Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Interview with Sascha P. Lorenz and Maurizio Tidei, Contexagon’s Co-Founders

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1- Hello Sascha and Maurizio, can you please tell us a bit about you?
Sure. Both of us have been computer freaks for our entire life. We had our first programming experiences on Commodore 64, Amiga and the first PCs and got to know each other in university. Computer Science of course.  After several years working as computer scientists in the industry, we both decided independently to join master programs in different universities. So we used to talk a lot about our plans and our passion for AI, location-based applications, Augmented Reality, 3D graphics and really good software design and user experience in general. Cause we have shared so many passions and values we decided to found contexagon back in 2014.

2- Sascha… What are your focus areas and why?
When I have to decide my focus areas are AI, Big Data and 3D-Graphics. I simply love algorithms and I am really fascinated when a computer is starting to learn by itself, crunches unbelievable amounts of unstructured data or when mathematical equations create a three-dimensional world with light and shadow.

3- What influences your work? What makes you want to wake up every morning?
Our work is being influenced by a lot of things. At the first place, it is our passion for quality. Now where we run our own company we finally can focus on that point. We want to create systems that really help people. We don’t build systems for cool technology’s sake but to solve real-world problems, make things much more fun and provide amazing experiences while our systems are easy to use. That’s why we have developed ‘Copernicus Guide’. The work on this really exciting product and to see, that it is being used by a growing number of tour-creators and visitors around the planet and getting their positive feedbacks makes me really want to wake up every morning.

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4- What is your primary focus in terms of self-developments at the moment?
Oh, good question. I think my primary focus in terms of self-developments is getting more patient. As I mentioned before, we founded contexagon back in 2014. Now, three years later, Copernicus Guide is finally the great, flexible, easy-to-use system we had imagined from the beginning. It is sometimes just hard to admit: good things do need time! I really think that lack of patience is one of the main reasons for failing startups.

5- Maurizio… Where do you think you are making an impact?
With Copernicus, you can get a much more immersive experience when visiting a museum or exploring a new region without a human guide as it was possible before. Thanks to our Multisense Technology paired with AI elements, Copernicus provides information about your surroundings and learns what you are interested in just by using it. This makes it the perfect tool for digital storytelling.
But there is another important point: Through standardisation and modularization, we can offer several versions of Copernicus, starting at very competitive monthly prices. Thus, far more museums, cities, regions and even single hotels can now afford to create an own high-quality guide for their visitors.

6- Can you tell us more about Contexagon?
After several months of early prototyping, we founded contexagon in September 2014 in Kreuzlingen (Switzerland) and wrote our master’s theses as a scientific base for Copernicus. Today, we are a small core team of 4 people extended by a network of designers, writers, cultural scientists and sound artists as needed.
Copernicus is our first product. It combines several of our passions Sascha mentioned before. So you could also think of Contexagon as a place where computer nerds can do what they are really good at Developing outstanding software with a passion :).

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7- Where do you see the company in the next 5 years?
Well, our vision is that contexagon will be widely known as a creator of high quality innovative Applications around location based services, augmented reality and machine learning.
Copernicus will be THE “real world browser”. For example, whenever somebody wants to visit a city, a museum or to make a hiking tour he should think “Ok, lets see if there is a Copernicus Guide or Quiz for that target – it worked so well last time, we learned a lot of things and had so much fun exploring.”

8- Maurizio… What can you tell young people who are pursuing their dreams?
Focus on your goals, keep your vision in mind and don’t get discouraged by setbacks. Be prepared that the development and especially the marketing of your products and the company will need more time than you initially thought – that’s perfectly normal. As Sascha already mentioned, patience and tenacity are key elements for successful startup teams. Take care of your motivation – especially in stormier times. It worked very well for us doing an offsite day for reflecting our current course and collect tons of new ideas.

9- Sascha… What are you most excited about at the moment?
I am really excited about making Copernicus Guide better and better and adding one cool feature after another, like our new augmented reality module for instance. At the moment I am excited most about seeing Copernicus Guide learning and improving itself the more visitors are using it. This is really amazing!

10- The last word or final thoughts?
After a hard self-positioning phase in the beginning and some times of doubts and setbacks contexagon and Copernicus Guide are really thriving great now. Running a startup is like riding a roller coaster. If you don’t like roller coasters you should think twice to found your own company. But if you dare it could be the greatest experience in your whole life.


Connect with Sascha and Maurizio to know more about their business by visiting:
– 
Twitter,
Facebook,
Instagram,
Website.

 

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Noelle Elia
Noelle Elia
is a Financial analyst at PSPC. Graduated from Telfer School of Management, Finance/Accounting with interest to Entrepreneurship and New Media.
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