Using patent-pending technology for capturing the inter-dependencies between files, CloudLeaps is giving large corporations the ability to keep track of information changes over long term projects.
Co-founder and CEO of CloudLeaps, Reid Senescu, graduated from UC Berkeley in 2004 with a Master’s degree in Structural Engineering and a special interest in earthquakes. His lab work at Berkeley enabled him to get a job at Arup, the company that designed the engineering systems for buildings such as the California Academy of Sciences and the Sydney Opera House. At Arup Reid worked on a number of projects including the new campus of the Stanford GSB.
During his time in the design industry Reid noticed that it was extremely difficult to keep a rolling track-record of even the most minute project changes. The lack of consolidated file oversight on large projects meant that different professionals would be making changes to multiple inter-dependent documents. These changes resulted in unreliable information-transfer across documents. When the inconsistencies were discovered, the team would need to rework their calculations or reports. This reworking sometimes cost as much or more than the expected profit margins for individual projects, making it readily apparent to Reid that reducing the frequency of these unneeded file changes could easily save money.
While the full suite of Cloudleaps features has yet to be revealed, Reid explained that one of its key capabilities was built in order to directly address information transfer inconsistencies in multi-group projects. In the example Reid discussed, revisions to CAD plans made by the engineering team on a building project also alerted company cost estimators that their own spreadsheets would need to be updated to reflect the changes.
The evolution of Cloudleaps from observed problem to product took only a few years. After meeting with Stanford Professor John Haymaker at a conference in Montreal, Reid decided to apply to the Stanford Ph.D. program. With Arup’s support, he worked with Prof. John Haymaker and Prof. Martin Fischer at the Center for Integrated Facility Engineering to solve the information-transfer problems he encountered while in the working world.
Reid soon realized that the best way to bring the solutions back to the real world was through launching his own company. The Stanford Center for Design Research and Stanford’s MediaX lab provided Reid with a design focused feedback and iteration mindset that came in handy as he sought to transform his research into a product. Various resources at Stanford, including BASES E-Bootcamp, gave him the entrepreneurial skills to develop a solid business model.
To commercialize the product, Reid needed to find someone that could nicely complement his skill set. Meetup.com’s CoFounder Club provided that opportunity. There, Reid met Alex Kalinin, a business minded computer scientist with a vast array of software development expertise.
CloudLeaps founders Reid Senescu and Alex Kalinin (Photo Courtesy Reid Senescu)
The two were accepted into the 3 month Stanford StartX accelerator this summer. “StartX has been instrumental in our success,” says Reid, “they provide the perfect advice at the perfect time. It is a great community of like-minded entrepreneurs that are eager to help each other. Instead of searching for days on the internet for enterprise sales tips you have a dozen people next to you who just made a successful sale.”
Reid proudly pointed out that several international corporations have already agreed to start using CloudLeaps in just a few weeks. He also praised Stanford for creating a nurturing eco-system for forming companies, “With our launch, Cloudleaps will have completed one huge cycle that epitomizes the value of the Stanford-Silicon Valley ecosystem: observed industry problem, research to solve the problem theoretically, design-thinking to productize, team-building, business model development, and then acceleration back to industry in order to implement the solution.”
CloudLeaps will debut their public beta in 2013.