TresActio is one of the four companies in the spring run of the Business Acceleration Academy. The five founders met each other during a course at DTU where they worked on unexploited IP provided by Siemens. Due to the good feedback, they received from potential customers they decided to form a company and started negotiations around a licensing agreement with Siemens.
In March, they began their business acceleration in BII and the team consists of Toke Faurby, CEO, Christian Ege-Johansen, CTO, Frederik Riddersholm, Director of Research, Stanislav Ondruš, Director of Hardware Development, and Mads Wehlast Hansen, Director of Software Development.
We asked Frederik Riddersholm a few questions about TresActio.
What problem is TresActio solving?
Biological production requires a large number of experiments for microorganism screening and growth media optimization. Many of the screening experiments are run in shake flasks with little to no monitoring and control of the growth medium. This makes it a grey area where researchers lack vital experimental data and it can eventually lead to erroneous conclusions about the commercial potential of the organism. We are building a small reactor that is fast and easy to set up and contains all the sensors needed to control an environment of microorganisms in these experiments to avoid misleading conclusions.
What is the current situation on the market?
The reactors on today’s market are quite large and require a lot of labor to set up. A single technician is able to control around 16 reactors but with our early prototypes, we want to bring that number up to around 50 and eventually hundreds. After we had built the first prototype, we reached out to Chr. Hansen and Novozymes and it was in our meetings with them – our potential customers – we realized that there is a huge potential in our reactor.
What did you do from there?
This was the summer of 2018, and we went full time on the project and looked into different funding possibilities. Our network at DTU has been very encouraging and we got legal assistance through Startdust DTU and a grant from DTU Skylab. However, it became clear that we lacked some of the important business skills required to start a company. We needed to estimate our market, identify our competitors and make an IP strategy, which we didn’t know how to do.
What are your most important learnings from the BAA program so far?
We all come with technical backgrounds, so it has been very helpful to learn general business skills and we have met with many experts that have pointed to the weak points we need to improve on. The biggest learning has been around IP rights, and we have realized that we need to make a strategy to protect our idea.
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