Earlier this month, Berlin-based startup AIRTEAM Aerial Intelligence joined the AtomLeap High-Tech Accelerator, a program funded by the European Social Fund and the Berlin Senate. In order to introduce this inspiring team of entrepreneurs to the followers of this blog, we sat down with them to ask them a few questions. Happy reading and, as always, feel free to get in touch with us using the contact form on our homepage if you need help growing your high-tech startup.
Welcome to AtomLeap, AIRTEAM. Let’s start with a quick round of introductions.
Hi. We are Gautier Chapuis and Thomas Gorski and we co-founded AIRTEAM. Gautier, who is AIRTEAM’s CTO, is a Frenchman and a true rocket scientist with a background in aerospace engineering. Myself, Thomas, am German and have worked in marketing, sales, and business development before launching this venture and taking on the role of CEO. In addition to us two, AIRTEAM is comprised of Sebastian, Igor, Nick, Rana, and Caroline, who work on computer vision, software development, operations, and business development.
What does AIRTEAM do specifically?
Since we started off, little over a year ago, AIRTEAM has developed a software as a service named Roof-Inspector. Our platform enables construction companies, architects, roofers, and other professionals to map, measure and inspect work sites—particularly roofs—using drone imagery. To do so, we work with a network of professional drone operators located all over Germany.
At the moment, we are developing our second product, Roof Inspector Basic, which will leverage satellite imagery to measure work sites. Our long-term goal is to create digital twins of all the buildings in Germany and, ultimately, in Europe.
What kind of issues or problems are you looking to solve?
In the beginning, Gautier and I were focused on drones as a technology. We did more than 100 hours of test flights with drones for virtually every use case you can imagine—inspecting windmills, roofs, solar panels, telecommunication towers, and even cranes.
Subsequent research on the markets associated with these use cases revealed that construction and particularly roofing would benefit the most from aerial imagery. As you may know, construction projects are frequently plagued by delays and run over budget because developers are missing data or there is an imperfect flow of information between different stakeholders involved in the planning and execution processes. Not only that, but rooftops are notoriously difficult to reach and pose safety risks for workers. Drones can help alleviate these problems.
Besides, the construction industry is one of the largest contributors to the world economy. At $10 trillion, its annual output represents 13% of the global GDP. The German construction industry alone is worth €100 billion. A sub-sector of this sector, surveying and mapping, account for approximately 9% of the German construction sector, or €9.2 billion. AIRTEAM is on its way to shaking up this industry.
How does Roof-Inspector work in practice?
As a first step, clients simply place a request for a measurement on the Roof-Inspector website, at which point we check the airspace and select suitable drone operators close by. Within 48 hours, the drone operator collects aerial imagery from the site and uploads it to our platform. The data then gets processed on our platform to create a 3D model and an easy-to-use measurement report for the customer.
There are other startups working on similar projects related to satellite and drone monitoring. What makes AIRTEAM different?
You are right that there are many other drone startups out there. But we go beyond imaging by transforming pictures into measurements reports. AIRTEAM’s magic sauce is advanced data processing via computer vision algorithms. We continuously work on further automating the process of transforming images into measurements. Every roof is different, so automating the process is a challenge. But our ultimate goal is producing accurate measurements in real time.
What drew your interest in the AtomLeap High-Tech Accelerator program?
We already have paying customers, so we are well on track to developing our business. Our main reason for joining the accelerator is smart acceleration. That is because we are not only competing against other German startups, but also against companies from Silicon Valley and Israel that may have greater access to resources. For us, it is essential to grow as fast as our domestic and international competitors. With AtomLeap’s help, we will learn how to further accelerate our business.
What are your goals for the next six months?
Our main goal is successfully launching Roof Inspector Basic, for which we have already built a minimum viable prototype. In order to support our expansion, we are looking to hire operations, sales, and computer vision engineering staff. If you want to join a startup that takes to the sky, email [email protected].