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Centaur, Inc. | 2017 InnoSTARS Competition
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Company/Organization Information


Company Name: Centaur Analytics, Inc.
Company Size: 15
Year Established: 2016
Website: www.centaur.ag
Type of Company: Corporate Enterprise/Group
Company Location: 1923 Eastman ave.
Suite 200
Ventura
California
93003
United States

Contact Information


Title: Mr.
Contact Person: Sotiris Bantas
Phone: 4086605833
Contact Email: sotiris@centaurtek.com

Technology Information


Technology/Project Name: Centaur, Inc.
Technology/Project Description:

Centaur is developing technology targeted to the quality and safety of stored crops and food/feed in storage. Centaur wireless sensors and data analytics enable predictive spoilage prevention, cognitive & prescriptive pest management. This technology is proven to eliminate insect-related risks in grains and various other ag commodities at post-harvest stages, as well as in packaged products such as flour. Centaur’s cloud-based solution provides traceability from farm to shelf, end-to-end quality management and pest-free certification with advanced digital means.

Centaur recently announced its signature cloud platform which addresses leading food & beverage and ag companies. The system intuitively fuses data from storage facilities (e.g. crop silos, warehouses), weather forecasts, as well as data streams from Centaur’s own crop storage monitoring and fumigation control sensors. This brings unique and unprecedented benefits. End users can now predict spoilage events months before they occur, plan and implement precision fumigation and pest management and track stored product quality in real-time with customized alerts and notifications.

After leaving the field, 17% of the world’s ag products spoil from infestation, storage conditions and weather. It’s a loss that affects both developed and developing countries, and costs nearly $1 trillion annually. Using real-time data from sensors that move with each crop, Centaur gives the food industry an unprecedented capacity to track, monitor, and instantly adjust the conditions in which the world’s food is stored, preventing spoilage and reducing unnecessary chemical use. Centaur’s mission is to reduce post-harvest crop losses while increasing food traceability and global food security.

Project Development Stage: Shipping to customers
Patent(s): Provisional US patents filed
Revenue for 2016:
Team Introduction:Centaur's team currently includes 15 members, 3 in senior management and 12 in product development.

Dr. Sotiris Bantas (Founder, President & CEO) is a Ph.D. in Microelectronics (2004) and Diploma in Electrical Engineering (1995), both from the National Technical University of Athens. He is a technologist and entrepreneur with 20 years of professional experience in leadership roles, in both software and hardware development. He is currently the founder and CEO of Centaur Technologies, a VC-backed company developing hardware and software solutions for the stored agri products. In 2000 he cofounded Helic, a semiconductor design software company, and served as the company’s CTO until 2014. At Helic he has been involved in developing and marketing technical software to corporations comprising leading American, Korean, Chinese and Japanese semiconductor companies. At Helic he helped raise Venture Capital investments from Silicon Valley strategics and angels and from Fujitsu of Japan. From 1995 to 1999 he was a Research Engineer with the Institute of Communications and Computer Systems (ICCS) of the National Technical University of Athens. Sotiris has performed R&D and has coordinated work in several European and state-funded projects, in areas such as wireless sensors, Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS), integrated circuit design, wireless systems development and Electronic Design Automation (EDA) software. His Ph.D. dissertation was in RF silicon filter design. He holds 3 US patents in the EDA area, including one in machine learning.

Vasilis Sotiroudas (Founder & CCO) is an Agronomist and Food Scientist (Aristoteleion Univ. of Thessaloniki, 1994). He is a founding partner in Centaur Technologies since 2014. Through his activities with AgroSpeCom, a leading food safety and industrial pest management company, for more than 20 years he has served the food, agro and hospitality industries with Pest Management Solutions, design of Quality Assurance systems and Personnel Training. He is also auditing food companies as an external auditor for Certification Bodies and retailers. Through this experience he has gained access to the largest Greek and Multinational Food Companies and has confronted many problems concerning pests, hygiene and quality. He is a registered auditor for all food certification protocols and has participated in over 350 audits. He is a trainer of the Greek Food Inspection Authority agents and has organized and presented in about 100 seminars. Since 2008 Vasilis got involved with Controlled Atmosphere fumigations mainly with Heat Treatment of food facilities and Low Oxygen atmosphere in chambers and silos.

