Kai Saksela, CEO at Noiseless Acoustics in the StartupValley FounderTalk
Please introduce yourself and your Start-up to our readers!
I am Kai Saksela, CEO at Noiseless Acoustics. We founded Noiseless Acoustics in Helsinki/Finland together with Jonas Nyberg in 2015. We make sound visible using our acoustic camera, which enables us to solve some problems that have previously been very hard to solve.
How did you get the idea to Noiseless Acoustics?
Originally, I loosely played around with the idea when I was working as an acoustic consultant at another company in Finland. There were often cases where an easy-to-use, portable device that shows where sound is coming from would have been very useful. There are some similar devices, but they are expensive and difficult to use. We met with Jonas Nyberg at a mutual friends housewarming party, by coincidence. We started talking about the idea, and together we realized that this is something that we might actually be able to realize. After a few years of intensive research, we had our first version of the product ready and decided to start a company around it.
Why did you decide to start a business?
Being an entrepreneur is something that challenges me in all the right ways; being in charge of myself and building my own ambitious things is the biggest motivator I can imagine.
How does your company has developed since it was founded?
Our first product was quite different from the one we are currently working on. We started by focusing mainly on the construction business. We had a lot of experimental use cases where visualizing sound might be handy, and decided to focus on some completely different industries, which at first we didn’t consider seriously at all.
What was the biggest challenge in starting your business?
It’s easy to put too much time into the wrong things. I think self-discipline is a big challenge when no one is there to remind you that what you are doing is the right thing. Luckily, we have been two people from the start, so we can always encourage the other as needed.
Was there ever a point where you thought I can not do that?
To be honest, we had a lot of times when we thought something would be impossible while we were developing the first version of the acoustic camera. Still, we always managed to find a solution to every problem. That has always been very rewarding.
In which countries will expand now?
We are currently focusing on Finland, but are also in the progress of talking with some very promising potential partners in Germany. In addition to Finland and Germany, we are considering the other Nordic countries and possibly China. We try to keep an open mind regarding possibilities abroad.
What is the USP of your Start-up?
We offer service companies a unique portable easy-to-use acoustic camera, with some additional value through cloud services which we can hopefully talk more about in the near future.
Who is the target group of Noisless Acoustics?
Currently, we are focusing on service companies that work with high voltage electricity components and pressurised gas.
A typical workday of you?
I currently start my typical workday by biking to the office. If my calendar doesn’t have anything particular in store for me, I take a look at my todo-list, then pick something to work on. When I’m feeling tired, I pick one of the “easier” tasks. When I’m feeling energetic, I pick one of the more “difficult” tasks. Recently, though, the days have been quite full of all kinds of meetings. I try to relax during the evenings, although it’s not always possible.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I see myself running an international company that offers sophisticated measurement devices and online services. I’m quite stubborn about getting the company up and running at the moment, and refuse to see possibilities in which it doesn’t happen.
What 3 tips would you give other Start-up founders on the way?
1. Believe in yourself but at the same time, be ready to adjust what you’re doing; openly ask for advice from knowledgeable people and listen to your customers. Try to be objective about how you consider advice, it might differ a lot from one person to another. Remember that if you can’t convince your customer of your value, you don’t have anything to sell.
2. Don’t be afraid to take risks, especially when there’s a large potential reward. Once again, try to be objective about it.
3. Be ready to work hard, everything always requires a lot more work and patience than you imagine. Being an entrepreneur is far from an easy job, remember that everything has its ups and downs. Personally, I think that the ups are definitely worth it.