Fluix offers an easy, quick, and safe way to build a high-performance PC by providing a case that includes superior cooling capabilities in an affordable and aesthetically pleasing manner. Two co-founders from the University of Central Florida, one an Aerospace Engineering undergraduate, and the other a Mechanical Engineering Ph.D. graduate came together after Abhishek Sastri interviewed to join Dr. Eduardo Castillo to help him with his PhD research. Abhishek, being an avid PC gamer during the rise of Esports and someone who experimented with cryptocurrency mining throughout the 2017 craze, was familiar with processor thermal throttling and overheating issues. He researched with his college friends the power of liquid cooling and decided to buy and install a unit inside a mining rig. The group noticed fewer processor errors and a higher hash frequency.
Dr. Eduardo Castillo CTO, Fluix Engineering Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Central Florida. Expertise in multiphase flow and heat transfer, material micro processing, and computational fluid dynamics (CFD). Head of research and product development for Fluix.
Fluix wins 3rd place at 2019 Launch Your Venture Competition at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
When Abhishek’s findings collided with Eduardo’s experience as a engineer who specialized in fluid mechanics and heat transfer applications, Fluix Engineering was formed. However, there was an issue; these engineers did not know how to run a business. In the same month, they applied to the UCF I-Corps program and were accepted. They spent the next 5 weeks in a rigorous customer discovery process to analyze pain points with potential customer segments such as cryptocurrency miners, server hosting companies, and PC gamers.
The UCF I-Corps program instilled in them the fundamentals of entrepreneurship in building a business model, a value proposition canvas, and most importantly “getting out of the building” and meeting customers. After graduating from the program and winning an initial grant from the National Science Foundation, they used the funds to build and test their first MVPs (Minimal viable product).
They meticulously redesigned and tested their MVPs while making pivots in their business model. Initially serving the cryptocurrency industry, they found out that the market was too volatile. Essentially the sale of their products would depend on the fluctuating value of virtual currencies. The next segment that showed promise was server hosting companies such as the autonomous vehicle industry and the online hosting platforms.
While pitching at several startup competitions such as One Million Cups at Rollins, Siemens Pitch Masters, Orlando Tech Association, and the UCF Joust, they gained the interest of companies that required consultative cooling solutions. Fluix Engineering engaged in customer discovery discourses with server companies, gaining insight into the obstacles that these industries were facing. To date, Fluix has engaged in over 150 customer discovery interviews with PC gamers, server hosts, and crypto mining companies. Through the process of testing and reiterating prototypes, the duo decided to service the PC gaming segment because this market showed the most consistent data.
Simply put, PC gamers expressed frustrations while building a high-end gaming computer. Therefore, by using computational fluid dynamics and additive manufacturing, Fluix is able to provide a form factor that is easy to set up, maintain, and operate. This can all be accomplished while also increasing cooling performance and aesthetic appeal. The team had the pleasure of showcasing Fluix at both UCF’s Starter Riot in 2018 and the inaugural startup showcase at Otronicon 2019. These events were instrumental in the process of gaining data and analyzing the gaming customer segment. Currently, Fluix Engineering is honored to be a part of the Upstarts Accelerator, which is UCF’s premier undergraduate incubator that provides the necessary resources and mentorship for the most promising startups. Their next steps include initial customer testing and feedback as well as researching a scalable manufacturing process.
Orlando serves as an ideal playground for this tech startup. With its thriving gaming/Esports communities, DOD simulation headquarters, and blockchain server farms, the city is a furnace for high computation, but Fluix can handle the heat!