Five Questions with David Weksel

Published on December 16, 2020

Panduit Talks Why They Work With Early-Stage Startups

As part of our series “Five Questions with,” David Weksel, Director of Strategic Growth at Panduit, discusses the types of technologies he is most interested in and how mHUB Accelerated Incubation & Panduit go hand in hand.

1. What are the types of technology that Panduit is interested in?

Generally, we’re interested in networking and electrical technologies that create value for our customers. More specifically, we target market applications:

  1. Enterprise network infrastructure
  2. Data center network infrastructure
  3. Industrial/factory network infrastructure
  4. Industrial construction infrastructure
  5. Electrical cabling

2. Why does Panduit work with early-stage startups?

We believe that partnering with the right startups could be a great source of compelling value. Panduit brings the resources of a $1B company to collaborations with startups that have exciting innovations and the next big thing. We assert that startups shine at identifying new product ideas and are nimble at detecting customer opportunities but lack scale in areas such as sales, engineering, and manufacturing. Panduit endeavors to work with early stage startups where we can contribute our global reach and a breadth of technical expertise to create a path for out-sized success.

  1. Edge computing will support IIoT
    Edge computing or “mini data centers” with self-contained compute, storage and network will co-locate with dense IIoT applications to reduce latency and improve utility and performance of automation and machine learning.
  2. IIoT will dominate industrial safety applications
    Wearables for industrial workers will track everything from security and location information to environmental and health data to make a dramatic impact to the safety of industrial workers.
  3. Powering IIoT devices will continue to be a challenge
    Powering remote IIoT devices will be a pain point for widespread deployments before an economical, centralized architecture is adopted that supports flexible power-at-a-distance with monitoring and safety as key features.

4. What are Panduit’s innovation priorities as an organization?

As with other manufacturers, Panduit competes by anticipating and meeting future customer demands in chosen markets. We’re looking to gain first mover and sustainable advantages by providing disruptive products and solutions through a comprehensive approach to innovation that includes both organic and startup partnerships.

Our priorities in IIoT:

  1. Connected Enterprise
    Innovative cable management and connectivity, power distribution, cooling/heating, environmental monitoring, remote management, security, and safety technologies within the connected enterprise (including factory) or industrial construction environment.
  2. Smart Tools
    Innovative tools for designing, manufacturing, installing, and maintaining network or electrical infrastructure within the connected enterprise (including factory) or industrial construction environment.
  3. M2M Communications
    Innovative Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communication technologies that provide improved capacity, security, ease of use, or reduced cost within the connected enterprise (including factory) or industrial construction environment.
  4. Automation & Machine Learning 
    Innovative automation or machine learning technologies that provide improved operational efficiency, safety, or security of the network or electrical infrastructure within the connected enterprise (including factory) or industrial construction environment.
  5. Smart Construction 
    Innovative technologies that streamline material flow and installation of the network or electrical infrastructure within the connected enterprise (including factory) or industrial construction environment.
  6. Smart Procurement
    Innovative technologies to streamline the specification cycle within engineering/procurement/construction firms.

5. How does mHUB Accelerated Incubation, and accelerators in general, align with Panduit’s innovation strategy?

Our alignment is rooted in our partnership with mHUB and Avnet to attract the finest IIoT startups to this Accelerator.  The mHUB Accelerator brings significant infrastructure, including an impressive startup community, extensive prototyping capabilities, tailored educational programs, industry leading mentors, and of course cash to startups to optimize the likelihood of success. The bottom line is that this accelerator provides a unique opportunity for Panduit to connect with quality startups to jointly disrupt markets.

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