“Our solutions keep you safer, more connected, and more productive,” says Evelyn Gebhardt – VP at Altair & Startup Innovation Webinar Panelist

“Our solutions keep you safer, more connected, and more productive,” says Evelyn Gebhardt – VP at Altair & Startup Innovation Webinar Panelist

Just like your startup, Altair was once a young company that was trying to change the world. Having turned its initial dream into a roaring success, Altair understands exactly what your young business needs to grow. The Altair Startup Program helps your startup accelerate innovation, reduce development time, and lower costs.

We spoke to Evelyn Gebhardt, VP of Marketing at Altair and panelist at the upcoming webinar hosted by Altair and TechCrunch on 5 May.

Read on to learn why your startup should attend the webinar and also subscribe to Altair’s comprehensive suite of tools for innovators.

For those who are not yet aware, can you please describe Altair and what it does?

Altair is a global leader in computational science and artificial intelligence (AI).

What that means for us is we specialize in using advanced computing capabilities – like simulation, visualization, and high-performance computing (HPC) – and combining those tools with AI and data analytics to understand and solve complex problems.

Altair was founded more than 37 years ago and our roots are in engineering, but over time we added capabilities like data analytics, AI, and HPC to our portfolio as we realized our customers needed to make smarter, faster decisions in an increasingly connected and complex world. Throughout our history, we’ve channeled our entrepreneurial spirit and technical prowess to propel our growth and constantly seek technology and business firsts. Altair has developed simulation, HPC, and AI innovations that are woven into the fabric of everyday life, innovations that solve today’s most challenging problems.

Among other firsts, we established the simulation-driven design method – from generative design to manufacturing – which has transformed the product development lifecycle by reducing time-to-market and driving organizational innovation. Altair has also pioneered a flexible, patented, units-based licensing model, which has revolutionized the way our customers use software by lowering barriers to adoption and creating broad engagement.

Today, we can proudly say that wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, our solutions surround you and keep you safer, more connected, and more productive.

It has always been our vision to transform enterprise decision-making by leveraging the convergence of simulation, HPC, and AI, and with our portfolio today we have achieved that, enabling organizations across all industries to compete more effectively and drive smarter decisions in the modern world – all while creating a more sustainable future.

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Evelyn Gebhardt – VP at Altair

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Evelyn Gebhardt, VP of Marketing at Altair

What is your role in Altair? How did you get involved?

Today, I’m Altair’s Vice President of Marketing for the EMEA region. I have a long history of working with technology companies like Altair.

Way back in 2000, I started my career in the computer-aided engineering (CAE) industry, and until 2005, I worked with different CAE companies in marketing. In 2005, I decided to set up my own marketing agency with the aim to support technology companies with marketing and public relations services. And in 2007, I co-founded Blue Gecko Marketing, a marketing agency that, to this day, provides these types of services to technology companies like Altair; in fact, Altair was one of my first customers.

When Altair approached me in 2019 to join their team full-time, I saw the potential it had and decided to join a creative and innovative team and company. As I mentioned before, Altair has an entrepreneurial spirit – one could even say we still have a startup’s DNA – and with my background as a company founder myself, I feel at home with Altair. I even had the chance to leverage my background with startups to drive the re-launch of our Startup Program.

This lets me stay in touch with startups and founders of all types and more importantly, helps me stay in touch with my own roots and entrepreneurial spirit.

What is the Altair Startup Program? Why did Altair decide to create this program? What kind of startup support can potential innovators expect?

Altair had a startup program in place before I joined the company. That program was already helping startups who were inventing and developing new products, but with our expansion into AI and HPC, we felt it was time to re-launch the program to also include a more robust offering for startups looking to implement data analytics, AI, and HPC solutions into their processes so they could drive business decision-making and leverage scalable computing resources, especially in the cloud.

