Acerta began as a research team at the University of Waterloo while Co-founders Greta Cutulenco, Sebastian Fischmeister, and Jean-Christophe Petkovich were working in the Embedded Systems Lab. While working there, the group encountered the same problem again, and again. Industry partners would contact the Lab, provide them with data sets, and ask if the researchers could provide insights on how the data could be beneficial to their company. Soon they realized that the automotive industry in particular had a huge need for interpreting data to help instruct product improvements.
“We saw traction in the automotive industry. A lot of the manufacturers and part suppliers were coming to us saying they were collecting data from all these different vehicle components, and vehicles in general, but these companies were doing manual analysis.” – Greta Cutulenco, Co-founder & CEO, Acerta
Informed by that need, the team started applying their anomaly detection platform in the auto manufacturing industry. Thousands of cars get produced every day, and every car when fully assembled, is tested. During this testing, data is collected from these vehicles, and Acerta is using that data to figure out if there are any problems with the car before it gets on the road.
Although Acerta is now approaching its one-year anniversary, Greta is far from new to the world of entrepreneurship. She spent two years living in the Velocity Residence during her undergraduate degree, and while there, got to know the importance of experimentation as a learning experience. Throughout her time at the Velocity Residence, Greta and a team of her peers built many different projects, including a financial tech application, and analytics visualization tools.
“It’s about wanting to create something that can add value to the world.”
Moving from being an engineer, to being an engineer and CEO, was a transition for Greta. “I had to change hats, and stop coding. And had to start focussing on how to make this an actual business, instead of just a side project.” Throughout each experience, Greta’s passion for technology is what drove her to succeed, and looking back, she has this wisdom to share with aspiring startup founders:
“Learn to fail fast. Try bold things to figure out what works, and what doesn’t. It’s better to understand what’s going to work out early, rather than drag it out.”