Our Start-up of the Week is Antikytera e-Technologies, a business that has developed assistance software using augmented reality to help companies collaborate.
For the last three years, Kristian Karazissis has been living and working in Ireland as CEO of Dublin-based Antikytera e-Technologies.
He was born in Vigevano, Italy, but told Siliconrepublic.com that he has fallen in love with Ireland and wants to spend “many, many” more years here.
From an early age, Karazissis wanted to be an entrepreneur, but spent some time playing professional water polo and the cello before setting up his start-up in a little Italian restaurant back in 2017. He had studied engineering in university and said that he has his family to thank for the opportunities he has been given in life, including his education.
“Like all Italians, I love my family,” he said. “Especially my mother.”
Karazissis set up Antikytera e-Technologies with co-founder and COO Paula Guimaraes, who has a background in computer science, mainly related to computer graphics and computer vision.
Their start-up has developed a remote assistance software called Ermes. The technology combines augmented reality (AR) with real-time communications to connect a technician in the field with an expert, so that the expert can see and discuss what’s happening and offer support remotely.
The technician and experts can draw digital annotations on a screen that are anchored to physical objects in reality, allowing the operator to guide the technician through a process, step by step. Karazissis said that the ultimate goal is to make Ermes a recognisable brand, worldwide.
‘The development of technology was a challenge as we had to persuade sceptical clients to believe in us’
– KRISTIAN KARAZISSIS
Ermes can be used in both production and assistance, as well as workplace training, according to the company, with potential use in industries such as sales and marketing, HR and training, and technical and manufacturing. It said that its technology can help increase the retention and accuracy of information while workers have the ad hoc assistance of a supervisor or instructor while completing activities.
The platform doesn’t require any specific hardware and can be used on both iOS and Android devices that a company may already have.
“We have just finished up our first round of investment and together with the Enterprise Ireland high-potential start-up (HPSU) programme, we have amassed an evaluation of more than €13.5m,” Karazissis said.
When asked about the challenges that come along with setting up a technology business, he admitted that there are plenty, such as trying to make a name for yourself in the market.
“The development of technology was a challenge, as we had to persuade sceptical clients not only to believe in us, but also in our brand-new technology,” Karazissis said. “We had many doors closed to us, ranging from no access to credit, introductions to clients and a lack of resources. But we found a path through it to where we are today.”
As someone who is relatively new to the Irish start-up scene, he has recognised that there are challenges when it comes to accessing capital. “This makes it difficult, you find yourself managing the many facets of the business, which takes vital time away from growing your business to where you want it to be,” he added.
But Karazissis advised other self-starters coming up against the same challenge not to give up or be discouraged by these kinds of obstacles.
“There will be many difficult moments where you question whether it’s worth it, but it is. You must believe in yourself and your ideas, always.”
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