In the digital world, data can be found pretty much everywhere. OmegaLambdaTec helps companies make use of the value of their data — be it in the form of data evaluation or developing new business models.
OmegaLambdaTec offers other companies services for analyzing huge mountains of data. Founder and CEO Rene Fassbender works with his team of six at gate Garching. The astrophysicist is pleased with the location:
“For startups to be successful, timing is everything. Considering the current situation in the field of data science, that makes the Munich region the perfect business location. The topic is just really starting to take off on a broad front and is also being greatly supported and promoted by the sphere of politics.”
But what is making data science such a hot topic at the moment, and why are companies hiring external service providers for it?
Coveted data scientists
In the digital economy, big data is a major thing at the moment. Many companies are trying to gainfully evaluate their accrued data themselves. For Fassbender, that does not necessarily mean data science in the proper meaning of the term. He recommends a narrower definition:
“Data science starts where Microsoft Excel stops. There are very few experts who have actually performed extensive and complex analyses of large amounts of data, while also having developed the analysis software for those tests themselves.”
The problem his clients face: they do not have the knowledge necessary for deep analytics. The right employees are also hard to come by at the moment. That is because well-educated graduates from the new data science degree programs are not on the market yet. Until that time comes, Fassbender noted, “scientists with research experience in the data-driven hardcore disciplines” are the best option – and they are precisely the experts OmegaLambdaTec has to offer. Fassbender expects a large market for data science service providers to develop in the near future.
“Organic and sustainable”
Should that be the case, the Garching-based startup is likely to be a successful player in the new market. In February of this year — the company’s second anniversary — the company reached its profit threshold and initiated its growth stage. Fassbender was just recently named “Entrepreneur of the Month” by the “EBN” network. Since the beginning of the year, OmegaLambdaTec has been working on a smart energy program funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, and has numerous projects in the pipeline involving research and industry customers.
Regarding data-driven research projects in particular, OmegaLambdaTec stated it is receiving a growing number of requests to work as a cooperation partner. The reason: smart processing and evaluation of data makes it much easier to turn a new kind of data-delivering technology into an end product for customers. Yet Fassbender is hesitant about the financial obstacles involved in this kind of cooperation.
“Our success as a research partner for new smart data innovations is currently turning into a real financial challenge. Roughly half of a research project should always be cross-financed by the company itself, which is of course not yet possible on a larger scale for a startup like us.”
In collaboration with different institutions in Bavaria, the company is currently looking for a viable solution for future joint projects.
When we asked how further growth is envisaged for the company, Fassbender gave the down-to-earth answer “organic and sustainable.”
“I think it would be much better to create fantastic jobs for ten, twenty or fifty highly-qualified specialists instead of starting a rapidly growing internet platform for delivering services or the like where the majority of the work is performed by an armada of a thousand people earning minimum wage.”
“Banks and startups are not made for one another”
As for so many startups, OmegaLambdaTec’s journey so far has been a rocky road. They secured their initial financing with a startup loan from KfW. However, the founder quickly felt limited by the KfW funding guidelines, which he calls “a bureaucratic abyss.” Although his experience was positive with their main bank, Fassbender summarized:
“In general, banks and startups are not really made for one another. That is something founders experience regularly and first hand, and it can sometimes be frustrating. Banks are as hesitant to take risks as a deer in the forest. In contrast, startups are willing to risk everything to create something new which, if successful, can improve the world.”
What he would like from the political realm: the Bavarian startup centers should be equipped with seed loan funds that they could use to help startups regardless of the risk assessments made by banks. Fassbender would like the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs to guarantee to assume the credit risk for startups that have won awards in specific competitions. This would make it easier for innovative startups to gain access to growth capital.
And while we’re talking about requests: we wanted to know which set of data OmegaLambdaTec would like to analyze someday. Fassbender thinks big:
“A dream set of data for us to really have fun with in terms of analysis would be Payback’s entire database. That kind of serious data pool could be used to develop amazing new smart data solutions. Thinking far beyond consumer data and the marketing field, it would be possible to find fascinating applications and solutions spanning to fields such as precision health, politics, or smart city.”