NomiCam is a Tampere-based imaging company founded in 2016. CEO Pentti Väänänen introduces the company and its background.
What does NomiCam do?
– In short, camera verification and image quality improvement for all kinds of camera developers.
– We offer a wide range of services from module testing and pre-tuning to product tests and tuning. We also offer (and continue to develop) the MIP software that is an advanced camera system development and prototyping environment. Or, if you want to build your own camera laboratory, we can help you to design it. See our website for more information.
NomiCam was founded in Tampere in September 2016. What is the story?
– The thought arised in summer 2016. We were still working in Microsoft Mobile imaging team and some of us, the future NomiCam founders, sitting literally next to each other. So we started to think what was needed to establish our own company.
– We wanted to obtain the laboratories Microsoft was using for camera verification in Tampere and the Mobile Imaging Playground (MIP) software that was initially developed by Nokia and Microsoft camera engineers. Further to those, we also considered what kind of competences our new company would need to thrive. Then there was the Microsoft Polku programme that helped and encouraged us to take the step and become entrepreneurs.
– We were able to buy the equipment and license the software as planned, and we also got together the right people with suitable competences. Between us we have over 50 years of experience in Nokia and Microsoft. All this put together gives NomiCam a remarkable competitive edge.
Is NomiCam going to stay in Tampere?
– Tampere will always be our homebase, and there is room for the company to grow in this very building. If need be in the future, it is always possible to open overseas offices. At the moment we have customers in Finland, but also in Taiwan, China, the US, Norway, and negotiations underway for more.
Tampere has a strong imaging ecosystem. What kind of effect does it have on the NomiCam business?
– NomiCam has had customer projects since week one, thanks to the imaging ecosystem – that is: our former colleagues from Nokia and Microsoft Mobile who now work in various other companies. They know exactly what NomiCam offers and they have a need for our services. That helped to secure a fine start for NomiCam, but of course we are making new business contacts as we go along.
If you think back, what is the fondest memory in your career?
– I do like to look back to the days of the Nokia 9000 Communicator project. The teamwork and startup spirit were something really special then. The excitement of making such a product come true, launching it and then seeing how people from around the world talked about it and wanted to use it.
– In fact, founding NomiCam brought forward similar feelings than the N9000 project. Interesting and busy times, building something new – only this time around we have a big jar of camera modules in our meeting room to show what we have already been doing over the years.
How do you see the future?
– NomiCam has plans for growth, just waiting for the right moment. We are looking for new customers that work in the fields of AR/VR, machine vision, medical or automotive industries, just to mention a few. Cameras will be used everywhere, and that is why there is also a need for the imaging verification services and solutions NomiCam can offer.
– In the long run, we would very much like to invest in the software development and make the MIP our main product.
– The imaging expertise in the Tampere region is now in 110% use within a variety of companies, ranging from Tampere-based start ups to large multinationals that have established R&D centres here. Now we need to make sure the imaging expertise continues to flourish in the future. That is why NomiCam recruits student trainees – to grow more imaging specialists.
Author: Päivi Stenroos