Startup Feature: Traverse Technologies

Following our last article on startup grants, we caught up with one of our Startup SG Founder grant recipients, Traverse Technologies, to check out on how they are doing.

Traverse performs geospatial simulations from satellite imagery and remotely sensed data. They help public infrastructure developers (expressways, pipelines, power plants) optimise their project configurations for minimal environmental/social impact and maximum return on investment. Currently, they are focusing on renewable energy, namely wind, hydropower and solar PV power generation.

Today, with advances in modern computer science, it is possible to calculate the cost of every possible path between two cities when we build a high speed rail between them. However, it is not easy to do so on an exhaustive basis or from the comfort of your desk. At Traverse, their vision is to give engineers easy access to supercomputers in the cloud that can perform these tasks while dramatically reducing both the direct and indirect (mainly environmental externalities) costs of public infrastructure.

We spoke to the founders, Thet and Eugene of why they are building Traverse, and they said, “Infrastructure is the life blood of civilisation. From the time of the Roman aqueducts to today’s megacities, terraforming this planet, one shovel at a time, is part of what it means to be human. We want to inject the state of the art advances in information technology to this millennia old tradition so that we can utilise the Earth’s resources sustainably and efficiently – especially in the face of climate changes. We definitely have a long way to go and there are a lot of challenges ahead.”

With ACE’s assistance, the team is working towards their vision. From helping them to secure meetings with Google engineers to solve challenging technical issues and providing direct introductions to business opportunities, ACE has been able to provide Traverse with multiple dimensions of support. The ACE Mentorship Programme which matches mentors to our portfolio startups runs for 3 months from the start of the mentorship programme. However, Traverse has told us they hit it off so well that their mentor is still actively helping them beyond the initial programme period.

When asked what it is like to build an industrial-tech startup, Eugene shared, “You can expect an initial product-building, no-sales period of up to 24 months. Industrial products cannot be released on an iterated basis as purchasers are sceptical domain experts who run mission-critical systems.”

However, the challenges which the team is facing are not going to stop them from achieving their vision. If there is one advice they can offer to entrepreneurs or entrepreneurs-to-be, Thet said, “It would be to find a problem to solve which encompasses a vision that you love irrationally and a grinding task (e.g. programming, sales) that you like. Essentially, the company’s work should align with you on a personal level.”

You can get in touch with them if you would like to know more by dropping an email to thet@traverse.ai.