By revamping our startup program, we’re also expanding our offering to explicitly cover HPC and data analytics. We want to help startups leverage the same kind of tools and solutions that leaders of all types of industries are using – from automotive to aerospace, energy, consumer goods, retail, healthcare, and other areas.

As such, we now offer four Startup Program packages: one that’s focused on smart product development, one for startups that want to leverage data analytics, one that covers our scheduler solution for semiconductors, and one that features the Altair Unlimited Appliance on Oracle Cloud, in partnership with Oracle for Startups.

In addition to our software offering, which provides startups discounted, tailored access to our entire software portfolio, startups also get 24×7 access to our experts so they can receive support and advice regarding any challenges they face; the Startup Program also includes support, training, and joint marketing opportunities.

In all, you can say we understand the complexities of engineering, data science, AI, and HPC and offer advanced solutions to even the most complex industry challenges – and now we’re bringing this expertise to startups so they can scale their operations and succeed.

The Altair Smart Product Development Package helps startups that develop smart connected products, components for e-motors, renewable energy solutions, industrial machinery, or verifying a design for manufacturability. How does this package support such a diverse range of innovators?

Altair offers one of the most comprehensive physics simulation and concept design tool portfolios in the market. These tools span multiple disciplines and encompass structures, motion, fluids, thermal, electromagnetics, electronics, controls, manufacturability, and embedded systems; they also provide AI solutions and true-to-life visualization and rendering.

Therefore, startups working with us have access to state-of-the-art simulation tools for all sorts of applications – just as our large enterprise customers do – but at pricing that accommodates young organizations. Thanks to our patented licensing system and Altair Units, every startup that becomes a customer can access all solutions via our marketplace – and depending on what kind of product they develop, they can apply our design, concept design, FEA, electronics, electromagnetics, system modeling, CFD and thermal, DEM and AI solutions.

For example, let’s say there’s a startup that’s involved in 3D printing. The Altair Inspire solution enables them to perform structural simulation, design the perfect part for 3D printing, and utilize tools that verify the part’s manufacturability.

For startups in industrial machinery, we have solutions for system modeling and for structural simulation; and if they’re building an e-motor, they can leverage our entire e-motor suite to design and optimize their e-motor’s performance. To get them started, we include all our startups in our very active community, where we provide many tutorials and on-demand training sessions, and where we are available for individual consulting that’s tailored to each individual startup’s needs.

When we think about how we can support such a diverse range of innovators, I think it comes down to three main reasons: first is our large portfolio, which we’re constantly developing and increasing through rigorous R&D, second is our decades of simulation, AI, and HPC expertise, and third is our patented licensing system.

The Altair Data Intelligence Package offers startups from any industry the opportunity to access high-quality data analytics and training tools. How can interested startups maximize Altair’s data intelligence support?

The Altair Data Intelligence Package is designed for startups that want to leverage data analytics in their business processes so they can make better, data-driven decisions. Regardless of if you want to use marketing, finance, or any other data that’s essential for your business, you’ll have to deal with data preparation, data visualization, and data analysis.

With the Altair Data Intelligence Package, startups can do all of this. With Altair Monarch, users can access, clean, and blend data for better decision-making; automate with code-free, repeatable tasks and workflows; extract data from PDFs, Excel workbooks, reports, and web pages; combine, clean, blend, and export data to their favorite BI tools; and transform their data into actionable rows and columns. It’s a fast, intuitive, and easy-to-learn solution that frees up resources users can then delegate toward other pressing topics.

But it doesn’t stop there – we have customers like the Electric Storage Company who integrate our data analytics tools like Panopticon into their toolsets and workflows so they can visualize power flows in real-time. Others use our tools for retail data or human resources applications.

With one or two examples, elaborate on the typical collaboration between emerging startups and Altair? What are the most challenging innovations that Altair has been able to successfully support?

We have several examples of startups leveraging our tools; you can find them both in our resource library and in our newsroom.

