SoftGridInc is an Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) startup dealing in the business of lifts. Their core product, LiftGuardian (LG), is an integrated IIoT system that conducts real-time status remote monitoring of lifts. These lifts are connected through sensors to SoftGridInc's Lift loT platform, ensuring the operating safety is under constant supervision. When any breakdown or emergency is detected, LG makes swift judgement and auto-alerts the relevant personnel, so as to assist repairing or rescuing task. The system is also able to generate fault evaluation and onsite situation reports for relevant use.

How It All Started

SoftGridInc’s co-founders Long Fei (Long) (Class of 2011, School of Computer Science and Engineering) and Yi Ludi (Rudy) (Class of 2014, School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering) had known each other for quite a while as they played basketball together regularly at the Sports & Recreation Centre on campus. They had many conversations before, but the one instance that changed it all was when Rudy shared about an idea that he would like to explore and possibly implement – an integrated lift monitoring system.

The idea of proactive instead of reactive problem solving when it comes to lifts – a system that we use on a daily basis – was especially significant to Long after his personal experience with lift breakdowns: his wife was once stuck in a lift for 3 hours at a condo they were staying at. What was even more frustrating was how it was a norm for the lifts to break down – which is also a legitimate safety concern – something which Long thought could be better managed with systems such as the LG. 

Rudy had the resources to embark on the process but was seeking a partner with the technical skills to help realise the idea. Based on his prior experience in companies and startups dealing with embedded systems and IoT, Long was able to interpret the systems required to bring the idea to life, and in 2017, the duo started SoftGridInc.

SoftGridInc & NTUitive

Long and Rudy knew they needed funding to launch their business idea, and being NTU alumni, they found NTUitive as the natural choice of local incubator they should work with to help with the process. NTUitive’s Enterprise Development team then guided them closely in applying and eventually securing the Startup SG Founder grant. The endorsement that came via the grant instilled confidence in the team for them to kickstart their startup journey.

The team also continues to look to NTUitive to get connected with potential partners and investors. They are currently exploring participation at tradeshows both locally and abroad through NTUitive to gain exposure and create awareness of their brand and offerings.

What’s Next?

The team’s focus remains on the core of their business as they continue to refine their products and technologies. They are hoping for more potential clients to take the first step by opting for a trial as they find feedback from real customers valuable to their business.

The team is also looking to bring their products and brand beyond our shores – to Malaysia and China to be exact.

“We constantly remind ourselves that it takes time for any market to accept a new concept such as ours. We will still soldier on and ensure our products are the best versions they could be at any point in time for our customers to benefit from,” Long shared. 

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