Hub Spotlight: Notos Technologies

Posted on Tuesday, March 16th, 2021

Written by The John F. Wood Centre For Business and Student Enterprise

Alexandre Borowcyk and Farhad Rahbarnia are co-founders of Notos Technologies, a drone software company using the power of wind energy to enable long-term flight. Notos Technologies uses AI to unlock the true potential of UAVs, allowing their partners to perform longer, more reliable, and greener missions. Alexandre and Farhad aspire to provide the world with access to continuous and unlimited aerial data. 

We sat down with the team to get the inside scoop on how they started Notos Technologies and what they hope to get out of the Hub Incubator Program!

How did you come up with Notos Technologies?

Notos Technologies' co-founder and CTO Alexandre Borowcyk had previously founded a start-up which, amongst other humanitarian endeavours, trained members of the Kenyan Red Cross society in the use of drones for various missions in communities with limited resources. During his work, Alexandre noticed that a big inhibiting factor in the use of UAVs in missions was the lack of onboard energy to power the drone, which limited flight times and the kinds of missions that could be performed by drone users. With this idea in mind, he partnered up with Guelph alumni Farhad Rahbarnia, an AI expert with experience working for companies such as Huawei and NexJ systems and a passion for innovation. Together, Alexandre and Farhad worked hard on creating Notos Technologies, a start-up commited to revolutionizing the aerospace industry and democratizing the UAV space by making flight greener, safer, and more accessable through the power of AI. 

What motivated you to take the next step and apply to the Hub?

We believe that having a strong network of industry professionals that you can learn from is essentional to success in entrepreneurship. Our co-founder and head of R&D, Farhad, had heard of the Hub program when he was an undergraduate student at the University of Guelph. Once he had graduated and founded Notos Technologies, he applied to the program in order to take advantage of the opportunity to collaborate and work with mentors who have yeard of experience in the start-up world. 

What do you hope to get out of the Hub?

We would primarily like to learn the ins-and-outs of how to tailor our technical and commercial goals to upcoming stages of growth in our business from seasoned start-up veterans. When and how to engage the market is vital in ensuring a start-up's success and we believe it is important to garner as much input and advice as possible before taking this key step. 

Do you have any advice for someone with a business idea in mind, but are not sure what to do next?

Use the resources available to you. Reach out to professors and like-minded peers you have previously connected with in the industry and discuss your ideas with them. They can provide valuable advice and perspective on the technical and practical aspects of your idea. The next peice of advice would be to build a strong team. Find other people who are just as commited and excited about your vision and begin building your idea with them. Being an entrepreneur is both difficult and challenging, but with the right team, you can motivate each other to the point where you are working on a passion project together, all while building a business. Lastly, it is important to keep perspective in mind, you will see a lot of rejections and a lot of "no's", but by persevering and celebrating each milestone, your business and passion will grow. 

To learn more about their business check out their website.  

Housed within the John F. Wood Centre for Business & Student Enterprise (Wood Centre), the Hub is a business incubator designed to support early-stage business ideas with high-potential, but unproven business models. The goal of the Hub is to provide University of Guelph students (undergraduate and graduate) and alumni the opportunity to build a successful business enterprise in a supportive learning environment.

The Hub has a tiered program that ensures a good mix of start-up companies at varying stages of growth. “Hub Start” is for ventures still getting their idea off the ground. These ventures typically have a great team and a great idea, but still have not demonstrated product-market fit with traction. “Hub Build” is for ventures with traction looking to refine their business model and/or scale.

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