the spacecraft Neptune and what it’ll take to be on the initial commercial trips to space. We also discuss the role that Siemens plays in helping companies create digital designs and perform well-rounded simulations.Some Questions I Ask:What does Commercial Spaceflight Federation do? (05:57)Why is the sea the preferred landing place for the spaceship? (17:58)Will there be any navigation aids on the capsule itself? (19:51)Do you and your wife still have the aspirations of going to Mars? (25:28)What You’ll Learn in This Episode:The fundamental idea behind Space Perspective (08:20)The price of going to space on Spaceship Neptune and the expected departure year (13:34)What the Stratis project entailed and the record that was set (16:42)How Space Perspective uses Siemens software for digital design and simulation (29:29)Connect with Taber MacCallum:LinkedInSpace PerspectiveConnect with Paul Musto:LinkedIn
8/9/2021

Combining Passion and Hard Work - Elevate’s Startup Story

Ep. 13
Being dominant in a market full of alternatives requires entrepreneurs who’ll go above and beyond to meet their customers’ needs. Companies that thrive in such environments leverage their passion to understand and solve problems faced by their products’ end users.Today, I’m speaking to Kelly McGee, the co-founder and current engineering and design VP of Elevate Dynamics, a healthcare product company that builds ankle-foot orthoses (AFOs) to help people suffering from foot drop.In today’s episode, you’ll learn about their AFO product and the problem it solves for its users. We’ll dive into the challenges that are faced by startups and how to overcome some of them. You’ll also hear more about the importance of market research and the role that data plays in product development.Join us as we discuss how Elevate Dynamics successfully combined hard work and passion to build a successful product.Some Questions I Ask:What is AFO and what’s its history? (5:59)How did Elevate end up working on AFO? (11:07)What led to Elevate’s partnership with SPS? (17:51)How did COVID impact Elevate? (21:44)Why did Elevate choose Siemens CAD software? (22:49)What are Elevate’s future plans? (24:17)What You’ll Learn in This Episode:The purpose of an AFO (5:59)The prevalence and causes of drop foot (7:56)How to conduct meaningful market research (15:24)The importance of trust while building a brand (19:31)The benefits that Siemens CAD offers to startups (22:49)The importance of focus for startups (26:46)Resources:ElevateMovementSiemens Startups SoftwareConnect with Kelly McGee:LinkedInConnect with Paul Musto:LinkedIn
7/9/2021

Closing the Gap: Aerodynamics and Environmental Impact with Deflect, LLC

Ep. 12
Big sweeping changes are hard to come by when it comes to environmental preservation. They also take a long time to settle into place. So, perhaps the real sustainability changes we’re seeking are those that come in smaller packages. It’s the less disruptive and more easily implemented solutions that are filling in the gaps, and those small efforts can add up quickly.Today, I’m talking to Spencer Maynes, a Kansas City based inventor and data scientist working to reduce energy consumption in the transportation industry. He’s the CEO of Deflect, LLC, a company that’s introduced a system called RoofRider, a unique product that significantly improves the aerodynamics for transportation and passenger trains. We’ll also hear from the company CTO, Adrian Villar.In this episode, you’ll learn how this deflector technology helps reduce drag in the inter-car gap, and how Deflect, LLC came up with such a unique solution to a long-known fuel efficiency problem in the rail industry. We’ll discuss the importance of testing and simulation, and how Siemens NX is helping throughout the design process. Finally, you’ll hear about the challenges they experienced and the support they benefited from as they launched the company, and the process of bringing their technology closer to market.Some Questions I Ask:How does the product concept work? (3:38)Are there other companies creating similar products? (6:12)What's happening between the train cars as they're moving down the track? (12:06)What challenges do you anticipate from both a technical and a business perspective? (16:08)What You’ll Learn in This Episode:How the RoofRyder reduces fuel consumption on freight trains (2:36)A unique mission statement (4:46)Differences and similarities between the aerodynamics of race cars and trains (10:13)Risk management in the rail industry (18:08)Resources:RoofRiderConnect with Spencer Maynes:LinkedInConnect with Adrian Villar:LinkedInConnect with Paul Musto:LinkedIn
6/18/2021

Beyond the Horizon: The Future of Gas Turbines with Sierra Turbines

Ep. 11
When it comes to getting an aircraft off the ground, it’s no longer a question of “if” it will fly. We’ve moved into the era of “how”- and the emphasis today is on efficiency. This encompasses energy consumption, endurance, speed, and overall performance. Today, we’re looking into the future of turbine engines and exploring what lies just beyond the horizon of existing technology. We’re looking towards what’s next.Today, I’m talking to Roger Smith and David Laudermilch of Sierra Turbines. Roger started as a software engineer for Apple nearly 20 years ago, and today, he’s the CEO of this innovative California company. David is a Design Engineer with previous experience working with companies like Saab and Rolls Royce. Together, they’ve taken their experience working for industry leaders in software and transportation and turned towards the production of gas microturbines.In this episode, you’ll hear how each of their rather unique career trajectories eventually led them to this Silicon Valley startup. We’ll talk about the early challenges of getting a microturbine company off the ground, the technologies that merge in order to create their products, and the interesting work they're doing in collaboration with NASA.Some Questions I Ask:What makes your turbines unique? (4:07)What are the advantages of using additive for your microturbines? (5:16)What challenges did you face in the early stages of developing Sierra Turbines? (8:40)What drew you to Siemens and why do you prefer NX? (15:22)What's the first commercial application that you see? (21:17)What You’ll Learn in This Episode:How Sierra Turbines began (2:59)The link between microturbines and outer space (6:06)Preparing for the validation process (13:45)What’s on the horizon Sierra Turbines (19:21)Preparing for a zero-emissions future (23:50)Resources:Sierra TurbinesConnect with Roger Smith:LinkedInConnect with David Laudermilch:LinkedInConnect with Paul Musto:LinkedIn
6/4/2021

