ROGERS — David Lopez, CEO of Intellitrack, believes his company can eradicate the traveling woes of lost luggage while saving airlines billions in chasing down misplaced bags.
It’s a problem Lopez knows that first-hand: an airline lost some of his luggage when he moved from Brazil to Northwest Arkansas. The odyssey that followed in recovering his bags had Lopez navigating the airlines’ byzantine system and left him believing there was a simpler, smarter way to track luggage.
And on Feb. 4, Lopez’s company was the centerpiece of a technology showcase organized by Venture Noire, the Greater Bentonville Chamber of Commerce and the World Trade Center Arkansas.
Lopez said his company will overhaul the airline baggage industry similar to how emerging technology has transformed the industry by allowing travelers to book flights online and track flights on their phones.
“We connect people and things,” Lopez said. “And our goal is to assure 100% that a bag is never lost.”
Intellitrack uses RFID chips and motion sensors to track when bags are scanned in during and after flights, allowing real-time tracking that will eliminate the $2.1 billion airlines lost in 2016 recovering and returning lost bags.
Lopez added that it’s the right time to act, as the International Air Transportation Association (IATA) established Resolution 753 in June 2018 requiring airports to implement cross-industry tracking for every baggage journey. The IATA is a trade association representing more than 290 airports that also helps create industry policy.
Lopez told the Center’s audience — a diverse group made up of vendors, small-business owners and government contractors — that Intellitrack will tap into a market valued at $8.5 million in 2017 and is projected to nearly double by 2025, according to Allied Market Research.
But Intellitrack’s technology covers more than just baggage tracking. Lopez said it can be applied to supply/chain and inventory management, including livestock, as well as maintenance monitoring and serviceability programming for automated systems.
“What I like most about (Intellitrack) is that it integrates with financial and budget software applications,” said Denise Thomas, director of Africa and Middle East trade at the Center. “It really helps streamline business logistics.
Lopez, a former military pilot, is also looking forward to partnerships he’s formed in Arkansas that will help Intellitrack grow.
“We have presence and projects in São Paulo Brazil, Puerto Rico, Nigeria and Mexico,” Lopez said. “We are proud to be in Arkansas, and we are also proud of the fact that our devices will be manufactured in Arkansas.”
Jordan Carlisle, vice present of economic development and entrepreneurship at the chamber, said Lopez’s endeavors in Northwest Arkansas reflect the region’s growing startup companies.
“Northwest Arkansas’s entrepreneurial community is at an inflection point. As of now, we are a place most known by outsiders for our Ozark charm, Razorback sports, and Fortune 500 companies,” Carlisle said.
“Yet on the scene, the energy within our startup community is raging with talent and ideas. Venture Noire and the World Trade Center are a key part of unlocking some of that energy by helping companies like Intellitrack.”
The mission of the World Trade Center Arkansas is to grow trade and increase Arkansas exports by connecting Arkansas businesses to the world through international trade services. The center is part of the University of Arkansas and serves as the trade promotion arm for the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. For more information and valuable updates, please follow the center on Facebook and Twitter or subscribe to the World Trade Center Arkansas newsletter.