Team forming: We commercialized our PhD research
Vision statement: Closing productivity gaps in manufacturing with accessible AI
Biggest Achievement: Incorporation of company and initialization of first industry pilot
Next Step: Launch of our MVP.
Random Fact: If you find a bug in Bernhard’s code, he cooks dim sum for you.
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EthonAI helps manufacturers switching from reactive to proactive quality management. The company has developed two easy-to-use software applications—one for visual quality inspection and one for root cause analysis—that can be can easily be used by factory operators and engineers.
Sustainable Development Goals
SDG 9 : Building resilient infrastructures and promoting sustainable industrialisation that fosters innovation
SDG 11: Sustainable consumption and production by proactively identifying the root cause of poor quality and significantly reducing production waste.
Bernhard Kratzwald, Co-Founder ethonAI
“I want to become an entrepreneur because I want to make an impact in this world.”
We started our venture during our PhDs. My research was very theoretical, which I enjoyed, but I wanted to have a direct impact. In contrast, Julian spent most of his PhD in factories. This is where we decided to collaborate to bring state-of-the-art AI to manufacturing. As a team, we complement each other to a great extent.
When we started to dive into the entrepreneurial path, we experienced an entirely different way of thinking. There were so many learnings that we took with us throughout this semester. We were, for example, surprised by how long fundraising takes. However, Talent Kick connected us to the right people. With constant feedback from the advisory board, the steering committee, founders, and the Talent Kick team, we improved at a very high speed and were able to get into the Pioneer Fellowship program at ETH. It was so fascinating to experience how quickly we could get from scientific research to actually building a product. Finding a mentor for our team showed us that a very successful entrepreneur believes in us. We are proud that we got so much clearer on our common vision, our product, and the next steps with our startup.
Talent Kick is the one program that is designed for people who are still in university. Throughout the semester, we got immediate feedback on our idea and product. Aside from this we got to know many like-minded peers and had many networking opportunities. Talent Kick made me realize that becoming an entrepreneur is not only one of many career options to consider, but it really is what I want.
Julian Senoner, Co-Founder ethonAI
“Talent Kick gives aspiring entrepreneurs access to an incredible network that helps them kick-start their business”
During my studies, I had the opportunity to gain first entrepreneurial experience by co-founding the Analytics Club at ETH. Working with bright people on this exciting initiative was very rewarding and motivated me to become an entrepreneur. In my PhD, I conducted research on the intersection between AI and manufacturing. When I worked with leading manufacturers, I found that existing AI solutions are complicated and rarely scale to actual production. Motivated by this opportunity, I joined forces with Bernhard to develop software applications that lower the implementation barriers to use AI in manufacturing.
During the Talent Kick program, we transformed our scientific research into a minimum viable product. We were also able to raise non-dilutive funding by, for example, receiving the ETH Pioneer Fellowship grant. In October 2021, we incorporated our company and initialized our first industry pilot.
The Talent Kick program gave us access to an incredible network of experienced entrepreneurs and top-notch investors. Thanks to the constant mentoring we accelerated our go-to-market by several months and were intensively prepared for the fundraising process.
We are now looking for brilliant talents to join our journey!