Apps that give prizes for good behavior, computer controlled pigs’ environment , pizza bought through television. It could be science fiction, but it’s the reality of InnoWave, created to change our lives.
A computer-controlled production of pigs 300 km away. A chip that lets you know the status of a batch of gas bottles or beer kegs. Robots who understand the current language and are able to perceive the humour of their human interlocutor and act according to their state of mind to solve real-life issues (InnTeract). Boxes that interact with who has the command in hand, either to order a pizza or to do get an insurance. It is not science fiction in a futuristic setting described by someone with a fertile imagination. It is the present, here simplified, for InnoWave.
Born from equal doses of Tiago Mendes Gonçalves’ creative spirit, talent, and inventiveness, the company he founded, a decade ago, has the business and purpose underlined in the slogan “Change Lives through Innovation”. Like that, its slogan in English, as if this house wasn’t facing the outside – only six months after opening doors, and already with reference work done for the Belgacom, in Brussels, where it debuted despite being based in Lisbon, the company won the first contract on Portuguese soil.
Today, the business extends to customers in 18 countries. In Brazil, for example, the IoT area has been hired by an airline traffic signalling company to install control sensors on the lamps at the top of buildings to ensure they are working – a production of 20,000 per month, controlled from the office, which reports periodically and warns if there are problems. For Ambev, they made a pilot with 500 devices that control the state of beer barrels and report anomalies over wi-fi (if there were falls, temperature changes, improper openings, etc.). The solution, created in the Netherlands, is already being exported to Belgium and China.
Following a guiding line to become a leader in innovation and digital transformation, InnoWave has more than doubled its results in the last three years, exceeding the 17 million euro billing threshold – 65% obtained outside Portugal. What, moreover, has been in the DNA of the company since its foundation, in the midst of the international financial crisis. “The export of services and sophisticated software solutions to mature and competitive markets, with the dimension in which they want to play, has always been a priority” for Tiago Mendes Gonçalves. “The dream of creating a technological multinational based in Portugal is now a reality because from the first moment we have exported more than we sell here.”
Building the future is an assumed ambition and the company has been able to take relevant steps along this path, according to the entrepreneur, in the quiet and blunt tone that we have learned to associate with the creator. Whoever listen to him explaining every gadget or software product that leaves the headquarters of José Malhoa to the world, almost believes that it is a simple thing. The truth is that the world that has been building here and in the other five countries where InnoWave already has offices – the United Kingdom, Belgium, the Netherlands, the United States of America and the United Arab Emirates – have a direct link to their mentor’s head. A reality now imagined, thought out, developed and fulfilled by the team that Tiago has been building in his image, and that already has 350 people.
Talent and motivation
This identity, the spirit of belonging, is a trait that is considered fundamental to the success of the company, being, therefore, essential maintaining the interaction between teams from different geographies. “It is essential, given our geographical expansion, to make sure that everyone breathes DNA, so we promote exchanges, visits and sharing between different offices.”
Graduated in Electronic and Systems Engineering in the Técnico, with an MBA in Nova and a postgraduate degree in the Catholic in Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Tiago Mendes Gonçalves married with 20 years and has three children. Already close to the 50, it maintains the strong creative vein that has fed, since young, his all type inventions. While permanently looking for new challenges, it recognises, however, that today its role is more for management. And this function does not displease him, especially as far as talent is concerned.
What makes InnoWave concrete? In a simple way, it identifies needs before problems arise, imagine and make solutions that make life easier reality and solve the challenges that your clients present to you. Behind the scenes, where the work is done and perfected, there is talent bubbling between programs of artificial intelligence, machine learning, Iot, technology and digital innovation. The result is a line of solutions such as YuBuy, a television commercial platform already presents in Nos, Meo and Vodafone that allows you to shop using only the four arrows and the OK of the box command. With up to 30 associated stores, this solution allows you to safely and seated on the sofa from home, buy pet food to insurance or researching models, simulating and marking test drives from Kia to Porsche. Using geolocation, the connection to the nearest store is assured for deliveries and payment made in integration with the credit card or MBWay. Revenues are tripartite between the store, the operator and YuBuy – and the deal is far from secondary. “Last year we sold more than a million pizzas, which makes our store the largest in the country in sales.” And this is just the tip of the iceberg for software with incredible potential – and for which InnoWave already is testing new applications, particularly in the area of interactive advertising.
For every challenge, a solution
“A lot of what we have built here is born from the challenges that are being introduced by client companies,” explains the entrepreneur. This is the case of a solution currently being tested in some convenience stores that allow the customer to pick up the products they need, pay and leave without going to the cashier – through a 360 ° barcode reading system, the sum is made in real time, as you add products to the basket and pay through MBWay or a similar system. A solution that can also be used to measure stocks in the warehouse or know when items need to be replenished in the exhibitors, for example. This is also the case with InnLink workspace optimisation solutions through a room booking and headcount program to better leverage common spaces and meetings. Or an x-ray system that detects and signals anomalies, based on a process optimised by machine learning, created by a team of UTAD veterinarians.
It was also in the offices of InnoWave that a real-life kind of FarmVille was born, developed and continually improved to allow remote control of all the factors and variants of a farm and to maximise production with maximum comfort and well-being for animals. Everything is measured and data analysed in distance, from room temperature to humidity, from opening windows to food, from health to animal growth, weighing all factors and learning and correcting for the best results. The project developed for pig production even led to a change of slogan: “The motto, ‘changing people’s lives through innovation’ was outdated because we were also improving lives for animals.”
All solutions have remarkable technological development levels, but for the InnoWave team that is not the most relevant part. “What matters is to create good solutions, to be challenged; we are always on the lookout for “tummy aches”. That’s what makes sense: working where you can bring change to improve people’s lives. “One of the best examples of this is the app created in partnership with the Cascais Chamber of Commerce, distinguished among 400 nominees from 180 countries at the World Summit Awards. Part of the company’s gamification business, InnGage, CityPoints Cascais awards good behaviour from the people of Cascais, awarding them points for actions that involve them in improving the municipality (such as voting in the Participatory Budget, volunteering or using public transportation); points that translate into entries in museums and events, books, cafes, etc.
The solution has been replicated in other environments to create team engagement and encourage good examples.
In any area, InnoWave has a well-designed goal: to continue to lead in all areas, from artificial intelligence to mobility, to automation to the IoT. And for Tiago Mendes Gonçalves there are no closed doors or limits to creativity to make the future happen already.
Article by Dinheiro Vivo