YEDaily: Michael von Hauff

Today’s YEDaily says what’s most notable to him is recognizing the need for change and acting on it. Find out what other advice 32-year-old entrepreneur Michael von Hauff, Founder of Osprey Informatics, gives to young professionals looking to making the leap into starting their own business…

Elevator Pitch: Describe your business in a nutshell.
Osprey Informatics provides a hybrid hardware/cloud-based software solution that provides total visibility of remote locations via visual and sensory data. In other words, we make it really easy for stakeholders in an oil and gas company to see their remote assets at anytime. The ability to pull up visual information concerning thousands of assets that are spread out across thousands of km instantly has a huge impact on reducing health, safety, environmental, and security issues that are associated with the great distances between remote assets and the operators responsible for them.

Why did you start your business, what was the inspiration?
I worked as a summer student for Encana one summer during my engineering degree. It became very apparent that there are a lot of challenges regarding the management of assets that are spread out over great distances, as they are in the oil and gas sector.

What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
Getting validation that we are fulfilling a demand in the market. We approach the issues around HSE (health, safety, and environment) a lot differently then the traditional approach, so it can be very challenging sometimes to get the approach across. And because we use cameras, people tend to zone in on the security aspect, which is great, but we don’t want companies to miss out on the HSE benefits if security isn’t a deciding factor for them.

Where do you see your business going in 5 years?
We would like to bring our product out into the international marketplace.

What does success look like to you? 
Becoming a standard product adopted by all oil and gas companies (in Canada!).

What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
Taking the leap to work on becoming an industry game changer.

Do you have any advice for other young professionals? 
Maintain focus on your long term goals through active reinforcement. Other people’s advice, technical challenges and other daily bumps in the road will constantly erode your plans. Keep track of your reasoning by writing down your thought processes, and go back to them constantly. 

Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
None. Expendable time and money are non-existent while in start-up mode. At one point I did, and in the future I will again. But not now.

What is Notable to you?
The ability to recognize the need for change and act on it. It’s harder to do and easier to rationalize away than most people realize. 

Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
RIP Blackberry. Long live the Android.

How do you keep active, energetic, and vibrant?
I live and work downtown so I am able to walk to and from work everyday. Living downtown means I rarely have to drive for my day-to-day activities.

Photography by Wilkosz & Way, Alberta Oil Magazine