Have you heard of Vention Technologies? If you’re on High Tech Campus and you don’t know this fast-growing product design company, you are missing out. Vention is the best next-door neighbor you never knew you had.
In the words of CEO Glenn Kitzen, Vention is “the biggest company you’ve never heard of.” Often working behind the scenes, the company is the force behind many products on the market. More often than not, they also make the electronic guts inside those devices. Founded eight years ago, Vention Technologies is no longer a startup. Born as a rapid prototyping company, it has evolved into so much more, although prototyping is still a core aspect of its business. “We make dreams into reality,” says Kitzen. “We make sure that if you have an idea, and there’s a product that needs to be built, we bring it to life.”
Vention provides expertise to customers from initial concept and prototype to mass production and everything in between. They really do it all. After defining the problem and idea alongside the customer, the team supports the entire product development process. The goal is not only to help customers build a single prototype but also to build products for mass production. Vention helps customers build products out of just a single high-level idea or research and strives to get the products in the hands of its customers’ customers.
Essentially, Vention functions as an external R&D department for other companies, large or small. You may ask, why would a large company need these services if they already have a large R&D team? Well, it’s simple. Vention is fast. How fast? The company’s team can deliver a market-ready product within three months. “We will have your product ready within 90 days, if you give us the chance,” says Kitzen. “We are really fast. Companies are scared by how fast we are. They are shocked.” This speed is invaluable, whether for a startup where slow time to market can mean bankruptcy or a mature company with a wealth of resources but whose development time is bogged down by processes and politics.
At its core, Vention is a people-centric business where the company’s real assets are the engineers they hire. The company grew its staff by 50% in the last two years, now to a team of 20 strong. In a world where engineers are in such hot demand, this was quite a feat for a small company. With such competition, it can be difficult to attract and hire good people. For Vention, it’s not just about attracting whiz kids from university who love tinkering but also about hiring bright, experienced people who can manage clients and projects. It’s a global talent war that Vention is winning, but it’s a war and struggle, nonetheless.
CEO Glenn Kitzen
Vention focuses on developing embedded products with custom algorithms and custom-built electronics. With market estimates of 100 billion smart and connected devices in the next 10 years, according to Kitzen, “the demand for electronics and software will only increase.”
While the company is not sector-specific, it does have specialties. The team has worked on world-changing technologies in the medical device sector, where the industry is shifting towards non-invasive therapies and wearables. Vention has developed hardware and software for products working to solve problems such as sleep apnea and wound healing. They also developed a wearable that allows people with Parkinson’s to conquer debilitating Freeze of Gait symptoms while walking.
The company also has its sights set on the energy sector, which is finally starting to throw off its traditional, analog mindset. The industry is beginning to realize the full potential of collecting data and creating smart devices to help people manage energy usage in homes. Vention is striving to bring systems to the market that not only collect data from a home’s smart devices but generate decisions from that data and guide the energy usage within the entire home. Eventually, the company foresees applying the machine learning of a home ecosystem to a larger one, for example, a city’s energy usage.
As one can see, like its customers, Vention doesn’t think small. The company not only provides product development services but also produces its own hardware products that help in the development process. By creating standardized modules, they can shave off weeks in the development time. These proven products can be integrated into any product. “A car manufacturer doesn’t develop a new wheel every time they develop a new car. They just pick it up from the shelf,” explains Kitzen. “We want to do this as well. We want to put our effort into giving the customer what they want. We develop standardized modules so we can give more attention to the customer.”
Herein lies Vention’s bigger vision: to fully automate their engineering efforts by making use of their proprietary modules. This means a prototype can go from idea to reality within 24 hours! This method would help more customers get unthinkably quick results based on tried and tested hardware. Achieving this vision would free up Vention’s engineers to continue working on ground-breaking, life-changing products for society. But even with such a large vision , “the last thing I want is funding,” proclaims Kitzen. This is a pretty wild statement from a CEO of a growing company. The reality is that Vention can currently fund its own growth.
So, what do they need? They want customers – large or small – with ideas or technical challenges. The customer’s size doesn’t matter; the only requirement is that the dreams are big. So, whether you are a startup with a vision or a mature company, Vention can be your partner.
Do you have big dreams? If so, meet Vention Technologies, your new favorite neighbor on High Tech Campus.