KBMax was recently the featured company at the Microsoft Bizspark Startup Zone. Bizspark is a great program that supports technology startups with marketing and software support. Our product configurator platform has greatly benefited from this partnership.
Our CTO Kevin Bennett gave an exclusive interview discussing the genesis of KBMax and Configurator software.
Interview with Kevin Bennett, Co-founder and CTO of Citius Corporation
Who are you?
I am Kevin Bennett, Co-founder and CTO of Citius Corporation. Our company develops Knowledge Based Engineering (KBE) and configurator software which helps automate the engineering, production, and sales processes for manufacturing companies.
How do you feel being the most promising ‘company of the day’ per Microsoft?
It’s cool to be featured on such a high traffic site with such a diverse group of software startups. We hope it raises awareness about KBE and configurator software beyond the CAD engineering world.
What did you do before creating your company?
I worked for a KBE consulting company called Navitech which focused on improving engineering in the semiconductor industry.
How did you get the idea? What s the genesis?
Engineers have been using KBE and configurator software in semiconductors for decades with remarkable results for design quality and production costs. I kept thinking that other kinds of manufacturers could have the same benefits with that type of software.
What do you sell? What is your company’s mission?
Our flagship software is KBMAX, which we call a Knowledge Based Configurator. It blends the best of our KBE and configurator knowledge to automate the creation of Quotes, BOMs, 3D Models, CAD Drawings, and Office Documentation etc. The Citius mission is to vastly improve the engineering and sales processes for manufacturing companies around the world.
What is your market?
Any company that manufacture Configure-to-Order (CTO), Assemble-to-Order (ATO), or Engineer-to-Order (ETO) products can benefit from KBMAX. Companies in the petrochemical and semiconductor industry are already using KBMAX. We think industries like elevators, food packaging, and HVAC will be clients in the near future.
Any clients? References? Partners?
We are currently implementing KBMAX for a large scale petrochemical project for Swagelok, an industry leader in fluid systems technology. In addition, KBMAX is also at work for Austin Reed, a Texas based semiconductor components Company.
Funding history? VCs? BA?
Citius is operating with no outside funding or investment. We are “bootstrapping” as of September 2009.
Citius has plans to sell KBMAX in the European market. We are in serious discussion with potential KBE consultants in Italy that will make that viable.
How many employees do you have? How many developers?
Citius currently has five employees, two of those are developers.
Are you hiring? If yes, what? Where?
Citius is currently interviewing junior developers to work in our San Jose offices. Know anyone interested?
Which platform are you building on? Why?
We are building our software based on the WPF / Silverlight technologies. To us, our user experience is paramount. We want maximum control over our User Interface and how the user is able to interact with the deeper functionality of our software. WPF and Silverlight make this possible.
Do you have any Software IP? Is there something that you’re the only one to do on the market?
We have filed a provisional patent for the primary software package used for KBMax.
Who’s your role model?
Isaac Newton is a great role model for entrepreneurs. He accomplished so much with such limited resources.. Legend has it he invented calculus while confined to his home during a 16 day plague epidemic.
Where do you see opportunities today in the Software/internet areas?
With so many companies in the manufacturing industries switching to high tech design and engineering processes, Citius sees limitless prospects for our KBMAX configurator.
Looking for funding? If yes, how much?
While Citius is exploring funding opportunities, we don’t have a defined amount of investment.
What about the BizSpark Program? What do you think? Are you going to join? Why?
Citius has been a BizSpark member for a few months. We think it’s great that Microsoft gives free access to their software and a high traffic forum for startups to gain exposure.
Any advice to young Software entrepreneurs?
Build very close relationships with your first customers. Having a reference-able base of happy customers is paramount to gaining trust in any industry.
Anything else you’d like to say?
Come visit our website at www.citiuscorporation.com and watch a free online demo of KBMAX.