Keyward – AI Founders Chat

Keyward is a B2B SaaS Deeptech startup applying AI in engineering, currently focusing on the automotive and aerospace industry. Back in October, Keyward joined the AI Founders program to help them bring their novel data management platform to another level. As part of this interview, Keyward is sharing their insights into achieving product-market fit, the continuous journey it is and how the startup managed to sustain it in a world of changing customer requirements, market dynamics, and emerging technologies. Read on!

What’s the story behind Keyward? How did you meet?

Keyward’s story began in Stuttgart, Germany, where Aspa, Hoss, and Max worked in the automotive industry. Their shared experience in this field revealed a significant challenge: automotive Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) struggled to optimize design evaluation processes and underutilized their data resources, particularly after the dieselgate scandal. Fueled by this realization, Aspa, Hoss, and Max founded Keyward, a B2B SaaS Deeptech startup applying AI in engineering. They set out to revolutionize how OEMs harnessed data to make informed decisions, streamline their operations, and thrive in a rapidly evolving industry.

What do you believe are the most critical elements in achieving and maintaining product-market fit for a new product or startup?

Keyward believes that achieving and sustaining product-market fit hinges on a profound understanding of the industry, a customer-centric approach, iterative product development, and a resolute commitment to addressing real-world challenges. The team at Keyward delved deep into the automotive industry, identifying the pain points of OEMs and incorporating them into their product’s design. Keyward’s approach to maintaining product-market fit is a continuous journey. It entails a relentless pursuit of customer feedback and adaptation to evolving market trends. They’ve cultivated a culture of listening to their customers, consistently refining their software, ensuring it evolves alongside the ever-changing industry landscape.

How do you ensure that product-market fit is an ongoing and dynamic process rather than a one-time achievement?

Keyward recognizes that achieving and preserving product-market fit is a dynamic and ongoing process. They’ve ingrained customer-centricity within their core operations, maintaining direct channels of communication with their customers. This approach allows them to remain agile and responsive to shifting customer needs and market dynamics. Keyward’s dedication to regular iterations and enhancements keeps their solution relevant and adaptive. They embrace flexibility and a willingness to pivot when required, ensuring that their product-market fit is not a static concept but one that stays aligned with the evolving industry.

How does the concept of “product-market fit” evolve over time as the product matures and the market changes, and how do you adapt to these changes?

As Keyward’s product has matured, and the automotive market has undergone changes, the notion of product-market fit has evolved alongside. Keyward has been proactive in staying attuned to customer requirements, market dynamics, and emerging technologies. They’ve positioned themselves not only to react but to anticipate and lead change. Keyward’s ability to pivot, expand into new markets, and incorporate cutting-edge AI technology demonstrates their commitment to ongoing success. They understand that the journey of product-market fit is dynamic and remain poised to drive change in the ever-evolving realm of AI-driven engineering solutions.

With few weeks left, what is the biggest take away from the AI Founders program for the Keyward team?

In the technical domain, our project has benefited from several critical improvements learned during the CF workshops. Our team’s understanding and management of machine learning operations have advanced significantly, marking a manifold increase in our capabilities. We are diligently applying these new insights to our current projects. As a result, we anticipate noticeable enhancements in both the efficiency of our project delivery and the overall quality of our products.On the human resources front, the opportunity to collaborate directly with our team members has been immensely beneficial. Working side-by-side on various tasks has not only strengthened our team’s cohesion but has also fostered an environment conducive to effective communication and creative brainstorming. This hands-on experience has been vital in building a more integrated and responsive team dynamic.From a business standpoint, our engagement in the Baden-Württemberg region has been exceptionally rewarding. Meeting with potential investors and customers face-to-face has opened new avenues for networking and collaboration. These interactions have not only expanded our business horizons but have also provided us with valuable insights into the needs and expectations of our market. Additionally, the support and mentorship provided by CF mentors have been instrumental in guiding us towards our strategic objectives, offering us the tools and knowledge necessary to navigate the complex business landscape effectively. This multifaceted approach has significantly bolstered our business prospects and positioned us for future success.