The accident with the hang glider led the entrepreneur on the path of technology


A long and illustrious career in technology was brought about by the most unusual of accidents: a hang gliding accident.

Steve Voller, now 60 and CEO of a visual asset management software company Solutions for altitudehe was 23 when he was hit by cliff turmoil in Suffolk in the 1980s.

“It was a particularly cold and frigid day in January and conditions were favorable for the surge,” he reminds BusinessCloud. “I had been awake for a while, then I went down for a break, but the wind had picked up when I left.”

The cliffs cause complex air movements and these, coupled with increasing wind speed, put it in a sort of spiral from 50 feet up.

“It became increasingly difficult to control what I was trying to do. I was fighting a losing battle. There is a point where you realize that things have gone too far and that something bad is going to happen … ‘this will hurt!’ “

After working in reinsurance, Voller had recently become his company’s departmental IT representative as computerization was starting to take off.

“I was looking into how this IT stuff could potentially impact our work. I found it really, really interesting and compelling, “she says.

“After the accident, I spent three months in the hospital with a broken right leg. It was one of those moments when you have time to think: what am I really doing? I realized that I was more interested in IT than mine. real full time job! “

Once recovered, he left to get a computer science degree from Plymouth Polytechnic before joining the US database giant Oracle, working first in Bristol and then in Manchester for the company. highway development team.

After founding PSBS, he focused on coordinating road construction activities for the local government, his second company Exor Corporation was formed in 1995. He ran it as COO for more than a decade before moving to Bentley Systems in 2009.

It remained like Industry Solutions Director for the US infrastructure software company for four years before leaving to found its latest venture: Altuity Solutions, a visual asset management software company, featured on our Proptech 50 ranking last year.

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“I’m just not the corporate type. Bentley Systems is a great company, but I needed to go and start something new and fresh, ”he says.

Founded in 2015, Bristol-based Altuity’s visual solution helps create safe and well-maintained buildings. This could mean the positioning of new pipes and cables on a construction siteor facility management tools for existing or new buildings.

By providing two-dimensional bird’s eye views of data such as resource mapping or floor plans, as technology has evolved the company has added the ability to open a real-world view of a 360 ° space and walk virtually in buildings.

“I’ve always had this vision of a visually guided solution. From the beginning, the whole system was based on using interactive maps and plans that people can upload to the system and use to manage the data directly, ”explains Voller.

“With the arrival [and increased affordability] of 360-degree images, you can click on an item on the floor plan and a 360-degree image of that room appears – it’s a bit like Google Streetview but inside a building.

“The new work we’re doing is part of the original vision to move more into a fully 3D world – for example, if you look at the capabilities of Apple’s new hardware, you can actually create 3D scans on an Apple iPhone or iPad.

“With older buildings, there is now a lot of interest in retrofitting to improve sustainability and reduce energy emissions.”

The technology can be licensed in many ways, depending on the industry – for example, a school that uses facilities management tools is charged per pupil rather than site size, as the former directly affects income level. Voller says the goal is to provide affordable tools to those traditionally excluded from costly enterprise-centered solutions.

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He adds: “Altuity has been different from my other businesses because it’s new software, a new company and new markets. There are challenges in three different areas and no tough legislative drivers for people to adopt the software. “

Are you planning to retire? “I will continue to work full time for at least the next five years, ”he says. “After that, as the business has continued to grow, ideally I’d like to step back and adopt a chair-like position rather than get involved in the day-to-day part of the organization.

“Do I ever see myself taking a step back completely? No. I need to do something … the commercial side of things helps keep you mentally invigorated. And I also like the challenge. “

The accident with the hang glider led the entrepreneur on the path of technology

Source link The accident with the hang glider led the entrepreneur on the path of technology

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