Motius is a unique R&D company based in Munich that focuses on the latest technologies. Through a pool of elite students, academic researchers and young engineers, it solves technical problems and develops products for its international partners and customers.
In the last 5 years the student start-up has become one of the fastest growing start-ups in Germany. With an aspiring vision, young creative talents and many successful projects behind it, Motius has set itself the goal of becoming the world’s best organization for techies.
Interview with Sören Gunia, co-founder of Motius
What is the vision of Motius?
We want to build one of the best, if not the best, workplaces for young techies. At Motius you work with the cutting edge in high-tech subject areas and you have a steep learning curve through different projects. Just as many ambitious talents used to go to big consultancies, now and in the future the best techies will go to Motius.
Starting a company is a risky step, yet you have taken it nonetheless. How did you deal with the requirements and expectations?
We were still students at the time, which meant we didn’t have much to lose. It was clear to us that all the experiences we would gather, even in the case of a failure, would be an unbelievable treasure and that the learning curve would be very steep in comparison to other paths. This sort of mindset gives you some freedom.
Assuming you would found it again, what would you do differently?
Haha, starting a company today would certainly bring many advantages. The whole ecosystem in Munich and Germany has grown rapidly over the last 5 years, giving young teams much more support. Moreover, the awareness of entrepreneurship has risen in society. Looking back, there are of course always many smaller decisions (for example personnel decision or customer projects) that could have been done differently – but overall we have done pretty well in my opinion.
You have already carried out some exciting projects. What was the most interesting one for you?
Difficult question. One of the most exciting was certainly the HoloActive Touch project with BMW. There we developed a holographic display with haptic feedback. This means that the driver in the car is shown a hologram in the air instead of a display – like in Star Wars. This hologram is generated by a special mirror. A gesture recognition camera can determine where the driver’s hand is and thus determine which button the driver wants to press. A pulse is then emitted via ultrasound, simulating haptic feedback for the driver. In the end we were able to present this prototype at the CES (Consumer Electronics Shows) in Las Vegas, which was another highlight. On YouTube there are a few videos showing the system.
How can we imagine the cooperation between you and your clients?
First off, our Think Tank is central. There we create initial product ideas and visions from hype technologies and buzzwords and discuss them with potential clients. Exactly this ability and this know-how is what our customers appreciate about us. As Think Tank Manager at Motius you are a kind of thought leader, innovation consultant and business developer at the same time. Based on these concepts, we agree on a product backlog – what the future product should be able to do. Then we work together through agile in a bi-weekly sprint and adapt the requirements to the technical conditions or changed customer wishes.
Your company hasn’t been around for that long, but we’d still be interested in your perspective. Where does Motius stand today and where do you see it in a few years?
Motius is currently strongly represented on the southern German market. The office in Stuttgart is still under construction. At the same time, a few years ago we opened a location in Dubai (UAE), so that we could bring technologies and engineering “made in Germany” at the cutting edge there. This is just the beginning. Due to our structure, Motius will always be a company that adapts cyclically to new technology trends and thus advances companies worldwide that have to concentrate on their core business, that don’t have the right processes and mindsets for emerging tech, and that have to boost their innovation cycles. In a few years time there probably won’t be an innovation manager in a large or medium-sized company who hasn’t thought: “Whoa, crazy shit – let’s call Motius on that.”
We thank you for the insight and wish you success!
Image Source: Motius