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SolidSourceIT: A new player in the field of software quality

[19 Dec 2007]

Last month – 19 November 2007 – marked the official start of SolidSourceIT. This new technology company will focus on making software quality a visible attribute. To this end it plans to offer insightful instruments to both managers and developers, enabling them to measure and to improve software quality. The company founders, Lucian Voinea and Alex Telea, have an academic background and have already considered for some time to launch a start-up. After two successful pilots and getting enough investment to cover operations for one year, the first step was made. They are convinced that their solutions are addressing a growing need in the market.

Background

The idea of starting their own company came in 2006. Telea and Voinea worked then at Technische Universiteit Eindhoven . Voinea was busy with his PhD research and Telea was his supervisor. Telea: “Software analysis is my specialty. In the last ten years, I have invested a lot of time in that, both as part of my work and during my spare time. At a certain moment I realized that many existing solutions in this field have serious limitations.” Voinea adds: “My PhD researched focused on analyzing trends in software quality. A concrete application of this is the analysis of software repositories for getting insight in the evolution of source code.” The combination of this type of knowledge with their expertise in the field of data visualization is unique. Telea: “We have already developed two application engines that enable us to investigate a wide range of software quality problems. With the help of our visualization knowledge, we can present then the results using customer oriented visuals. Besides this, our solutions integrate very easily and with no risk in the software development environment of our customers.”

From idea to reality

The step from an idea to a company took quite some time. Telea: “We tried first to look for support and investment in the academic environment. We also approached a number of banks. To be honest, we did not make a lot of progress using these approaches. Then we came in contact with a business angel, a venture capital investor and a number of possible industrial partners, and everything started to accelerate.” Two pilots have been carried out this summer for companies in The Netherlands and United States. The promising results of these pilots secured the necessary investment for the first year. The money will be spent for setting-up the company and for perfecting the already available solutions. It is expected that 2008 will bring a new investment round. Voinea: “Using the additional capital we’ll take the next steps, and quite possibly we’ll expand abroad. There is already serious interest in our solutions over there.”

Partners

SolidSourceIT intends to work as much as possible via partners. Telea: “We want to concentrate on perfecting and expanding our solutions. To big clients we offer customized solutions, to small ones we offer “off-the-shelf” products. Via partners we try to get in contact with clients that are particularly interesting to us. At this moment, these are large companies in the embedded software industry.” Besides this, SolidSourceIT intends to keep a close relationship also with the academic world. Voinea: “Further research in this area is of outmost importance. Our decision to start a company has been very well received by the Technische Universiteit in Eindhoven. In this respect, we have recently had a discussion with LaQuSo, an intermediary organization between the university and companies. We have identified very promising cooperation possibilities and we think we can help each other.” SolidSourceIT has also established a number of contacts with companies from abroad that are possibly interested in expanding their portfolio with SolidSourceIT solutions. Voinea: “This is all very interesting and involving, but we aim for a controlled growth for now. In 2008 we’ll decide about how to go further.”

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