Avi Reichental (Founder & Chairman): Between 2003 and 2015, Avi served as 3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) President, CEO and Director. Under Avi's leadership, 3D Systems emerged as a formidable global 3D printing provider with revenue growth exceeding 6 fold and market valuation growing over 12 fold. Avi’s unique strategy transformed the entire industry and resulted in the most comprehensive portfolio of design to manufacturing products and services, channels to market and global presence. During his tenure the company was ranked the 13th most Innovative Growth Company in the world by Forbes in 2014 and was named the 5th Fastest Growing Company in the U.S. and the country’s 2nd Fastest Growing Tech Company by Fortune Magazine in 2013.
For the preceding twenty-two years, Avi held senior executive leadership positions with Sealed Air (NYSE:SEE) a leading global provider of food safety and security, facility hygiene, and product protection solutions. Currently, Avi sits on the Board of Directors of Harman International (NYSE: HAR) a leading provider of connected products and solutions for automakers, consumers and enterprises worldwide.
In 2014 Avi was named as one of the 'Top 25 Makers Who Are Reinventing the American Dream' by Popular Mechanics Magazine. The same year he delivered a visionary TED talk titled 'what’s next in 3D printing' that was already shared by over 2.4 million viewers. In 2013, Avi was listed as one of Fortune Magazine’s Top 50 business leaders, in 2012, he received the Financial Times Boldness in Business award and in 2011 he was a recipient of the 2011 E&Y Regional Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Avi is a parallel entrepreneur and active inventor who holds 25 patents. He is part of Singularity University’s core faculty, serves as a Trustee of Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian’s Design Museum and is a member of the XPRIZE Innovation Board.
Avi is a noted futurist and frequent keynote speaker who is credited with dozens of television appearances including a role in the Netflix Documentary 'Print The Legend'. He is featured in Bold, a Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler 2015 book on how to go big, create wealth and impact the world.
Description of Technical Requirements:Our solution is based on two components:

– Hardware (wireless sensors, IoT gateways). For cloud connectivity, we rely on 3G/4G data solutions or on-premises WiFi. These connectivity services need to be available.

– Software (cloud application, data analytics). For this we rely on IaaS solutions offered by leading providers such as Amazon, Microsoft Azure and IBM.
Description of the Competitive Advantages and Sustainability of the Technology/Project:Our assessment reveals that not only do none of today’s legacy solutions effectively address the trillion-dollar crop waste problems, but they are also manual, error-prone, cumbersome, not scalable, outdated and impractical. They are also costly without resultant benefits.

To our knowledge, there is no commercially available solution today providing real-time, in situ (i.e. inside product storage areas) monitoring of fumigants and related conditions. Moreover, there is no commercially available solution that couples sensing with data analytics, to drive predictions of fumigant distribution, treatment duration and related spoilage risks.
Risk of Technology:* Commercial risk: Slowness in adopting solution due to customer intertia, since food & agriculture are mature and slow changing industries.
* Distribution risk: Our success hinges on our capability to support global customers in remote locations, including rural and industrial.
* Technical risk: Overcoming the technical hurdles of transmitting wirelessly from several challenging environments, such as crop silos

Risk response & mitigation plan:
* We are setting up a worldwide network of distributors to help us raise awareness and train our end users.
* We are using the latest technology (cloud/mobile) to interact directly with our end users and provide constant support, education and resolve initial technical hurdles.
* We are using patent-pending technology for wireless transmission (e.g. antenna design) to make our product easy to install and use.
Prospective Chinese Market Value/Business Value:There is a tremendous potential for Centaur's solutions in improving the efficiency, increasing the yield and reducing the waste of China's harvested products, across a wide range comprising grains, rice, potatoes and several other staple and high-value commodities. This value potential can be pursued with several business models, including strategic reseller agreements, strategic investment, OEM. Quite importantly, Centaur has engaged with Contract Manufacturers in the China region for future supply of its electronic sensor designs.

We hope to identify strategic Chinese investors and market partners who will help us launch in the Chinese market by the end of 2017 and exploit our first-mover advantage as we are currently doing in North/South America and Africa.
Preferred Way of Cooperation:Technology License, Equity Investment, Manufacturing Technology; Equipment Transfer
Preferred Landing Cities:Shenzen

Industries of Focus


I would like to compete in the following area: Agriculture and Food Safety.
I would like to compete at: Silicon Valley
Additional Comments:

Additional Information

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: http://www.uschinainnovation.org/innostars/index.php?gf-download=2017%2F05%2FCentaur-profile-2017.pdf&form-id=5&field-id=26&hash=1d5faa4800264bb57d34e3aae11b6ad9e6e103d4d157c5570d1b042523e41d03
Pitch DECK: http://www.uschinainnovation.org/innostars/index.php?gf-download=2017%2F05%2FCentaur_Corporate_deck.pdf&form-id=5&field-id=27&hash=67e037bb2fa2bbae239bff7b8248a6c0b78637b9d8b397e3e50d7db3c715c0d3
YouTube Video Pitch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Y2oRdioC9M
Objective of Participation in the InnoSTARS: Seeking Investment, Seeking manufacturing partner, Preparing for China/Asia market entrance, Learn more about business opportunities in China
How I heard about the InnoSTARS: International Accelerator

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