Exhibitor Interview: Karan Talati, CEO at First Resonance
Karan, CEO and co-founder at First Resonance, previously built up SpaceX’s manufacturing and test automation systems between the critical production ramp-up period between 2013 and 2016. This included the environmental test information and automation system as well as enabling developer tools that allowed engineers to access production data to accelerate development.
Please tell us about your current role. What are your key focus areas and responsibilities?
As an early-stage startup, I am primarily focused on customer and product development. We are very focused on understanding and ensuring our customers’ pain points to ensure that we are developing a product that can truly help move an entire industry. I am working on selecting the right technology, ensuring transparent communication with our customers, and bringing in early employees who are aligned with our mission.
What inspired you to join/start this company?
We started the company because we were inspired by the number of companies that are taking on the extremely hard challenges of expanding humanity’s presence in the universe. After our experiences working with outdated and unproductive manufacturing systems, we made it our mission to build productive and pleasant software systems that allow these next-generation companies to get to space faster and reliably.
What do you think sets your company apart from your competitors?
We are bringing the latest in modern software technology, including data science, distributed data processing, and mobile technologies to be useful and understood in the context of aerospace hardware development and manufacturing. On one end, our competitors stick to outdated manufacturing processes, which are overbearing to modern companies that want to move fast. On the other end, more recent competitors are bringing cutting-edge software without any context for how it applied to manufacturing, leaving customers to figure it out for themselves. We are that perfect partner that is using advanced technology to move the aerospace industry forward, and we do it with transparency and context to ensure our customers are successful in adopting our technology.
What are the key opportunities and challenges your company faces at present?
Companies are moving faster than ever, but the stakes are as high as ever. Our product and technology allow companies to move fast while increasing transparency and traceability without additional overhead. This is critical for companies that need to move fast, stay on budget, and maintain traceability for compliance in aerospace.
Moving faster is a necessity for many new companies, but our challenge with older companies is facilitating the conversation around adopting new technology and information systems to power the company going forward. This is a hard conversation in an industry like aerospace, so we’re actively seeking individuals at companies that are excited about the future, but appreciate and understand the context of existing processes.
Are there any new technology developments that you are working on at the moment? Can you tell us about them?
Our powerful data analytics product allows companies to have extremely fast access to specific information about their hardware and manufacturing processes. We seamlessly combine manufacturing data and engineering data to allow companies to ask questions like, “Show me temperature profiles for all parts tested in the last 90 days from Vendor A”. We’re also working on a Software Development Kit (SDK) that makes it easy for engineers at next-generation companies to bring their real-world manufacturing and test equipment online.
What would you say most excites you about your role?
I am most excited about the opportunity every day to meet people building hardware products that are going to define the 21st century. Their challenges are huge, and they tackle them head-on. It’s inspiring to watch them, and it’s humbling to have the opportunity to be a part of their solution stack to achieve their goals. Using the latest technology to help them accelerate their time to market and increase their chance of success is what gets me skipping to work every day.
How do you think the industry will develop within the next five years? Can you tell us about the key trends emerging?
Companies are emerging in a more meaningful way after proving out their initial R&D efforts and are scaling into production operations. They will be launching more payloads more frequently, and their bar for reliability will continue to increase. Forward-thinking companies are searching for infrastructure to manage things such as inventory, work execution, scheduling, issue management, and so on without the burden of huge, clunky systems they have used in the past. For this, companies are going to turn to cloud and mobile and look for solution providers that help them build new types of factories that unlock their ability to deliver into the future.
What do you hope to achieve at the show this year, and what connections do you hope to make?
We are extremely excited to get the word out about our unique approach to bringing modern technology to help aerospace companies accelerate their manufacturing processes while increasing transparency and reliability. We are looking forward to meeting companies that are thinking critically about the systems and tools that will help them reach their goals and are willing to take a chance on new technology.
First Resonance will be exhibiting at Space Tech Expo 2019 and booth 6015.