2014 was a successful year for the Graz-based startup StrICTSolutions (short for Structured Information and Communication Technology). Judging by their first-year track record – being accepted into an incubator programme, launching the product, acquiring clients, entering into partnerships – the Styrian startup seems to have ample reasons to be proud. “With our product InFlow we are the second company worldwide to implement this new and innovative concept,” says CEO Stefan Rass, referring to Subject-oriented Business Process Management (S-BPM), which is based on the idea that subjects (the “actors”) in a system communicate by exchanging messages in a way that constitutes a kind of “business-process orchestration” – think of it as choreography.
The combination of our system makes us unique – at least at the moment.
The overall aim of StrICTSolutions’ software is to simplify workflows while also reducing the number of IT systems users need to work with. “With InFlow, these programmes have to communicate with only one system – ours – which then relays the user input to other systems,” Rass explains. In addition, StrICTSolutions’ system has a plugin which allows working from Microsoft Outlook. “This combination makes us unique – at least at the moment,” the young founder says, well aware that in the fast-moving startup world, new products and ideas shoot up like mushrooms after a rain.
From a university project to a startup
As with many startups nowadays, the idea for StrICT Solutions grew out of a university project. In 2012, Rass was working on his at the University of Applied Sciences (Fachhochschule) Joanneum in Graz. “After I finished my studies, the question was if companies actually would be willing to pay money for [InFlow],” Rass remembers. After the idea and the business plan were validated by being accepted into the founders’ centre, Science Park Graz, in January 2014, the answer was a resounding yes. Rass founded the company StrICTSolutions GmbH in June 2014, while simultaneously achieving market-readiness for their software.
Growing the client and partner base
Since then, STRiCT Solutions has acquired its first clients, whose orders are currently being processed. “Our software has been received well by the market because there is demand and because we are currently the only provider of this kind in all of Austria,” Rass tells inventures. In addition, the young startup has entered into partnerships with established IT-firms, such as TechXpert and Future Factory. “Partnerships, in my opinion, [are] very important – especially for startups,” Rass says. In order to acquire more clients, StrICTSolution has also become member of the “Chapter Uhrturm” (“Clocktower Chapter”) of the worldwide BNI (Business Networking and Referrals), a network for Referral Marketing. “This allows us to specifically target business contacts via recommendations,” says Rass.
Leaving the nest
Since its founding, StrICTSolutions’ team has grown to a total of six: two full-time employees, one part-time, two additional shareholders, and Rass, the CEO. Rass hope to grow the team in the future: “we are open to talks with people interested in joining the technical section of our startup”; and he hopes to remain a leading innovator with their product. Another big step awaiting StrICTSolutions in 2015 is their having to leave the “protective nest of our business incubator,” as Rass puts it.
This story is brought to you in partnership with AplusB, a programme funded by FFG.