It’s been about three months since we announced the Meraki Startup Kit, and we wanted to give an update on how the program is going.
We’re thrilled to have been able to give something back to the startup community. We’ve received hundreds of applications, and we’ve gone through each one personally. One thing that struck us is the sheer diversity of ideas, business models, and technologies—evidence of a thriving ecosystem, both in the Bay Area and across the country.
This is especially gratifying because if you’re old enough to remember the dot.com bust, there was a lot of doomsaying talk about how the startup ecosystem was near death, college students were abandoning computer science in droves, etc. We think it’s fair to say that over the past five years—RIP Good Times period notwithstanding—we have seen a period that at least matches the golden era of the mid-to-late Nineties in many respects. And Meraki is happy to be a part of it.
We were overwhelmed with the response we got—looks like TechCrunching is the new Slashdotting—and have been going through applications as fast as we can, given that this is a 20% time project for a couple of us. To date, we’ve shipped nearly 50 kits, and we’re shipping out several a week. I know that this can seem agonizingly slow to those of you who are waiting patiently for the UPS driver to ring, but we have to throttle the orders so as not to overwhelm our heroic team doing fulfillment.
So far, we’ve sent kits to startups doing online education, security, local food, blueprints, crowdsourced investing, and even scooter rental. We love all of the startups who have applied and are trying to hook up as many as possible.