We talked to Viktor Börjesson of ReVibe, experts in vibration energy harvesting and vibration data loggers and here is what he said about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Viktor Börjesson: We are doing well, thank you! Certainly challenging times, but we do our best to see the positives and feel lucky that we still can work while still staying safe.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded ReVibe.
Viktor Börjesson: ReVibe was founded by my two co-founders (Erik and Per) and I in 2014 while Erik and I were pursuing our Master’s degree at the Chalmers University of Technology. We founded the company together with SAAB Group and Chalmers Ventures, who both believed in the technology and the potential of transforming vibrations into electricity. So, in essence, it was the perfect mix of industrial application knowledge (SAAB), academic and venture experience (Chalmers), and entrepreneurial spirit and knowledge from the three entrepreneurs.
How does ReVibe innovate?
Viktor Börjesson: We are extremely customer-centric when we innovate! As a result, we innovate in two different ways:
1) Together with our customers, they have identified a need for vibration energy harvesting to combine our respective strengths to create new and innovative products within Industrial IoT.
2) Secondly, we also develop products and services when we see a clear need in the market that has been expressed by current or potential customers. For this instance, we use our core knowledge around vibration energy harvesting and precise measurement solutions and make sure that for each step in the internal development we take, we do our best to involve potential and current customers to validate each major decision we take.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Viktor Börjesson: It has had a massive impact on our business, to be honest. And the reason for this is that we are active in several industrial sectors, which all slowed down dramatically during the first 3-6 months of Covid. This, of course, had an impact on us as well. But since the shift between Q3 and Q4, we have seen a change from current and potential customers where their view on the future is beginning to shift towards a positive view. So we’re slowly, but surely, getting back to normal.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Viktor Börjesson: With any sudden changes, difficult choices are almost unavoidable. But, compared to what many other companies have had to go through during Covid and the decisions they have had to make, we have been one of the lucky ones. Early on, we decided to focus on internal product development to be ready to offer our customers even better products than what we could do before Covid. So, I can’t wait for this period to be over, but I firmly believe that our decision to go for product development (the ReLog vibration data logger and our new line of vibration energy harvesting evaluation kits).
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
Viktor Börjesson: Google Meet, Asana, Autodesk Inventor, Autodesk Vault, Autodesk Eagle, and Pipedrive. All of these are essential to our different teams. And I would probably single out Slack and Asana as the most important ones as they allow us to communicate as we would in the office as well as plan our projects together.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Viktor Börjesson: There are a few very skilled companies in the world working with energy harvesting. However, our real competitions are the natural instinct with engineers to use a battery or normal cables as a power source. Our mission is to spread the knowledge of vibration energy harvesting and in which applications we can create so much value for the customer that choosing anything else than vibration energy harvesting simply won’t be possible.
Your final thoughts?
Viktor Börjesson: Simply that we hope that Covid soon will be over so that we all can go back to creating value across the globe without the hurdles created by a virus.