The Silicon Review
In the United States there are over 2.5 million miles of paved roads and highways that hundreds of millions of vehicles depend on every day to support commercial and commuting activities. These roadways are now facing a serious issue resulting from inadequate repairs and maintenance. The poor condition of this transportation network is now threatening our economy, the public, and the environment. The US government estimates it will take as much as $2 trillion over the next ten years to repair and expand this network. What you may not realize is that there is a much larger network buried below the transportation network that also suffers from the same serious issue of deterioration and need for repairs and expansion. This massive underground network is far greater in size than the transportation systems and is comprised of an estimated 30 million miles of pipelines and utilities that deliver critical services to our homes and businesses.
It is quite evident to us when roads and highways need repair as we can see direct evidence of any damage or deterioration. What is not so easily detected is the damaged or deteriorating condition of buried infrastructure and often these systems completely fail before we even realize that an issue exists. Another major concern is that any capacity upgrades to roads and highways only compound the issue because the buried infrastructure is often placed just a few feet below those surface systems. This proximity means that any work on the surface system can adversely affect what lies below it and, far too often, it does. In fact, every minute of every working day a buried utility is seriously damaged from construction and repair activities. When the surface transportation network is damaged we may experience traffic disruptions such as detours or delays. But, when the subsurface networks are damaged, electrical and communication services can be lost, there can be flooding, harmful liquids or gases can be released into the environment and, in the worst cases, explosions occur that can result in injuries and fatalities.
Given the above-mentioned challenges, we are thrilled to present ProStar Geocorp, Inc.
ProStar Geocorp was incorporated in 2014 and today is recognized as a world leader in developing Precision Mapping Solutions™ that provide unprecedented geospatial intelligence, location precision and transparency.
The company’s founder and CEO, Page Tucker, started ProStar to develop a solution for industries where knowing the precise location of infrastructure is critical for their operations and safety. Mr. Tucker has an extensive background in early stage startups, including financing, recruiting, product development, and sales and marketing. The ProStar solution combines patented geospatial technology with business intelligence and is offered as Software as a Service (SaaS). The technology parallels navigational systems including Google Maps, Bing, and OnStar®, but there is one key difference that sets ProStar apart. Whereas the other solutions are primarily designed to provide basic location services on the earth’s surface with accuracy levels measured in meters, the ProStar solution provides the ability to identify points both on and below the earth’s surface with accuracies measured in centimeters.
ProStar’s Flagship Solution
ProStar’s flagship solution is Transparent Earth®, a natively cloud and mobile solution. Running on the cloud and being mobile means that, at a click of a button, critical and precise location data is available to anyone on any device, anywhere in the world and at any time. Transparent Earth is also designed to eliminate data silos and streamline data processes by integrating with other data systems. This means Transparent Earth can manage and deliver big data from multiple source systems ranging from enterprise data management systems and government agencies to the Internet of Things (IoT). Now data from geographic information systems like ESRI, computer-aided design systems such as Bentley, and enterprise resource planning systems provided by companies like SAP can be managed from one platform resulting in more timely and better business decisions. It also means that National data sources that manage impactful information, such as inclement weather, fires and earthquakes can also be conflated with other data sources to provide robust reporting, analytics and predictive analysis, making the entire infrastructure management life-cycle easier, safer, and more effective.
ProStar Delivers Measurable Confidence to Stakeholders
Jim Anspach is the founding Governor of ASCE Utility Engineering and Surveying Institute, “Having accurate data about the type, location, and condition of assets reduces risks to the workers that build, maintain and repair them as well as the public and the environment. Knowing the origin, locational accuracy, methods, and integrity of utility data is critical to managing the risks of using that data. ProStar’s attribution of precision, pedigree, and provenance to utility data delivers measurable confidence to stakeholders.”
Proud Moments for ProStar
In 2016, the Colorado Technology Association named Page Tucker ‘The Entrepreneur of the Year’. In 2017, ProStar Geocorp was named the winner of ‘Colorado Top 50 Companies to Watch’. Recently, AI Global named the company the ‘Global Leader in Geospatial Software for 2019’.
The Silicon Review Exclusive Interview
Page Tucker: “I think there are a few important factors that must be present in developing a winning product: It needs to be a game changer, you need a great team, and you need really good timing.”
“Each time you start a company you learn a little more about business and yourself. For me, launching a new business starts with a big idea that gets you really excited and that you feel will be a game changer to an entire industry. One simple business rule I would share with other entrepreneurs is make sure you give yourself enough runway as it almost always seems to cost twice as much and takes twice as long as you had anticipated. Another recommendation is to surround yourself with a seasoned team to help you stay on track and identify any red flags. As entrepreneurs we are optimists by nature, so we often need some realism added into the mix. After all, mistakes can be very costly so it is best to avoid them by having an experienced and diversified team to help you navigate.”
