Model Engineer TM: If you're not building computer models of your systems as part of the design process because of the complexity or expense, or if you are building models and you
know there must be a better way ... then Model Engineer is for you. Model Engineer is a systems modeling tool for the PC / Windows environment that makes it easy to describe your components,
build models and run trade studies without spending most of your time writing code. It also supports network-based modeling incorporating your legacy models such as Fortran on UNIX or
even Excel spreadsheets, all in a distributed environment.
North Atlanta's Business Post, January 2000 issue
Modelogics got help from center making business contacts
This Alpharetta-based company was on the verge of creating a PC-based software package, but the founders needed contacts in the Atlanta market to make the venture a success. That is why they turned to
the Advanced Technology Development Center.
Model Engineer, which was founded in March 1998 by Ernie Hodge, Fred Guyton and Leo Kosiba, is a software package for computer
modeling of complex systems and processes that works much like Windows software, therefore not requiring specialized training to operate.
The software allows users to perform drop and drag and cut and paste methods of computing and has easy interaction with other applications. It
allows the users to create complex system and process models by using these methods.
During the first months of existence the founders were focusing on
product development. They realized they needed help fostering business relations in Atlanta. That is when they turned to ATDC, in which they have been members for more than a year.
"When we started to form the company we realized we didn't have a lot of business contacts in Atlanta," said CEO Guyton. "We had all lived and
worked in Atlanta, but we had traveled extensively with our jobs. We know Hartsfield very well, but we didn't have the local contacts we needed to get
into the hi-tech community in Atlanta. ATDC seemed like a good way to get to meet and know the players."
His instincts were right, and ATDC exceeded Guyton's expectations.
"Through the center, we get access to the gateway to the hi-tech community in Atlanta," he added. "It has done what we hoped it would do and more by giving us access to hi-tech lawyers, accountants and venture
funding resources. The staff has been helpful in helping us see the holes in our plan and refining our approach."
This is especially true when it came to identifying the holes in their pitch to potential investors. Since ATDC doesn't hand out capital to its
members or graduate companies, businesses are encouraged to seek funds using connections they build through the center.
"We presented our pitch to internal staff first, then they brought in a panel from the outside to hear the presentation and they give you
feedback," Guyton said, referring to his company's road show review, one of the services offered at the center. "We changed what we were saying dramatically for the better. It was great to have someone telling us what
we were doing right and what we were doing wrong before we went out looking for investors."
Many companies seeking the center's assistance are in need of the
rental office space offered at the center. That was not the case for Modelogics. "Their facilities are relatively inexpensive, but we don't use them," he said. "We didn't want to commute downtown and we like being
in the Alpharetta area."
Even though the company is located outside the perimeter, they continue to take advantage of the services provided by the center. Every
week a representative from Modelogics attends the weekly brown bag seminar and Guyton attends the monthly CEO Roundtable breakfast meeting when possible.
"It is a great opportunity to get together to discuss issues among ourselves that we are interested in," he said about the roundtable
discussion. "We have talked about cultures inside companies and molding them, funding problems and human resource issues. At the end we pick a topic for next time and someone volunteers to moderate and every month I
walk away learning something new."
Modelogics also uses the video presentation facilities available at the
center. Guyton said he would tell any business to check out ATDC. "It is a jump start," he said. "It provided us with connections and information that
would have taken us a lot longer to learn. It is a community for hi-tech business owners to share and learn about operating a business and
lessons learned by others. We like to hear what others have been through so we can avoid the problems they have faced."
Automotive Engineering, February 2000 issue
Modelogics' Model Engineer is a toolkit made up
of Windows-based software tools that allow users to graphically build and run complex system models. It uses various application libraries such as thermal systems to provide the key
components required for system designs. The toolkit also includes tools that allow engineers to build their own components.