Pioneering a new era in sensory technology: a corporate-startup match made in heaven? 

Pioneering a new era in sensory technology: a corporate-startup match made in heaven? 


Linxens is a global leader in smart components manufacturing, notably in the smart card components industry, with 80% of the world using Linxens’ products. In a world where digitalization is pervasive, seamless and secure connections are critical to progress, Linxens is ready to open its manufacturing sites to innovative projects looking to scale to industrial and global levels. In 2022, Hello Tomorrow and Linxens partnered to craft this unique opportunity and called on the best startups in healthcare, IoT for energy and connectivity, and environmental sensors. The result? A match made in heaven. We chatted to the Founder of Altered Carbon, Ali Rohafza, the winning startup from the Hello Tomorrow Community that has gone on to collaborate with Linxens. 

Who are Altered Carbon?

Can you briefly describe the technology you’re working on and what is its wider impact? 

Altered Carbon provides a multi-array sensor using evolved graphene, which enables machines to detect a whole cocktail of chemical compounds. The sensor is combined with AI to identify a scent signature which we call a “digital fingerprint”. Our advantage is that we have managed to develop sensors that have the ability to detect multiple target scents in a singular chip, with a highly scalable manufacturing process.

A Startup Call that answered real needs

This all started with a call for applications, what did you find compelling about this Startup Call that led you to apply? 

We had been hoping for this kind of opportunity to collaborate with a company like Linxens and had been regularly scanning the startup opportunities that Hello Tomorrow puts out. For us, it was about finding the right manufacturer, we can’t produce the quantities that bigger companies produce, it’s not feasible for us. Our needs are also quite specific and our market fit is hard. What compelled us about this challenge was that we could tell our technology and unique position were well understood, we were in the right environment and there was instantly a feeling of trust among all parties. 

The collaboration with Linxens begins

Fast forward a few months and you’ve won the challenge, and the chance to build synergies with a leading player in your industry. Both scary and exciting we imagine. What were your feelings about that at the time? 

Sitting down face to face with Linxens was really valuable in establishing the synergies and understanding our respective roles in a potential partnership. The match was there, and after discussing with their team all of our doubts were removed. We started to understand in a lot more detail how we can build something mutually beneficial, for example on our side we needed someone with a high IP and needed access to new production avenues. What Linxens has been able to do for us is give us confidence, they back us up.

The impact of this collaboration across different industries

What do you think the impact of this kind of partnership has on the wider industry? What is special about this project that you’ve built together? 

The partnership we have built is quite unique and really represents a significant step in scaling the production of digital nose sensors, making them more accessible to a broader market. We’ve been able to seamlessly integrate our K9Sense technology with Linxens’ advanced manufacturing capabilities. But it’s not just about manufacturing, it’s about pioneering a new era in this technology, applying it across various industries from food safety to healthcare. The scalability achieved through our partnership with Linxens means we can now address larger market segments and offer more cost-effective solutions, something that was a challenge before.

Altered Carbon’s journey since collaborating with Linxens

Where has this journey taken you as a startup, what are you proud to have achieved since the partnership? 

Since our collaboration with Linxens, Altered Carbon has seen substantial growth. We are expanding our market reach and enhancing our technological capabilities. We’ve been able to connect with major industry players and expand our network, opening doors to new markets and partnerships and further our mission to revolutionize scent detection technology. Looking ahead, we foresee Altered Carbon becoming a key player in the IoT and sensor technology space. 

In my view though, the most important success factor is resilience and the ability to innovate continually. In a field as dynamic and competitive as IoT and sensory technology, staying ahead of the curve in terms of innovation and adapting to market needs is crucial and I’m proud of how we have navigated that. 

Personally, I find the journey of transforming an idea into a product that can significantly impact industries and lives truly exhilarating. We’re really excited about the future of this partnership and the impact it will have on the industry.

Hello tomorrow’s unique approach

At Hello Tomorrow we’re proud to have brought this project and collaboration to life, which will go on to have a huge impact on multiple industries. Sourcing manufacturing capabilities can be tough for early-stage, deep tech startups and many of the big industry players are simultaneously searching for unique innovations that can redefine competitive advantages and create new markets. If you’re interested in finding out more about what we can collaborate on, don’t hesitate to head here, or get directly in touch here.


Vincent Durand
Vincent Durand
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Director & Partner - Consulting
Lucas Maurice
Lucas Maurice
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Senior Consultant


Florence Oates
Florence Oates
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Senior Editorial Specialist

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