© Cesonia

Cesonia: Collaboration Platform for Product Development

The Munich startup Cesonia plans to conquer the product development market with its collaboration solution. We asked the young company our ‘Seven Questions.’

Munich Startup: Who are you and what do you do?

Cesonia: We’re Cesonia and offer a collaboration solution that provides efficient and secure requirements management in cross-company development products. We build a bridge between different requirement management systems and provide a Single Point Of Truth as well as accessible workflows across company boundaries. Especially sectors such as the automotive, aeronautic or mechanical and industrial engineering industries, which have high data safety requirements as well as a widespread network of suppliers, we provide a safe and efficient solution for collaboration.

That means regardless of which requirements management systems are being used, we guarantee the seamless exchange of sensitive data between companies that is encoded end-to-end. The advantages are the unified presentation of data in seamless processes as well as total data sovereignty for everyone involved.  

Cesonia was founded in beginning of 2018 by Johannes Lohrer (33), Daniel Kaltenthaler (35) and me, Korbinian Sontheim (32). Johannes and Daniel obtained their doctorates at the Database Systems and Data Mining Department at LMU. I completed my degree in Mechanical Engineering and then worked in the automotive industry in the field of business development and project management. We met through my wife who completed her doctoral studies at the same department as Johannes and Daniel.

Seamless flow of information

Munich Startup: But that’s nothing out of the box!

Cesonia: That’s partially true. Collaboration platforms have been around for a while in various fields, but there are hardly any in the field of product development. Outside of existing platforms, the coordination of requirements with partners is often performed with outdated methods and many manual steps, which usually leads to inefficiency and security issues.

Cesonia offers the opportunity for decentralized organizations to network their different requirements management systems, which means information can flow seamlessly between the various players. All the while, data owners retain ownership and control of the data and our web interface provides much-needed transparency for everyone involved. That means we make it possible for people to work together to process, comment and versionize requirements, which reduces feedback loops from several weeks to just a few days.

Munich Startup: What has been your biggest challenge so far?

Cesonia: We’ve developed Cesonia as an open technology platform that can be used in different industries and scenarios. On the one hand, that presents major potential for growth. On the other hand, it’s necessary to have a distinct target market in the beginning with a clearly defined product.

Determining that focus and figuring out how to explain such a technically complex product so it’s easy for anyone to understand it is a particular challenge we face on a daily basis and we’re constantly learning how to do it better.

Munich Startup: Now let’s get down to the nitty-gritty: How is business going?

Cesonia: We finalized the core competences of our platform in the middle of this year and have already successfully tested it with several paid pilot projects. The focus in the coming year will be most particularly on further PoCs (note fromeditor: proofs of concept) to continue to develop our product with direct customers.

We started the year as a trio and since then, our team has grown to include twelve colleagues. 

Dream location: Munich

Munich Startup: What does Munich mean to you?

Cesonia: All three of us founders come from Munich’s surrounding area, so Munich has always been our home. We really appreciate having Munich as a global metropolis right on our doorstep and also being able to relax and unwind when we need it.

Moreover, the conditions for us as a B2B startup are perfect. With its focus on the automotive industry, Munich gives us the opportunity to be close to customers and develop our product. That makes Munich a dream location for us from both an economic and personal point of view.

Munich Startup: How will your startup become the next unicorn? Or will we be seeing you at an Epic Fail Night soon?

Cesonia: Global collaboration networks are of growing importance and also need to support product development cycles that are getting shorter and shorter. Many industries now also have very high standards of information security. The tools that are currently used to coordinate collaboration between partners are quite often from the 20th century, which means they are far from being up-to-date.

Little prospect of being at an Epic Fail Night

We see Cesonia as a modern tool that helps companies take advantage of their full potential in a networked and data-driven world. With an API-first strategy and Cesonia as a standard product for integrating and exchanging data across company boundaries, we view Cesonia as an ecosystem where customers and developers can implement their own apps and services based on our decentralized data infrastructure. That means we’re in tune with the times in a corporate world that is data driven and will only continue to change. That’s why we think we have enormous potential and little prospect of being part of an Epic Fail Night.

Munich Startup: Beer or Prosecco?

Cesonia: That really depends on the situation. For a relaxed evening with friends, you definitely need a cool beer. But for a beautiful summer day in Italy, a glass of Prosecco is better — or three.

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