Roger Meier and Patrick Terreaux found Setza

10 May 2015

Putting an end to meeting room chaos

Roger Meier and Patrick Terreaux got to know one another during a program they both completed as part of their Executive MBA at the Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL). During one of their many discussions, the two engineers talked about the widespread problem with the allocation of meeting rooms: both had repeatedly experienced standing helplessly in the corridor with customers for upcoming meetings because no suitable meeting room was available. Such situations are unpleasant and time-consuming for all involved, besides being embarrassing for the person hosting the meeting.

Signage system developed with customers

As part of their program, Roger Meier and Patrick Terreaux developed a concept for a simple, battery-free, room signage system. They approached the ETH Zurich, which was planning a similar concept as a pilot project for the entire campus with 500 rooms to be provided with signage. The ETHZ’s intentions were frustrated by the fact that only cabled or radio-controlled solutions were available. In close collaboration with those in charge at the ETHZ, Roger Meier and Patrick Terreaux developed a product with specifications customized to meet their preferences and requirements. The challenge was to equip the entire campus with wireless, optically pleasing 8-inch displays that are connected to the existing WLAN.

Not FOR the customer, but WITH the customer

During the course of this pilot project, the two engineers entered into discussions with other companies to identify their needs. “In contrast to the ETHZ, corporate customers wanted to be able to also make reservations on their mobile displays,” explained Roger Meier. They upgraded their project with the desired function. “The simplicity of our product was, and remains, essential to us. It should be easy to install and to use. That’s why we teamed up with customers during the development and consciously avoided over-engineering.”

Company founded on a solid basis

Roger Meier (*1974) and Patrick Terreaux (*1982) founded Setza SA in May 2015. This was preceded by a great deal of preliminary work. Patrick Terreaux looked back: “We both had families and responsibilities. So we carefully weighed up the risk factors and excluded as many as we possibly could before founding the company.” The company name was rather a product of chance: the two founders looked for a free domain with few letters. The name also should not be too limiting, because there was great potential when it came to the product’s range of application. “It’s not just a matter of room signage, but far more complex topics such as the optimization of office spaces using sensor technology, for example,” confirmed Roger Meier, and Patrick Terreaux added: “The future will be exciting. We have gotten off to a good start and still have far to go.”

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