Ramping Up Sales and Marketing Efforts
Now that ProStar has proven its viability in several markets, the next step is to ramp up operations and do so with access to significant capital from the public markets. To expand their reach in the US and globally, the company is now in the process of going public and anticipates it will be trading on the TSX Venture Exchange by the end of the second quarter of this year. Page Tucker, “We will use the capital raised on the public markets to accelerate our operations by bringing on additional key resources and expanding our sales and marketing efforts.”
Page sees ProStar as having the potential of being the de facto solution for every industry that would benefit from precision mapping. Even though the company’s focus has been on industries that manage subsurface assets such as pipelines and utilities, ProStar now has clients ranging from major construction companies and engineering & surveying firms to state agencies. Page Tucker, “I truly believe that our solution has the potential to be accepted and used throughout the world as the management and improvement of infrastructure is becoming a growing concern globally.”
The Geospatial Industry is Poised for Disruption
Vasa Dasan, former CTO of Sun Microsystems Services, recently joined ProStar Geocorp as the new COO. He was very impressed with both the team and the innovative product ProStar had developed. Mr. Dasan, “I was impressed with the opportunity ProStar provided me to help disrupt an industry similar to what Uber has done for transportation and Airbnb for hospitality services.”
“Vasa went on to say but there are several key ingredients that go into developing a successful product including great leadership, a great idea and a great team. You also need to weather a few storms, as in my experience, even great ideas that are backed with sufficient resources can take at least four to five years to commercialize. ProStar has done that.”
A Key Partnership
ProStar recently partnered with Microsoft to offer Transparent Earth on the Azure platform so that the company can now deliver ProStar’s solution on every continent. Page Tucker: “We selected Microsoft Azure as over 80 percent of the Fortune 500 firms use it.” Microsoft completed a case study on ProStar, which included the company as part of its digital transformation:
The Leadership Team | ProStar Geocorp, Inc.
In a relatively short period, Mr. Tucker has assembled an impressive group of technologists and executive management that includes: Vasa Dasan, who spent 15 years as CTO at Sun Microsystems Services; Peter Forster who was formerly Senior Manager at Deloitte; Carl Lashua, a former CIO of HSBC Canada and Europe, and head of software delivery for Europe; and Kevin Koch, Senior Director of Technology for Thomson Reuters.
Vasa Dasan, Chief Operations Officer: A veteran of driving technical strategy and execution in cloud computing, Mr. Dasan recently joined ProStar from CU Boulder where he served as head of software development. Prior to that, he was the VP of Engineering at Symplified, a single sign-on startup acquired by RSA a division of EMC-DELL. Prior to Symplified, Mr. Dasan was the first engineering hire at Wayin, a mobile and web engagement platform founded by Scott McNealy. As CTO, he built and led the team that developed Wayin’s services for iPhone, iPad and Android devices. Mr. Dasan spent more than 15 years of his career at Sun Microsystems where he served as a Chief Technologist for the company’s Cloud Computing Practice and spent more than a decade as Distinguished Engineer and CTO for Sun’s $5.1 billion SunService division.
Peter Forster, Chief Technology Officer: Peter Forster brings over twenty five years of extensive application software development, design, and implementation experience to ProStar as the Chief Technology Officer. Peter was formerly Senior Manager at Deloitte and brings extensive expertise in SaaS application builds, DevOps and Agile methodology. Peter is a skilled leader that has engaged with several Fortune 500 organizations to architect and deliver enterprise level solutions. Peter provides expertise in cloud services, cloud service architecture and a strong background in business process enabling technologies.
Carl Lashua, VP of Systems Administration: Carl Lashua has extensive experience building and leading information technology, operations and program management teams. Prior to joining ProStar, Carl was with HSBC, one of the world’s leading global financial services companies. Carl held various executive level positions in both North America and Europe including Program Director Global Change Delivery, Head of Software Delivery Europe, CIO Europe and CIO Canada. He has extensive experience leading teams providing business consulting, software engineering, enterprise technology deployment, change management and support services.
Kevin Koch, Senior Director of Mobile Solutions: Kevin Koch has been involved in software development for over 15 years and provides extensive experience in mobile application development. Prior to joining ProStar, Kevin was Senior Director of Technology for Thomson Reuters where he managed a large business unit responsible for all aspects of software development, web development, quality assurance, technical writing, project management and IT. While at Thomson Reuters, Kevin managed and rapidly scaled the group and was responsible for delivering innovative mobile, desktop and web-based applications. Under Kevin’s leadership the group delivered their fully featured flagship product ‘Case Notebook’ from inception to stable mature product.