1:26 - From Milano to Zurich
9:08 - The problem with the inspection of inaccessible areas
17:13 - Getting business know-how for your all-tech team
20:56 - New drones in town
32:44 - Preparing for the future
About Mina Kamel and Voliro
Mina Kamel is the co-founder and CEO of Voliro, a producer of robotic drones for inspection and light maintenance at height. Mina obtained his Bachelors in Automation Engineering Technology from the Politecnico di Milano before moving to Zurich to obtain his Masters and eventually his PhD in Mechatronic, Robotics and Automation Engineering from ETH Zürich. During his PhD, he contributed to the Aeroworks project, where much of the inspiration for Voliro was drawn from. He also met his 4 co-founders, Timo Müller, Dr. Marius Fehr, Dr. Anurag Vempati and Dr. Thomas Schneider, during this time. With all five co-founders coming from a technical background, they supplemented their business knowledge through advisors and coaching by Venture Lab. The team quickly realized that the timing for Voliro was right. Not only had the technology for robotic drones matured, but there was a strong pull from the oil, gas and infrastructure industries to lower operational costs through increased efficiency in maintenance. Voliro closed a CHF 2m seed round in 2020 with Alex Fries's Alpana Ventures as lead investor. They will use the seed round capital to get their product to the market faster and are planning to raise a series A round towards the end 2021 for CHF 5-10m.
"Falling from a great height is the number 2 biggest cause of workplace injuries. With our solution, robots do the dangerous work, and people stay safely with their feet on the ground."
"Product development is a skill you can develop, but it takes a very long time. Sometimes it's just more practical to hire professional help."
Mina Kamel's Favorite Resources
Garmin Sports Watch
Dare To Lead, by Bréne Brown
If you would like to listen to more of our ETH co-productions, check out our conversations with Caspar Coppetti and Mark Essam.
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