Serial entrepreneurs in the heavy industries
When MOCS was founded in the early days of 2012, Peter Madlener and Wouter Riedijk were determined to hit the market with their signature joining technique for large composite structures. Soon, however, they found out that the technique would take some years to develop, but that they did the right thing by starting a company. By doing engineering projects, they started building a team and analyzing the market’s greatest needs. MOCS became the entity to launch new products in the heavy industries, three of which are now realized: FWD, CODURE and Viktor.
FROM A FUNDAMENTAL IDEA
Peter’s idea to create the signature joining technique behind MOCS came about in the early days of 2012. With a background in Maritime Engineering, a degree both Peter and Wouter earned at the TU Delft, the two entrepreneurs were determined to make composite structures more lightweight and durable, and their production — more affordable.
It was an innovative concept, yet, making it happen turned out to be a time-consuming task. “Soon after we started, we found out that our original idea was very fundamental, and it wasn’t ready to go to market straight away,” Wouter remembers.
While the two founders continued to develop the concept in the background, they focused on offering a wider variety of products and services. On the one hand, they provided customers with engineering services, which are, to date, an important source of revenues. On the other, they developed and launched a completely new product, FWD (as in Forward), making bridges out of fibre-reinforced plastic. It was their first spin-off, and it was a successful one. In early 2016, they managed to sell it, and with the money, launched two new projects: Viktor and CODURE.
Viktor, a web-based software program, evolved out of the need of clients to automate various engineering processes. CODURE, in turn, was created to continue the development of the entrepreneurs’ original idea. “After five years, our initial concept is finally finished,” Wouter says. “It is a beautiful niche product with a worldwide market, and now we can start selling it!”
Since its early beginnings, the company has not only grown its product base, but also its team. With 12 full-time employees and a number of part-timers and freelancers, there are now more than 20 people working on the MOCS mission.
Yet, achieving this growth hasn’t been without the help of experts: Soon after founding the company, Wouter and Peter joined YES!Delft’s Incubation Program.
“YES!Delft’s network has contributed greatly to our development,” Wouter says. “That is both the network with other entrepreneurs in the building as well as the network around the incubator — including investors, experts and potential new clients.”
And the results are there: As of March 2017, Wouter and the team are happy to announce a successful funding round from Innovation Quarter.
TO A GROWING COMPANY
With a number of milestones already checked off, the team behind MOCS is now ready for new heights. The fresh capital provided by Innovation Quarter, in particular, will play an important role in bringing the two spin-offs, Viktor and CODURE, onto the international market.
“Both projects are currently focused on the market in the Netherlands, but we want to start selling worldwide,” Wouter says. “This money will help us get to a stage where we can start our international scale-up.”
In the meantime, a part of the team will continue to work on its existing engineering projects. “These are critical for building relationships and learning more about the market. What’s more, they provide a basic income.” For MOCS, it has always been important that the company is self-sufficient and not necessarily dependent on grants or any other outside funding.
With the progress they have achieved in just over five years, it’s fair to say that has been a mission accomplished. As for the first mission that is.
January 2012 – Company founded and first engineering client secured
August 2012 – Admission into YES!Delft’s Incubation Program
June 2013 – Winners of New Venture 2013
August 2014 – First composite bridge project (Later FWD)
February 2015 – Founding of FWD
May 2015 – First commercial automation project (Later Viktor)
August 2015 – First pilot-project of Joining Technique (Later CODURE)
March 2016 – Sale of first spin-off FWD
June 2016 – Founding of CODURE
March 2017 – Funding from Innovation Quarter secured