From Capstone to Company

Lukas Gysin graduated from the Rochester-Bern executive Program in 2014. He is the CEO of uniqFeed and managed to turn his EMBA Business Plan Project (Capstone) into a successful StartUp. We take a peak behind the curtain to figure out how he did it.
(This interview was conducted by Fabian Ringwald)

What is it you are doing with uniqfeed?
uniqFEED is a Zurich-based team of computer vision specialists. We offer highly innovative, groundbreaking and entirely software-based solutions, which virtually overlay existing perimeter board advertisements (LED as well as static boards) in sports stadiums with other content of choice for the live television broadcast feed. uniqFEED’s solutions work with all kinds of sports.

How did you and your team get the idea? (Capstone?)
While auditing FC Basel for nearly eight years at PricewaterhouseCoopers my interest in sports marketing had grown. At the same time the markets have shown an interest in virtual advertisements for about 20 years. It had become the dream of our team to combine sports and virtual advertising, which is exactly what we are doing now at uniqFEED with the most promising approach.

How much of your Capstone project is visible in your solution today?
The idea and the vision have become visible so far and the background story has remained the same. The lifetime of the ideas created during the Capstone project has become very short and the dynamics have changed. The various technical aspects could only be considered in detail after the Capstone project and our team are reaching one technical milestone after another.

What other learnings from your MBA studies could you apply?
The concept “Think big” has proved useful on a daily basis. We need to think ahead, prepare not only for the next steps, but create visions for the future to exploit the full potential. Our MBA motto “work hard, play hard” has remained alive. As a team we celebrate successes together, we bond and grow as a team. This helps us move ahead and reach our goals.

What key learnings would you like to highlight for potential fellow entrepreneurs?
Believe in your ideas and visions, ask for feedback and learn especially from negative feedback. I always knew where we were headed, and feedback has always been incorporated and has strengthened our will power and our motivation to work hard, even when challenges arise. As a startup we must be willing to go the extra mile and at uniqFEED we truly are.

Which mindsets led you from enrolling in the MBA program towards founding your own enterprise?
My reasons for joining the MBA program were to better understand international business and economic connections and expand my professional network. Both have happened and I have met more valuable people than I could ever have dreamed of. The sports world and the marketing potential are truly global and that mindset has enables us at uniqFEED to focus our efforts on a scalable solution.

Which challenges are in front of you?
There are various challenges at present. We are testing our solution in what we call a hidden-live setting, i.e. we are on location at major sports events and our solution is fully operational, only the final signal is not broadcast. This helps us assure the highest quality standards and smooth operations of the software. On the other hand our team has been expanding; I’ve had to manage global recruitment processes with all the legal challenges which arise, but we have managed to get all the computer vision specialists on board we have wanted to recruit. The overall goal is to establish our solution in a live setting and expand fairly quickly through strategic partnerships.

Thank you Lukas for that interview. We wish you all the success for your future with uniqFeed.

If you want to get further information about uniqFEED, please follow that link and check out their last press release: uniqFEED and TGI join forces to roll-out virtual advertising during live sports television broadcasts.