Everyone’s entrepreneurial journey is different. For Abhishek Sastri of FLUIX Inc., it began out of necessity. As an engineering student at the University of Central Florida (UCF), Sastri could not have imagined the side hustle he started to make ends meet would lead to the successful business he leads today.
While building and selling high-performance computers for friends in gaming and research, he received feedback about the need for better cooling solutions to keep the devices from slowing down due to overheating. Sastri knew he was onto something, but wasn’t sure where to start. Upon his acceptance to the UCF I-Corps program, Sastri received the mentorship and non-dilutive funding needed to turn his plan for a cooling solution into a profitable business. The idea of FLUIX was born in 2017 as a result and Sastri officially formed the company in 2019.
“Since then, we’ve had a lot of pivots,” he said. FLUIX has expanded its focus from cooling systems for personal computers to professional workspaces to servers. Today, the team is focused on making data centers more efficient with cooling systems that use less energy and can be built anywhere on Earth or in space.
Throughout these changes, one key to Sastri’s success has been his determination. Despite early struggles to build a team fit for the turbulence of startup culture, Sastri now has the right team in place and is proud of the way his company has overcome more recent hurdles like the pandemic. “What got us through all that was just our grit.”
Sastri’s passion for problem-solving and customer satisfaction also keeps him going. “If there’s any way that we can put a smile on the customer’s face and have an impact on their bottom dollar, increase their revenue, then that’s a win for us.”
Winning is a concept he knows well. In 2022, FLUIX was accepted into and graduated from the inaugural Techstars Industries of the Future Accelerator in partnership with Oak Ridge National Laboratory. As if that wasn’t enough, also in 2022, FLUIX won $25,000 in the Orbital Reef Innovation Challenge powered by Blue Origin, Sierra Space, and AWS.
Among the things he’s excited about in 2023, Sastri is leading a fundraiser for FLUIX to expand its data center product line. He’s also looking to grow FLUIX’s portfolio—an area where local resources have been helpful. FLUIX has been a member of Cenfluence since 2021 and, this year, benefitted from an introduction from Program Director Dr. Amy Beaird to one of the premier co-location data centers in downtown Orlando.
Anticipating growth in 2023, Sastri is also on the hunt for talent, which he hopes to hire from local universities. “There’s so much great talent coming out of the University of Central Florida and the University of South Florida … we’re really excited about building a team from these talent pools, and we hope to be able to grow that team in the near future and beyond.”
Company: FLUIX Inc.
Number of Employees: 3
Alma Mater: University of Central Florida
Are you hiring: Yes. We are looking for simulation & modeling engineers. Email Abhishek at Abhi@fluixpro.com.
Hobbies: Making and editing video content
First Job: Network tech at the age of 16
For more 2023 Innovators to Watch, read our full roundup »