A very compelling example is Ottobahn, an Austrian-based startup that’s dedicated to creating the next level of mobility and a future without traffic jams, queues, delays, or searching for parking. Its concept includes a high-capacity overhead rail system on which people can hail gondola-style pods via a smartphone app; these pods will then pick up and deliver passengers directly to their destination. Ottobahn engaged with Altair to identify the best concept for the running gear to carry the pods along the network of overhead tracks. Altair’s technical support and consulting team created models for each of the four candidate concepts to simulate how these pods performed when crossing a section where two rail tracks diverge.

In the real-life system, track junctions or “points” in conventional rail systems let pods change tracks. Ottobahn’s innovative switchgear is pod-based, enabling closer pod proximity on the track. The transition must be as safe and as smooth as possible to avoid passenger discomfort associated with speed changes, noise, and vibration. By taking a multi-body dynamics (MBD) approach using Altair Inspire, an easy-to-learn software solution, the dynamic motion feature enables users to simulate complex multi-body mechanisms so they can compare how each candidate concept performed when changing tracks.

After just four short training sessions, Ottobahn’s engineers were running motion simulation and exploring “what if” scenarios to their original concepts with easy-to-implement changes to the component parts. Thanks to Altair’s support – provided as part of the Startup Program – the Ottobahn team found a solution in under a week.

Another great example comes from Urwahn Bikes, a cycling startup. While bikes must meet many requirements to pass globally recognized test and load case scenarios according to DIN ISO 4210 safety standards, they must also be light to reduce raw material usage and maximize the user experience. For this, simulation has always played a key role at Urwahn, a team that strives to maximize functionality and performance by using state-of-the-art tools.

Under the Altair Startup program, Urwahn received access to Altair Inspire. To meet the DIN ISO 4210’s safety requirements, they simulated five load cases on the steel frame structure, studied the behavior of the single 3D-printed parts, and explored the impact of the material distribution on the overall system behavior. Inspire’s integrated topology optimization solver enabled Urwahn to push the material usage limit and reduce weight and costs while keeping stiffness and other boundary conditions on target.

Both startups are also great examples of the marketing opportunities that can come with our Altair Startup program. Uhrwahn Bikes will join us in the webinar panel discussion on May 5, which will be hosted on the TechCrunch channel and Ottobahn’s story and how they leveraged the Altair solutions was featured in our newsroom and in trade media articles.

Altair is hosting a webinar in collaboration with TechCrunch. What can you tell our readers about the upcoming webinar; what can they expect? What excites you about the webinar in terms of the opportunities it presents to startups?

On 5 May, Altair will present the TechCrunch-hosted webinar ‘Accelerating Startup Innovation with Simulation, HPC, and AI’ alongside Oracle for Startups and Urwahn Bikes.

During the webinar, startups will have the chance to learn more about our startup program and get to know us better. We’ll also discuss the top three concerns that often plague startups – which are usually cost constraints, lack of resource expertise, or lack of high-end technology like scalable HPC resources or simulation tools. During the webinar, we’ll prove these complexities don’t have to keep startups up at night. Smarter, simpler, and scalable simulation, HPC, and AI solutions can unlock your potential and transform your startup.

We’ll also share practical hands-on experience that will help startups overcome their technology, business, and product development challenges. We’ll show how other startups have successfully implemented simulation, HPC, and AI to accelerate product development; how they’ve avoided common pitfalls when implementing complex CAE tools and processes; and we’ll show how collaboration from all industries and how global tech leaders’ experience can benefit startups.

Lastly, we’ll share best practices and demonstrate how large companies have achieved success through their collaboration with Altair, and how their experiences and advice translate to startups’ needs.

Catch Evelyn amongst the panelists at the Accelerating Startup Innovation with Simulation, HPC, and AI webinar on 5 May and find out more about the Altair Startup Program. Click here to register today!

Excited about getting involved with Altair? Discover the Altair Smart Product Development and Altair Data Intelligence packages and start your collaboration today!

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