What’s your company IUNA AI doing in one sentence?
We develop AI-based Computer Vision software and camera systems to automate quality assurance and inspection processes within industrial manufacturing
Tell us more about yourself, your co-founders and your team.
My name is Samira and I am co-founder and COO of IUNA AI. I studied economics in Nuremberg as part of a dual degree program at Siemens. After my bachelor’s degree, I worked there as a commercial project manager for power plant projects, which was actually a challenging but super interesting job. After that, I started a master’s degree in International Information Systems.
When my brother had the idea for our startup, I supported him in various areas with everything that came up during that time. When our vision became clearer, we decided to start a company together with Tong, Jan’s former Audi colleague.
So, I quit both my job and my master’s degree to devote my time to building our business.
At that time, Jan was studying software development and was head of the machine learning group at the University of Stuttgart. He had the idea to automate quality assurance tasks with AI during an internship at Audi. Later, he initiated a university cooperation with Audi and after that a development cooperation with IUNA AI, our startup. That’s when our product development really began to speed up.
Tong is Jan’s former colleague at Audi. He is our CTO and responsible for most of our software development. Before IUNA, he worked at Bertrandt, an automotive supplier, as a development engineer.
I think what makes our founding team so special is our diversity. All three of us have very different strengths and are highly qualified in their field. That’s why we can complement and support each other very well.
What was your motivation for starting IUNA AI? Tell us about your journey so far.
I always wanted to found a company. I always want to create something with my work. So, building up a company feels just like the right thing for me. My goal is to build a sustainable and profitable company, where people work together, have fun at their jobs and bring up the newest innovations in the area of computer vision. I strongly believe that a company is all about the people and the team behind it. And if we all give our best, we can deliver the most value to our customers and have a real impact within the industry.
When will you say “Yes” to achieve your goals and when will you say “No” to achieve them?
When it comes to decisions, I always trust my gut feeling and intuition. If you don’t have a good feeling about a certain decision, even in business, you shouldn’t go through with it, even though it might make sense rationally. That has always worked for me and the team very well in the past.
I’d also always say “no” to a certain goal, if I don’t have, my team in my back. When it comes to important decisions, we discuss a lot. And in the end, we have to find a solution that the whole team will understand.
“So, I quit both my job and my master’s degree to devote my time to building our business.”
What is the most important thing you are working on right now and how will it succeed?
We are currently delivering our second Auto Scanner to Audi. During this project, we will do a lot of product development, also to achieve better standardization, to achieve better scalability.
In addition, we are currently recruiting new employees. As our order book looks quite good, we urgently need support in software development from 2023. Since we are a young company and developers can really learn a lot working with us, I am confident we will find some great new team members in the near future.
What was your biggest challenge so far as a founder?
I think my biggest challenge is accepting that nothing is perfect at the beginning and that we must compromise with our limited resources. That can be difficult, especially when we have the goal of developing multiple product features at the same time. I think I can sum it up with the challenge of setting the right priorities for the company and being patient while developing everything. Especially when we are working together with big corporates, things just take time.
“When it comes to decisions, I always trust my gut feeling and intuition. If you don’t have a good feeling about a certain decision, even in business, you shouldn’t go through with it, even though it might make sense rationally.”
What are you the proudest of so far?
I am proud of our product development and the smooth market entry we had last year, and that everyone in the team is happy with their job and is doing their best.
Why did you decide for Campus Founders and our Venture Studio?
Honestly, because we like the purpose of the organization: to make Heilbronn a startup and AI city and to promote innovation. And of course, the CF team and the investment committee convinced us with their many years of experience. We are still very happy with our decision.
About IUNA AI
IUNA.AI is a Computer Vision company founded in 2020, based in Heilbronn. They develop AI Vision Systems to automize and optimize industrial manufacturing processes.