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Innovista model yields new style of company

A new startup company that combines the technology of the University of South Carolina’s engineering researchers with the entrepreneurial know-how of the university’s business school and seasoned executives exemplifies a new business model for Innovista.

The company, SysEDA Inc., is developing cloud-based collaborative engineering tools for power systems design and analysis. SysEDA’s flagship product, Virtual Test Bed (VTB), is focused on the simulation of power systems for electric ships but is expected to have implication for other types of electric vehicles in the future. SysEDA VTB is based on technology developed by Dr. Roger Dougal, professor of electrical engineering at USC, and is licensed by the USC Research Foundation.

“This is quintessential Innovista,” said Don Herriott, the director of Innovista Partnerships. “It’s business people teaming with technical people to build innovative companies.”

For more than 10 years, Dougal and his research assistants have worked with the Office of Naval Research (ONR) to develop SysEDA VTB so that it can be used in system design, simulation and analysis of electric ships.

USC and SysEDA have been awarded a $2.4 million contract from the ONR. SysEDA will work with the global giant ABB over the next three years to develop the product for future ships. ABB is an international leader in power and automation technologies, operating in about 100 countries and employing approximately 117,000 people.

Unique Engineering / Business Collaboration

“SysEDA represents a growing style of collaboration whereby researchers from the USC College of Engineering and Computing are paired with graduates of the Darla Moore School of Business and seasoned executives to get new companies quickly formed and positioned for success,” Herriott said.

Kelly Truesdale, SysEDA’s chief operating officer and a 2010 IMBA graduate, typifies this collaboration. He works with a proven entrepreneur/corporate executive team from Bang! Technologies Inc., which provides mentorship to the SysEDA team, in addition to being hands-on members of the SysEDA management team. This approach is considered a model to bring business grads together with scientist/engineering grads under the mentorship of proven executives and entrepreneurs to form the young entrepreneurial leadership teams of new Innovista companies exemplified by SysEDA.

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