Tag: ihiji

Dell Selects ihiji and Open Labs of Austin for its Founders Club 50

imgres-6The Dell Center for Entrepreneurs last week announced its first Founders Club 50, an exclusive group of high growth tech startups, including two from Austin.
Dell selected ihiji, which makes remote diagnostic tools for computer networks and Open Labs, a stage lighting and technology company focused on the music industry.
Dell plans to announced its new Founders Club 50 class twice a year and it’s currently accepting application for its fall class.
“The Founders Club 50 is a great opportunity for these start-ups, all of whom are on the verge of reaching the next level of innovation,” Ingrid Vanderveldt, Dell Entrepreneur in Residence, said in a news release. “The program creates a win-win; by serving as a trusted advisor to these companies at this crucial early stage, we hope they will continue to grow with Dell in the future. Dell has always seen the value in fostering innovation and entrepreneurship, and the Founders Club 50 is the natural next step in continuing to help high-growth start-ups expand their networks, find valuable resources and use technology to transform their businesses.”
During the two-year term as Founders Club 50 companies, they receive help from Dell in the areas of sales, technology, access to capital, networking and marketing. When they complete the program, they become Club Alumni. Dell has more than 115 alumni companies including Skyera, CloudFlare, Everloop and Mass Relevance.
Members of Dell’s first class are from 17 states and various industries including analytics, healthcare, enterprise solutions, entertainment, IT and mobile computing.

ihiji’s Invision Cuts Down on IT House Calls

Reporter with Silicon Hills News

Stuart Rench, founder of ihiji, photo by Leslie Anne Jones

Stuart, founder of ihiji

Remote diagnostic tools have been available to big companies with complex computer networks for many years, but the options for your average residential IT support provider were limited. It’s a waste of time and expense for the IT guy when he has to go to a house just to reboot the printer. Stuart Rench knows this from experience, and his ihiji invision – a little black box that plugs into a wall socket and lets specialists monitor what’s going on with the network remotely – is now saving many IT guys many trips.

Rench started his first company in Florida in 2005. There, he installed home automation systems for high net worth individuals – homes with $500,000 in-home theater systems and dimmable lighting controllable by touchscreen interface. On occasion, a client would come in on his private jet late on a Friday night after months away, something wouldn’t be working and Rench or one of his partners would have to go figure it out.

For several years, they tinkered with a prototype that could monitor networks remotely and eliminate needless in-person visits. In March 2010, Rench and his team packed up their computers and servers and relocated to Austin to work on ihiji full-time, but it took awhile for business to pick up.

“We were ahead of what the market needed,” Rench said. In the four years since moving to Austin, the team grew to eight members, but shrank down again for a period during slow sales. Today, it’s back up to nine full-time members, including three sales people. In those four years, the Internet of Things grew, home networks became more complex, and so too did the need for monitoring and support. “Now we’re the go-to company.”

The ihiji invision – which allows IT service providers to remotely see all the devices on a network and diagnose and maintain those connected devices – is now in 46 states and 25 countries and sales are strong. Some of ihiji’s clients are big national brands, but many are small businesses, one- or two-man shops for whom the ihiji invision helps conserve time and resources. Rench says their customers come from both ends of the geographic spectrum: He has a lot of clients who are city dwellers and remote monitoring saves them from having to waste time in traffic to visit clients in person; and he also has rural customers who need to cover a lot of ground – one client in Montana services homes within a 500-mile radius. Another customer based in New Zealand works exclusively on IT systems for mega yachts, ihiji’s service and monitoring solution is especially useful to him since his clients’ boats go all over the world. Earlier on, ihiji’s customers were mainly IT providers servicing residences, but Rench says now they have more clients who service commercial networks too.

Ihiji’s team works out of an office at Austin Technology Incubator, where they’ve been since arriving in Texas. Today, Rench says their focus is on making sure their upcoming products are ones people really want, not just what they think they might want, and to that end they’re paying close attention to feedback. So far Rench says, “We haven’t built anything where weren’t pushed in that direction.” Now the company is looking to grow its product line and expand the platform’s capabilities.

It used to be that IT service and system integration were seen as two separate jobs. Drawing on his industry experience, Rench equates them to a ven diagram with an ever-increasing area of shared space. “If I project forward, there will be very little difference between the two,” he says.

The home automation industry is in a growth phase, and the pace is expected to pick up with the proliferation of devices like Nest, the Wi-Fi-enabled smart thermostat, whose parent company Google bought in January for $3.2 billion.

“Only three percent of American homes currently have home automation systems, but we are only starting to approach the point at which such systems can really save people money and make their lives easier,” said Howdy Pierce, co-founder of engineering consultancy Cardinal Peak. “In the next five years we expect penetration of the Internet of Things to grow exponentially.”

With more devices on their networks, homeowners will likely need more help maintaining it all, and in turn the IT industry’s need for remote monitoring systems will grow, which will be good for ihiji. Things are already looking up, Rench says, “We’re on track to double revenues over the next year.”

