Tony Paine of HighByte

An exclusive Tech Tribune Q&A with Tony Paine, the co-founder and CEO of HighByte, which was honored in our:
Tell us the origin story of HighByte – what problem were you trying to solve and why?

We formed HighByte to develop an off-the-shelf software solution that allows companies to scale and maintain the Industry 4.0 applications critical to their digital transformation journey. Industry 4.0 applications come in many shapes/sizes and from a variety of vendors. The ability to exchange information between these applications is a challenge. HighByte recognized this problem and developed HighByte Intelligence Hub to provide a central place to collect, model, and transform industrial data into usable information for any kind of application.

What was the biggest hurdle you encountered in your journey?

The biggest hurdle we have encountered to date is COVID-19 and its impact on all businesses. Having launched our initial product in late January, we had planned on attending various industry events, visiting potential customers, and working with manufacturers to obtain and pilot our software. In the past couple of months, all events have been canceled, travel has been banned, and customers are working from home, making it difficult to install and pilot software that runs in a manufacturing facility. We’ve been able to shift gears by hosting webinars and live demos and expanding our digital presence. This is allowing us to tee up opportunities that we intend to close out once business gets back to “normal”.

What does the future hold for HighByte?

I believe the impact from COVID-19 will encourage manufacturers to accelerate their Industry 4.0 initiatives to allow for better remote connectivity and operations from their personnel. HighByte is well positioned to help manufacturers achieve these initiatives and in turn, earn customers. As we grow financially, we plan to expand our team and invest in talent that can be found right here in Portland, Maine.

What are your thoughts on the local tech startup scene in Portland?

Portland has a lot of hidden gems in the local tech startup scene. From founders that had previous exits and are starting something new, to employees who have ventured off on their own, to products coming out of academia for commercialization, Portland is producing a lot of startups. With several co-working options, startups can find an affordable place to initially stand-up a business in short order.

What’s your best advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?

Look for problems in the market that you are passionate about and are best positioned to solve. Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you and spend more time asking questions and learning in team discussions – you don’t need to solve every problem by yourself.


For more exclusive interviews, see our full Profile of a Founder series