Tech For Good – Feat. MARSS

We recently caught up with Stefano Crosta, VP of Software Engineering at MARSS as part of our Tech For Good series. The purpose of the Tech For Good series of interviews is to create a platform that showcases and champions companies, products and technologists who are using technology as a force for positive change in the world.

MARSS is a global technology company that helps customers strengthen their defence & security and modernise their cities through intelligent turnkey softwares. Their AI powered IoT platform, NiDAR provides a unique solution by fusing intelligence and surveillance to grant full situational awareness and control in 4 different domains. Trusted globally, their technology helps protect over 3 million lives today.

ADLIB: What has been your career journey so far, leading you to where you are right now?

Stefano: My professional journey is slightly unconventional, but probably not uncommon. Passionate about tech and computers since my first Commodore 64 and soldering kit, I chose to explore different cultures and opportunities thanks to an Erasmus Scholarship, obtaining a double master in software engineering (Politecnico di Torino) and signal processing and multimedia  (Eurecom Institute, Sophia Antipolis), with an internship in electronics in Los Angeles. Driven by a passion to learn and discover, I moved back to France and co-founded a start-up in the cybersecurity domain. I then spent a couple of years in the academic world as a security researcher in Eurecom Institute; then jumped into the BIG company experience with Cisco. Back to entrepreneurship, I became the CTO of a start-up in the Web 2.0 “revolution”; moving on to set up the technical department for the innovating 3H Partners strategy consultancy firm. Around then I was lucky enough to meet Doug – MARSS CTO – and realized that I finally had the chance to put together all my passions, working towards solutions that do have an impact, and with a fantastic team sharing the same values! That’s when I finally settled!

ADLIB: How does MARSS aim to address challenges through innovative tech?

Stefano: MARSS’ DNA is innovation, infused from the beginning by our founder Johannes Pinl! MARSS’ business model is built upon solving difficult technical problems in our domain through out of the box thinking. The belief is that there is always a better solution, a growing body of proprietary intellectual property and tech, and last but not least an exceptional team of creative, passionate expert engineers. Our objective is to offer a platform that is user friendly and intuitive to hide  the complexity of different hardware sensors and improve their performance. The result is extremely precise and reactive; every second counts when protecting assets and lives.

This is what makes MARSS stand out in the security and defense market, and the reason for our success.

ADLIB: You work for MARSS who develop products to keep 3 million people safe each day.  Have you always wanted to work on Tech For Good solutions?

Stefano: I wish I could say Yes!, but actually the idea of ethical work only grew on me little by little. While my values have always been there, driving my personal life, as a young engineer I was initially hungry for technical challenges and novel discoveries. The “Don’t be evil” motto from the original Google was the first time I started realizing that what we do as a job can be meaningful and have an impact. It took many years before I finally had the opportunity to work for a company where this is implemented!

ADLIB: Why do you think there is a growing trend for engineers to seek out opportunities to work in purpose-driven businesses?

Stefano: I have always believed it’s important to have a job you’re passionate about. We spend a large portion of our life working and it’s a waste if those hours are not invested into something we enjoy.

Similarly, I came to realize that it’s not fulfilling enough if it’s only for my own good!

It was important to me that what I do as a job should not have a negative impact on the planet and society, but rather, doing something that has a positive impact!

I’m not ingenuous; a business is there to be successful!

I believe I am not alone in this path, and  new generations are more aware that we all live on the same planet and we need to cherish it and each other.

ADLIB: MARSS are looking to open a tech hub in Bristol, could you tell us more about selecting Bristol as your location of choice?

Stefano: My first experience with Bristol dates back many years, when I was working as a security research engineer. I used to visit a project partner often and I really enjoyed the city and the quality of life there. Fast forward many years  and we are researching several locations to expand our team with a thriving software development community, with options all over Europe. Bristol is a no brainer. The city is synonymous with UK A&D, featuring some of the world’s largest OEMS. It has a buzzing start-ups tech scene. Fantastic universities. We look forward to hiring skilled newcomers in the Bristol area to support the rapidly growing MARSS business with innovative ideas and exceptional code!

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Head Of Tech (Permanent)

CTO/Leads, Developers, GreenTech

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Mike Harley