Guavas, Neverware and Fantoo Win Dell’s Pitch Slam

Founder of Silicon Hills News

BbUE_U6CQAA5dXxGuavus, Neverware and Fantoo won the votes of the judges at the first Pitch Slam event at Dell World.
Michael Dell cast his vote for Guavus, based in San Mateo, which has raised $48 million in three series of funding since 2006. The company has created analytics applications that pull data from companies and give them a competitive edge by uncovering new insights to help them make better decisions.
The United Nations Foundation’s Resident Entrepreneur Elizabeth Gore voted for Neverware, which has created software to extend the lifetime of computers in schools and to allow them to run the latest software applications.
The New York-based startup, founded in 2011, has raised $1 million in seed-stage funding. It’s software and hardware, called a Juicebox, is currently in more than 100 schools in the New York area and it plans to expand nationwide next year, said Neverware’s CEO Jonathan Hefter.
And Shark Tank star and FUBU Founder Daymond John voted for Fantoo, based in London, has created a personal intelligence engine for email and messaging. The company can tell through data analysis which emails are priorities and send them to the top of the inbox, said Jordan Fantaay, its founder. This year, the company raised $788,000 in crowdfunding.
Ingrid Vanderveldt, Dell’s Entrepreneur in Residence, moderated the event.
The seven startups had five minutes to deliver their pitch and three minutes for Q&A from the judges at the Social Media Theater at the Dell World Expo before a packed crowd. People filled every seat and several sat on the floor while others stood along the perimeter to watch the event.

Ihiji co-founder and CEO Stuart Rench pitching at Dell's Pitch Slam event at Dell World.

Ihiji co-founder and CEO Stuart Rench pitching at Dell’s Pitch Slam event at Dell World.

The only Austin-based team ihiji received a warm reception from the crowd. The company has created software combined with a palm-sized device that lets IT workers easily detect, diagnose and resolve network problems, said Stuart Rench, its co-founder and CEO.
It was seeking a partnership with Dell.
The other teams included Nebula, an integrated hardware and software appliance to provide cloud services, SimpleRelevance, an email marketing company, and Bottlenose, an enterprise trend intelligence company.

Video from Dell:

17 Startups at Capital Factory’s Demo Day

imgres-2During Austin Startup Week, Capital Factory held a Demo Day for more than 100 investors, according to Joshua Baer.
The event featured 17 Austin startups.
“It’s always one of my favorite days of the year,” Baer wrote in his weekly Startup Digest newsletter.

The following startups presented at the event:

Aceable – the startup makes mobile educational software for the test prep market, professional education maket and the corporate training market.

Equipboard – a platform to track what products celebrities are “using, wearing, likeing and endorsing.” It also features special feeds so people can track the latest gear from celebrities and people they like.

eRelevance – software that helps healthcare providers engage their patients and schedule appointments.

First Cut Pro – has created video editing software for the cloud that allows people to collaborate during the post-production and editing process online.

ihiji – “offers a software-as-a-service combined with low-cost palm-sized on-premise device enabling an IT professional to efficiently detect, diagnose, and resolve network problems from anywhere in the world.”

LaternCRM – “TeleForce, simply put, is a web-based Customer Relationship Manger (CRM) that enables small to medium sized businesses to manage, organize and track their prospects, current and past customers and synchronize their business processes across their entire team.”

Local Plant Source – “The Local Plant Source platform connects the commercial landscaping industry. Vendors list and track their inventory and share plant knowledge online. Designers build sustainable projects with sourceable plants through localized searches. Easy sharing with Contractors eliminates unexpected costs during build-out. Throughout our platform we collect, analyze, and share data necessary to ensure our clients have all the tools to compete in the modern economy.”

Loop and Tie – built a platform to give a meaningful and personalized gift. “Loop & Tie combines the flexibility and speed of sending a gift card without sacrificing the impression of a hand selected gift. Our site shifts the decision of product selection to the recipient; simplifying gifting for the customer while maintaining the personal touch.”

ManagerComplete – makes operations management software to manage multipole remote retail locations.

myCampusTutors – a platform that connects tutors to students in an interactive, online setting.

MyTennisLessons – “the online marketplace for tennis instruction, customers can compare pre-screened coaches, schedule online, and pay for tennis lessons in their local area.”

NuHabitat – a search platform that provides consumer with access to “MLS” data previously only available to real estate agents.

Pictrition by Loop Health
– a health care platform that builds products to help people live more healthy lives. Its first product is Pictrition, an app that lets people take pictures of their meals and earn points for good nutrition.

Pristine – developing Google Glass applications for surgeons.

Real Massive – it’s building free commercial real estate search software.

Vivogig – “Tying brands to fans, bands and festivals through crowd photography.”

Tom Cheredar with Venture Beat did this story on the Capital Factory Demo Day with more information on startups that are enrolled in the Capital Factory accelerator.

ihiji Joins the Austin Technology Incubator

ihiji has joined the Austin Technology Incubator.
The Austin-based company makes software that allows companies to remotely monitor and support Internet enabled devices on a network. It has been part of ATI’s Landing Pad Program for the past two years.
ihiji founders, Stuart Rench, President; Michael Maniscalco, Vice President of Technology; and, David Rench, Vice President of Financ, sold their residential design build home automation company in West Palm Beach, Fla. in 2010 and moved to Austin under the ATI Landing Pad program.
ihiji joined ATI to tap into its network of peers, mentors, businesses and investors.
“Not only is Texas a great state for businesses, but Austin is on the rise, has a wonderful tech community and is also very livable. The structure of ATI was a good fit for our company and the Landing Pad Program helped us easily relocate from out of state and not miss a beat,” Rench, President of ihiji said in a statement. “ATI staff has been great. They’re there when you need them for ideas, thoughts, reviews and introductions. We’re also able to take advantage of multiple directors depending on our challenge, which is nice because they each have their own perspectives and areas of expertise.”

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