Apollo Fusion and The Future of Satellite Propulsion

Ep. 10
The satellite business is growing rapidly as space technology and technology here on Earth advances. Whether it’s for navigation purposes or wifi accessibility, more and more satellites of all sizes and purposes are being launched into the great beyond. But, before they can fulfill their purpose, they have to hitch a ride to space.My guest today is Dean Massey, Director of Research at Apollo Fusion, Inc. This California-based company is developing exciting new forms of propulsion for space satellites. In this rapidly growing industry, Apollo stands out because of their unique focus on the smaller satellite market. Their journey into space began in 2016 with fusion, and soon after transformed into propulsion as the market began to develop and show promise.In this episode, you’ll hear about the early days of this space-age startup, and more about the overall history of space satellites. We’ll talk about how the propulsion system functions as it simultaneously launches hundreds of small satellites, and the simulation aspects of recreating a space-like environment. You’ll also learn about the challenges they’ve faced as a startup in the space industry, and how they’ve surpassed them as they gear up for their first launch.Some Questions I Ask:What’s the mission that you and your team have embarked on? (1:30)What is a Hall Thruster? (6:47)How does the propulsion system function on the satellite? (11:40)What makes Apollo thrusters unique (17:55)What are the future goals for the company? (22:28)What drew you to Siemens and the products that you use? (26:35)What You’ll Learn in This Episode:Why the Apollo focus is on the smaller satellite market (2:28)How the company shifted from fusion to propulsion (5:19)A short history of space satellites (7:53)How long it takes satellites to get to space (14:08)Why manufacturability makes Apollo different (20:01)Resources:Apollo FusionConnect with Dean Massey:LinkedInConnect with Paul Musto:LinkedIn
1/18/2021

Flying With Efficiency: The Future Air Freight with Aleksey Matyushev of Natilus Corporation

Ep. 9
How many times have you ordered something online, and received a box 4x the size of the product inside? Aside from the confusion as to why, we’re all left with the sentiment of how wasteful it is. Well, there’s one company out there working to change that.Throughout the pandemic, e-commerce has taken off astronomically. That means the demand for smart and efficient air cargo solutions is on the rise.My guest today is Aleksey Matyushev from Natilus Corporation, a California based startup working on creating autonomous drone aircraft. Their goal is to reduce the cost of airfreight by 50% through thoughtful design and a smarter use of space.In this episode, Aleksey talks about how he pivoted from industrial design to entrepreneurship and shares details about the autonomous aircraft being produced by Natilus. He also shares valuable insight about the inner workings of Silicon Valley, and why aspiring entrepreneurs don’t necessarily need to flock there in order to find success.Some Questions I Ask:How did you come up with the idea for Natilus? (3:28)Do you ever see this evolving into human transportation? (6:50)What was the process that you went through to validate the effectiveness of the designs? (10:39)How do you save money by flying at lower altitudes? (12:56)What can you share with other entrepreneurs about your startup experience? (15:25)What kinds of simulations is Natilus doing? (25:38)What You’ll Learn in This Episode:Why the F22 never went into major production (4:55)What makes Natilus stand out from the competition (7:58)Why making an electric aircraft is different from making an electric car (9:18)The creative strategy they used to help build the business (10:58)Why e-commerce was an important consideration in their design process (14:09)Lessons in product development (19:02)A message for aspiring entrepreneurs and engineers (27:26)Resources:NatilusSiemens Startups Program: from idea to market leader with the right toolsConnect with Aleksey Matyushev:LinkedInConnect with Paul Musto:LinkedIn
1/4/2021

Taking Flight with Ephi Blanshey of Blanshey Aviation

Ep. 8
If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to jump off of a mountain and glide uninhibited across the sky, today’s guest is bringing you one step closer to that reality. He believes that the current transportation options available limit our movement by confining us to land. Why drive when we could be flying?My guest today is Ephi Blanshey. He’s the younger half of the father and son duo behind Blanshey Aviation. They’re currently designing an electric propulsion system to improve the experience of lightweight flying for hang gliding machines.In today’s episode, we’ll learn about the origins of these design ideas that originated with Ephi’s father, Vladimir. We’ll also talk about the reasons they’ve moved away from a combustion engine model, and how the newer electric engines benefit the design.Ephi tells us about their CAD design and 3D printing tools, and names some of the helpful forums he’s found for anyone out there interested in using Solid Edge. Are you ready to take to the skies and enter the next generation of mobility?Some Questions I Ask:What’s the origin of Blanshey Aviation? (1:24)When did the trike first appear as a recreational vehicle? (4:02)How was design approached in the early days? (7:47)How did you move into electric aviation? (10:31)What do the next 3-5 years look like for your company? (16:26)What online communities have you found to be the most useful? (20:41)How are you assembling the products you make? (23:42)What You’ll Learn in This Episode:The complex logistics of hang gliding (2:24)The problems associated with using a combustion engine to fly (6:27)How Blanshey uses Solid Edge (13:09)The unique challenges for this type of aviation (18:33)The 3D printer they use and how it’s modified as needed (21:57)How & where testing takes place (25:09)Advice to other entrepreneurs (26:28)Resources:Hacker NewsFacebook GroupsSolid Edge Community ForumSiemens BlogConnect with Ephi Blanshey:Email/ TwitterInstagramConnect with John Fox:LinkedInTwitter