Sawaiz Syed (CTO) and Timur Kharrasov (CEO) © Nils Lucas
What inspired you to found your startup?
I was doing market research on innovative products for drinkig water systems and realised that there are hundreds of intelligent solutions for smart home applications however very little of them dedicated to managing water installations.
How do you define success for yourself and your company?
Being successfull for Smart Wins means to have lots of happy customers whose real needs are met by our products, and whose contributions would help to rapidly grow our business. Success for ourselves as a small but highly purposeful team would be reaching our milestones within a set timeline and limited resources.
Is there anything you’d do differently if you could do it again?
I would ask question “why” much more often, especially myself. I would start talking to customers much earlier.
What problem does your product solve?
Our first product – Waterminator sensor, detects residential leakages that happen 6-7 times more often that fires or burglaries. More than 1 million leaks happen annually in Germany leading to more than 2 bln euros losses to German insurance industry. With other products of ours we will be are addressing various other problems related to the security, hygine, efficiency and comfort related problems orginating due to the presence of drinking water system in the buildings.
Where do you see your company in 1/5/10 years?
In five years we envision ourselves being the market leader for intelligent hardware and software solutions for drinking water installations.
How are you different?
Being customer centric is a part of our mission. That’s why the main USP of all our products is their user-friendliness. E.g. Waterminator – there is no need to cut the pipe to install the sensor. It just needs to be clamped on a pipe by user himself. It runs over battery and connects to internet wirelessly. Waterminator is an intelligent highly sensitive self-learning system. It does not only detects leakages but also warns user over potential bacterial contamination of the water.
How often does your product/service show up in a user’s day or week?
Waterminator sensor mainly stays in the background being completely unobtrusive, only jumping in to the user’s routine when its input really needed – preventing the leakage or bacterial contamination. However if user is interested in knowing how his water consumption is distributed over various activities he can also trigger the interaction.
Impact: how are you doing good and building a better future?
Being a part of Smart Home concept our solutions will be contributing to the life quality and well-being by addressing aspects such as healthcare, security, efficiency and comfort. However, the Waterminator for example does not only mitigates water damage risks (security) and bacterial contamination (health) but also stress factor related to the necessity to cope with problems related to water damage.
How has the startup scene in Berlin changed?
Both of us became a part of Berlin’s startup scene relativlely recently thus we can’t provide an exhaustive reply. It seems that especially in recent years most of big corporates try to influence and learn from startup dynamics by providing accelleration programmes and similar initiatives often leading to investments.
What are the pros and cons of launching your startup from Berlin?
Pros: 1) Berlin startuppers are often extremely helpful and open-minded people. Do not know if that’s a case everywhere? 2) Dozens of acceleration and funding programmes available – often pro bono. 3) Relatively easy to get away with English. Cons: German Bureaucracy.
Smart Wins was featured in “The Hundert Vol. 10 – Startups of Berlin“, October 2017.