Two years ago Shwetake Patel was on the cover of our magazine as a "Top Innovator" for his work on sensor networks in the home. Now he is helpiing to launch a new company that will commercialize that product with backing from Madrona Venture Group. One of the first applications will be a moisture sensor that can warn the homeowner when there is a possible leak. Moisture from flooding, roof leaks or appliances is a huge source of costly damage to homes. Check out the website of UW student Gabe Cohn who has been working on the technology.
Here's the press release:
Industry Veteran, Jeremy Jaech, Lands $1.5 Million from Madrona Venture Group and Radar Partners for Innovative Low Power Sensor Technology; Founds SNUPI Technologies
Developed at the University of Washington and Georgia Institute of Technology, SNUPI Technology Enables Home Monitoring at Low Power and Low Cost
December 11, 2012 - Seattle, WA - SNUPI Technologies, a new company that takes advantage of the wiring already in homes to create a wireless sensor network, launched today with $1.5 million in funding from Madrona Venture Group, Radar Partners and the founders. The technology, also called SNUPI (Sensor Network Utilizing Powerline Infrastructure), was developed at the University of Washington and Georgia Institute of Technology by Professors Shwetak Patel and Matt Reynolds and others.
Co-founded by Jaech, Patel, Reynolds and UW graduate student Gabe Cohn, the company will use the financing to build the team, and to design and build the hardware and software implementations. SNUPI Technologies is based in Seattle.
“SNUPI is an incredibly innovative technology that promises to provide low cost and reliable sensing technology that everyday people can take advantage of,” said Jeremy Jaech, CEO. “As our day-to-day lives become increasingly measured and recorded, SNUPI will make people’s lives better by providing insight into what is happening in their home and alerting them to potential hazards. I’m very excited to work with Dr. Patel and Dr. Reynolds to bring this technology to market.”
“Madrona Venture Group has a long track record of supporting the commercialization of the remarkable technology that comes out of the University of Washington,” said Tom Alberg, Managing Partner, Madrona Venture Group. “This team combines Jeremy’s business acumen with technological brilliance from highly esteemed professors and institutions. SNUPI is positioned for growth in this emerging market of advanced sensor technology.” This investment marks the 11th company Madrona has funded that is based on technology developed in the University of Washington’s Computer Science and Engineering department. Previous investments have included Farecast (acquired by Microsoft), AdRelevance, and Skytap.
Co-founders and Professors Shwetak Patel from the University of Washington Computer Science and Engineering department and Matt Reynolds from Duke University’s department of Electrical and Computer Engineering first developed the technology through collaboration with Professor Gregory Abowd’s research group at the Georgia Institute of Technology. The technology was further developed at the University of Washington.
Jeremy Jaech is a successful, longtime entrepreneur, deeply committed to bringing life and work changing technology to the masses. As a co-founder of Aldus, which invented desktop publishing through its PageMaker software, and of Visio which enabled everyone from engineers to business managers to plan work visually, he changed how industries operate and work gets done. Since the acquisition of Visio by Microsoft, Jeremy has led several companies including Verdiem and Trumba and has served as the Chair of the Tech Alliance. Jaech was appointed to the University of Washington Board of Regents by Washington Governor, Christine Gregoire, in the fall of 2012.
Dr. Patel previously co-founded Zensi, Inc., an energy and water monitoring company that was acquired by Belkin, Inc. in 2010. Dr. Patel received a MacArthur Fellowship “the genius grant” in 2011, was a 2012 Sloan Fellow, and is widely seen as one of the most promising thinkers and inventors in this arena.
The company’s CTO is Matt Reynolds from Duke University’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Dr. Reynolds previously co-founded ThingMagic, Inc., an RFID systems firm, acquired by Trimble, and also co-founded Zensi Inc. with Dr. Patel. He holds 10 patents and 20 pending patents.
Gabe Cohn, Ph.D. student in the UW Electrical Engineering department where he is advised by Professor Patel is the recipient of many awards including the Madrona Venture Group Top Research Prize in 2011 and a Microsoft Research Ph.D. Fellowship. His Ph.D. thesis is partly the basis of the SNUPI technology.