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In the age of mobile, ensuring that their apps work seamlessly is a priority for companies. Working in the field of mobile apps testing, Frederik Carlier and Bart Saint Germain realized that the current methods – requiring a lot of manual work – were far from efficient. Their ambition to develop a more agile approach led to the creation of Quamotion, offering an automated, easy-to-use testing technology that aims to optimize this crucial process in the development of mobile apps. Since its foundation, this iMinds’ start-up has already secured around 500.000 euro in funding.
Working together at a mobile apps testing company, the co-founders of Quamotion started looking at the available technology and subsequent testing methods with new eyes. The standard approach at the time required companies to hire people specifically to manually test every application – and updates – in every mobile device available on the market.
“Banks – where mobile apps, because of mobile banking, are especially important – had vaults filled with expensive phones they purchased just to test their apps, and people whose job was to test the apps in them over and over again”, explains Frederik Carlier. “There had to be a better way.”
Realizing that there was a lot of innovation to be done in a market that was still taking its firsts steps, Frederik Carlier and Bart Saint Germain decided to take the leap and start their own company.
The founders’ ultimate goal was to automate the overall testing process. In order to achieve that, they developed technology that simulates the user’s interaction with an application in a desktop environment, regardless of the version of the app or device’s model. The platform then generates a report of how the application is responding, which can be sent to the developer for the necessary adjustments.
Parallel to that, they offer clients the possibility to do their testing remotely through a cloud service instead of buying the devices.
Developing such innovative technology required external financial support. However, before being able to get that, the question was: 'Is this product viable?'
The first organization to believe in their potential was IWT. The Flemish Agency for Innovation by Science and Technology granted them funding for a feasibility study, which resulted in very positive reviews. “The market was screaming for this kind of applications”, reveals Frederik Carlier.
After that, in May 2015 Quamotion was selected to join iStart. The founders highlight the workshops as one of the main assets of iMinds’ Business Incubation Program, due to their hands-on, to-the-point features. The Marketing, Branding & Communication training, for example, led them to completely redesign the company’s website, which now has a cleaner,more professional and more attractive look.
The entrepreneurs also emphasize the importance of coaches, not only as guides, but also as sounding boards. “Sometimes it’s good to just have someone to talk to,” says Bart Saint Germain.
On top of that, it’s the ‘seal of quality’ that iStart represents for any start-up and that first drew them to the program. “A renowned organization is telling us that they believe in our product and in our ability to develop it”, explains Bart Saint Germain.
Quamotion’s innovative product has already translated into relevant funding: business angel Peter Sneyers invested 95.000 euro and the Flemish venture company PMV co-financed 150.000 euro.
The start-up was chosen as partner in the Triangle, a European consortium led by Keysight Technologies for research on 5G mobile networks. The consortium was looking to apply to the Horizon 2020 grant, for which they needed a partner who would ensure the testing process. Quamotion was the only company that met the requirements, due to their unique testing automation feature. The successful application granted the start-up 274.000 euro.
More recently, they signed a partnership with a French company that is working together with television network partners around the world to test specific features in the field of digital television, for which Quamotion’s technology is being used.
“We both have an technical background and this is our first entrepreneurial experience. I think our biggest challenge was dealing with all the business-related issues”, assumes Frederik Carlier. “At first we were only concerned about having a good product. We had to realize that – even though that is obviously an important aspect – it’s not just about that anymore: you have to get the product out there.”
Having secured around 500.00 euro in funding in a considerably short amount of time, the founders are now looking to close a few deals. “We have some potential clients that we are negotiating with. Our goal for the upcoming months is to be able to finalize those deals,” explains Bart Saint Germain.
Company Name: Quamotion
Founders: Frederik Carlier / Bart Saint Germain
Number of employees (2016): 3
iMinds support received: iStart Business Incubation Program