Corporate Partner Spotlight: Softlayer serves Preteckt

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Co-Founders Peter Bassa, Ken Sills, and Sasha Kucharczyk (pictured below respectively) are building a predictive truck maintenance platform using real time data science and machine learning in the long haul truck industry.  Preteckt, a Start Co. alumni (Seed Hatchery ’15), streams 16,000 data points a second off a big rig truck to the cloud and then using high powered machine learning in the cloud their data systems analyze data and predict when a truck will break down in the future and which part or system will fail.  We asked the Preteckt team a couple of questions about their business and their partnership with SoftLayer, a Start Co. partner. SoftLayer’s Catalyst Startup Program provides our entrepreneurs with the cloud infrastructure to help them scale their companies quickly and correctly.

dd15-008Q: Why did you start Preteckt?

A: Preteckt was started because the Co-Founder’s hated it when their vehicles broke down on them.  It was a ghastly occurrence that ruined their day and usually the following week.  We realized we were not alone in suffering that pain, so we set out to find a way to prevent breakdowns from happening.  In developing our solution we started working with trucking companies due to the increased costs associated with a truck breaking down compared to a passenger vehicle.  A truck breaking down can create a loss of over $10,000!  Since then we have been focusing our time and efforts to make breakdowns a thing of the past.

Q: What has Preteckt been up to since going through the Start Co. 2015 program?

A: Preteckt is currently installed in multiple fleets totaling 800 trucks.  We can currently create $850 of value per truck per year with our predictions.  With already 3000 trucks in our pipeline we don’t show signs of stopping. We have used this traction to raise $300,000 to accelerate the development of our technology and get ourselves ready for commercialization.

Q: How did Preteckt discover—and choose to develop a partnership with—SoftLayer?

A: Preteckt discovered SoftLayer due to its partnership with StartCo.  We chose to develop the relationship early during the accelerator due to a forecasted need for a large computational backbone in the near future.

Q: What do you think sets SoftLayer apart?

A: We need a service that can grow with us. Softlayer has great customer support, and has the ability to scale our operation from one hundred units, to one million units. Softlayer is a very competitive hardware-as-a-service company. They allow you to order your own “bare metal” (a real, physical, completely yours) server without the need to hire hardware experts for building and maintaining the machines. The cost vs the computing power is lower than other competitive services, and there is no competing with other users for resources like on a virtual server. The other big advantage is that we are able to customize the hardware that goes into our servers to make sure we get exactly the performance we want. So creating a data backup server (a lot of hard disk space) vs creating an analysis server (a lot of CPUs) is the same process and we pay for exactly what we need.

Q: Do you have any advice for other founders who want to build good relationships with their platform/hosting providers?

A: Get to know them before you need them.  Make friends, stay in contact with them, and treat them like real people.  People like helping people that they like and trust.  In turn, they will want to see you succeed.

Q: What is the latest at Preteckt?

A: Preteckt is growing strong with help from SoftLayer.  We closed our round and started scaling the data generation side of the company.  SoftLayer’s services have given us the comfort that as we add more trucks to our service we can scale with ease.  With a goal to be installed on 5,000 trucks by the end of 2016 and significantly more in 2017, we feel comfortable that SoftLayer has us covered!

 

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Preteckt is a 2015 Seed Hatchery alumni.  They can be reached at team@preteckt.com