Our portfolio companies and their founders have incredible stories. They start with trying to solve a problem and face hurdles on their way to success.
Meet Stroma Vision, producers of easy-to-deploy vision sensors and safety software that helps health and safety managers understand and prevent workplace accidents. Their computer vision-based systems remotely monitor distraction, fatigue, and ergonomic load in industrial environments.
Learn more about Stroma, workplace safety, and technology with our Q&A with Stroma Co-Founder & CEO, Anıl Üzengi.
What problem led you to start Stroma Vision?
The International Labor Organization estimates that 2.3 million women and men worldwide die due to work-related accidents or diseases yearly; this corresponds to over 6000 deaths daily.
Worldwide, there are around 340 million occupational accidents and 160 million victims of work-related illnesses annually, which cost countries 3.9% of their GDP.
Around 2 out of 3 accidents happen due to distraction, fatigue, missing protective measures, and other preventable reasons. The US National Safety Council estimates the cost per worker death at $1.22M and the cost per medically consulted injury at $42K.
We saw that existing driver monitoring solutions were ineffective for monitoring workers in industrial settings. After four years of learning via customer projects, we found the sweet spot for our approach: a rugged computer vision sensor combined with an elegant, low-code interface for building computer vision solutions to worker safety problems.
Talk more about Stroma Vision’s solution, Stroma WorkSafe.
We detect unsafe behavior like fatigue, distraction, poor ergonomics, and personal protective equipment violations through machine learning models. We then warn employees or trigger e-stops when required.
Stroma WorkSafe allows managers to analyze and classify safety data in many forms. They can identify the riskiest periods of the day and assign shifts more efficiently or discover a hotspot of near misses and update safety protocols. Managers can inform teams during their training schedule or set up automated triggers to stop a machine before it hurts someone.
We transform an inefficient feedback loop between workers and health and safety managers into a productive conversation through detailed situational knowledge gathered each working day. The ultimate goal is zero accidents.
Who are Stroma Vision’s founders - what are your backgrounds, how did you find each other, and what made you know you'd be a good team?
Our founders are Oğuzhan Mete Öztürk and me, Anıl Üzengi. We met during college Koc University Istanbul in 2010 and have been working together since February 2016. We've known each other for 12 years and have worked together to build impact-driven deep-tech startups for the last seven years. We are a mission-driven founding team building mission-critical products.
We have gone through all the blood, sweat, and tears involved in building and delivering cutting-edge safety tech. We had 100+ field visits, various PoCs, and pilot projects and gained unique domain knowledge in the last five years.
We have great partners, award-winning products, actual use cases for real problems, and experience running edge devices in harsh environments.
Who are your customers, and how do they find you?
Our customers are large industrial companies striving to improve health and safety, and sustainability in their business. We work with health and safety managers keen on monitoring their fleet drivers, forklift drivers, essential workers in the supply chain, assembly line workers with repetitive jobs, and heavy machinery operators.
What key insights have you gained from working with your customers?
Cloud-only solutions fail to address data security restrictions and require an exhaustive setup process to prevent data leaks. We offer standardized local computing resources to alleviate almost all data security unease. We also work extensively with unions and deeply respect our end users' privacy, enabling us to deliver real value as we ensure we have workers on our side.
What makes you different from other safety solutions out there?
Most of our competition is trying to leverage existing CCTV cameras, which are adequate for some safety features but not correctly oriented to analyze anything more complex than PPE monitoring or people/asset tracking.
Our combined hardware/software approach offers more advanced ergonomic risk analysis, fatigue/distraction monitoring, and intervention (e.g., triggering an emergency shut down in a production line or machinery when necessary). This, plus an edge processor that keeps data within the customer's four walls rather than sent to the cloud, sets us apart.
Stroma Vision has had some recent accolades. Tell us about them.
We are alumni of mHUB Chicago's Industrial IoT Accelerator. We also received a strategic investment from Avnet, the largest electronic component distributor worldwide. Panduit, the US’s premier infrastructure network manufacturer, also invested in the company.
We are expanding into the US manufacturing sector with our advanced safety solutions with our partners.
We recently received the Red Dot Design Award 2022 and the iF Design Award 2022, the world’s most prestigious awards in the design industry. Stroma Vision’s WorkSafe™ edge devices will benefit from a network of vital industry contacts - from system integrators, manufacturers, and potential customers.
You can find everything about our industrial design in mHUB’s case study about us.
What industry trends do you currently see?
The projected size of the total addressable market for safety tech is staggering. According to the Lloyd’s Register Foundation, the global market for this segment will exceed $863 billion by 2023.
Preserving physical safety, minimizing downtime accidents, and protecting property and physical assets are always crucial in manufacturing. Expanding the capabilities for safety and combining them with efficiency are the main strategies of our customers for the upcoming recession.
What is the future of Stroma - where do you want to take the company?
We are raising a seed round to grow in the Midwest and looking for partners to reach safety-conscious manufacturing companies in the US.
Our founding vision is to distill cutting-edge multidisciplinary research into great products to help people learn about their work behavior because we want to live in a world without a single preventable accident.
Stroma is laser-focused on streamlining Machine Learning technologies for industrial applications. We advocate for a comprehensive engineering approach that enables end-to-end integration of production ML systems with our plug-and-play edge devices and drag-and-drop node-based interface.
How did you connect with Sente? How is Sente different from your other partnerships?
Since day one, five years ago, Sente has been part of our journey. We are alumni of Sente's first Mobility Accelerator in 2018. We were able to showcase Stroma at CES 2018 and the Detroit Auto Show and start our adventure in Chicago, thanks to this program.
Sente’s Gerod Carfantan is a board member who provides hands-on assistance. He has been invaluable to us over the previous 2.5 years, and we will continue to work hard for our shared goals.