Q&A with Fred Miller II, Seicon Limited
Adapting technology to market needs
Fred Miller II, partner and vice president of strategy at Seicon Limited, was drawn to the startup by the endless commercial applications that its technology, designed to reduce vibration, could offer. Miller discusses the opportunities provided by Seicon as well as Innovate New Albany, the New Albany incubator for technology startups.
How did Seicon Limited get started?
The founder developed the vibration reduction technology to keep bridges and elevated highways from falling down. I joined the company as it began to seek out other mechanical uses such as reducing vibration transmissions in HVAC systems and washing machines. It has broad application and unlimited potential. We have now developed several products using the technology in elementary ways. We have 14 patents and three more pending.
How would you characterize its value proposition?
There isn’t anything out there that can do what this system does. First and foremost, regardless of the application, it dramatically reduces vibration transmission, noise and, ultimately, the wear and tear that can result from vibrations. Additionally, our control mechanism allows you to adjust the system with a crank or remotely while it is being monitored. There is application across multiple industries, from bridges and elevated roadways to commercial real estate, multi-family housing and motorboats.
As an entrepreneur, what are some of the challenges you face?
I think obtaining needed funding to build the business is our greatest challenge. Also, getting larger companies to think outside the box, take a risk and embrace new technology even when it doesn’t require much money has been difficult. The engineers get it and get excited because they haven’t seen any technology like this, but the economy has created a much more cautious mindset.
Why did you select Innovate New Albany to locate Seicon Limited?
Seicon Limited had its research and development facilities in Hilliard, but it isn’t conducive to business meetings. I had already located my consulting practice at the incubator. New Albany is a great location. It’s easily accessible and close the airport. Also, the interaction with other startup businesses is great. It gives us the opportunity to learn from each other since we are dealing with many of the same issues.
How has it been beneficial?
Being at Innovate New Albany enabled our company to network and build relationships with a lot of great organizations. For instance, our relationship with TechColumbus allowed us to be part of its Innovation Showcase at the recent Innovation Awards and that led to several meetings we have had with potential licensees, distributors and investors. We also have connected with Buckeye Interactive They have helped us tremendously with our interactive marketing strategy.
As an entrepreneur, what inspires you most?
I think the great thing about being an entrepreneur is the flexibility to respond to market needs, the freedom to apply technology without the burden of a lot of red tape and the opportunity to create and innovate quickly in response to opportunities. Both of the products we are making and shipping today were the result of quickly responding to a customer who had a problem.
What is one thing that would surprise people about New Albany as a business community for startups?
A lot of the right resources are right here for startups – investors, attorneys, marketing organizations like Buckeye. A lot of young business owners are taking advantage of that opportunity.
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