Modelwise: “Spell Check for Engineering Models”

Mechatronic products have to provide certificates that prove they are safe. The required tests cost engineers a lot of time. The Munich startup Modelwise wants to automate the process to speed it up. The founders answered our Seven Questions.

Munich Startup: Who are you and what do you do at Modelwise? Please introduce yourselves!

Modelwise: We are Arnold (25), Florian (35) and Iliya (31). Together, we’re the founders of Modelwise and our goal is to give every engineer access to safety analysis.

We met in the MQM research group at TUM, where Florian has been working on his doctorate since 2013. When Iliya suggested founding a startup based on the technology in January 2018, all of us got right on board. Since June 2019, we and our idea to automate security analysis have been supported by the Exist research transfer program. You can think of our software like spell check for texts – only for engineering models instead.

Our team has diverse backgrounds. Florian provides expertise in engineering and management, Iliya is experienced in software development and Arnold’s strengths are on the business side of things.

Munich Startup: What problem does your startup solve?

Modelwise: Providing evidence of the (functional) safety of mechatronic products. Manufacturers, for example of airplanes, have to give certification bodies evidence that their product functions safely – even in a case of a partial defect. The number of partial defects that need to be tested can be enormous and the tests can take months.

“Most companies would rather perform safety analysis on paper”

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

Modelwise: It is when it’s integrated into the business process. There are only stand-alone solutions that cause high overhead. That’s why so little software is used. Most companies shy away from training and would rather perform safety analysis on paper.

Munich Startup: What have been your three biggest challenges so far?

Modelwise: The biggest challenge that we face time and again is explaining the problem and solution to others, because functional safety is a very unfamiliar and technical subject. Using imagery always works amazingly well. With such different backgrounds, teamwork also challenges us regularly. That makes it important to reflect and find solutions together. And of course there’s corona and the lockdown that came along with it.

Munich Startup: Where would you like to be in one year, and where in five years?

Modelwise: Next year, at least fifty engineers in Germany should be using our software to save time and energy. In five years, the software will be available worldwide as well as for medical engineering and the aerospace industry.

Munich Startup: What do you think about Munich as a startup location?

Modelwise: It’s very good, there are so many teams here. Networks make it possible to exchange information with other founders and investors. Thanks to the universities, there’s enough talent to turn ideas into reality.

Munich Startup: Skype or in person?

Modelwise: At the moment, Skype. But otherwise, whatever works, the main thing is being there.