We chose Simple Energy, located in Boulder, Colorado, to receive a Meraki Startup Kit because of the amazing energy that their application showed. After applying for a Meraki Startup Kit, CEO and Founder Yoav Lurie wanted to share some of their culture and enthusiasm, showcased in their YouTube video.
Simple Energy motivates their customers to save energy in a fun way.
Simple Energy is a startup that uses social game mechanics to change how people save energy and how utilities engage customers. They make saving energy “fun, social, and rewarding.”
Given that simplicity is also one of the cornerstones of Cisco Meraki technology, we were pleased to hear that the Meraki Startup Kit installation and deployment process went smoothly. CTO Jim Turpin says,
“I was actually able to install it without anyone noticing on a Friday afternoon in about 15 minutes. It took longer to get it out of the boxes and rack it than it did to configure.”
Cisco Meraki hardware successfully mounted on the rafters of the Simple Energy office.
DevOps Engineer Blake Corbitt gives the Meraki Startup Kit two thumbs up.
Since incorporating Cisco Meraki into the network, Turpin’s day-to-day experience has improved. “I get to spend my time working on our product infrastructure and not making sure that everyone’s wireless works. Since installing the gear, our wireless throughput has doubled and I haven’t had a single complaint about wireless connectivity.”
Happy employees using the wireless with zero complaints.
“Things with the new gear are awesome. I love this stuff. It’s rock solid reliable and it just works,” Turpin tells us.
A view of the Flatirons from the Simple Energy deck, now conveniently outfitted with solid WiFi access.
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. Check back or subscribe to our blog for more Startup Kit spotlights.
From electric-powered longboards to 3D heart imaging, all of the startups we heard from are working on fascinating projects. We were very impressed by the caliber of the companies that applied for Startup Kits and also noticed a few interesting trends for this round:
Increase in cloud-based or cloud-related companies
Startups with a goal to aggregate or consolidate existing resources
Hardware startups building familiar items with a software twist
Healthcare-related startups seeking to revolutionize an existing process in the healthcare system
The Cisco Meraki team is excited to give out the Startup Kits over the next few weeks and hear about how companies put the them to use as they build and scale.
To hear more about our lucky winners, check back in a few weeks for our series of Startup Kit Spotlights – our semi-regular features on Startup Kit recipients and how they use their Meraki network to build up their company.
We have had so much positive feedback that we’re bringing back the program for a second round. Cisco Meraki hardware is enterprise class, easy to set up, and low maintenance – the perfect infrastructure for startups relying on rock-solid networks to build their products and businesses.
A Startup Kit provides a full stack of the hardware and software needed for a complete network:
802.11n tri-radio wireless access points
An enterprise-grade security appliance
A Power over Ethernet switch (if needed)
A five year license for Meraki’s cloud-based management platform
We will be awarding Startup Kits to a select group of companies based on their ability to put a Cisco Meraki network to good use. We are especially excited to take nominations of new companies from our previous Startup Kit recipients.
To apply for a startup kit, fill out the short application form by April 1, 2014.
Important Eligibility Requirements
In order to place Startup Kits in companies that will receive the most value from them, and to prevent abuse, eligible companies must:
Have raised seed or Series A funding from a VC or established Angels
Be headquartered in the United States, Canada, or the United Kingdom
Have not previously received a Meraki Startup Kit
The Startup Kit is a limited-time offer. Quantities are limited. Eligibility is at the sole discretion of Cisco Systems.
Enter by April 1 for a chance to receive your very own Meraki Startup Kit!
Launched in 2008, 8tracks is internet radio created by people, rather than algorithms. On 8tracks, people can do two things: listen to a mix, or create a mix of at least 8 tracks. 8tracks currently streams around 15 million hours of music monthly to listeners and aspires to be the top global radio network. As part of their growth plan, 8tracks needed a dependable network to support their various wired and wireless devices.
We sent the local 8tracks guys a Startup Kit and they were anxious to set up their Meraki network right away.
8tracks CTO and co-founder Remi told us, “We’re very happy with our Meraki equipment. The biggest difference is that we have WiFi that works now! On top of that, networked devices that broadcast and require a stable connection such as Apple TV, Sonos, or our printer are much more reliable. We don’t take advantage of it too much but the online management tool is the best I’ve seen on any router.”
We hope that Remi and the 8tracks crew are able to leverage the Meraki dashboard more as they grow their team and continue to provide more online mixtapes for the music-loving public!
Our latest Startup Kit Spotlight features Oakland-based startup Breezy.
Breezy describes itself as the world’s leading secure mobile printing platform. Its software lets users print to any printer from any device and can mobile-enable existing printer fleets in a matter of minutes. The Breezy Partner Network, with thousands of locations worldwide, is the world’s largest fully secured printing network, and the Breezy API, used in a growing number of popular productivity apps, can add secure printing capabilities to any app on any platform.
Prior to receiving the Meraki Startup Kit, the Breezy networking situation was stressful.
The Breezy folks told us, “our previous equipment and experience was driving us all a bit nutty do to its irregular performance. We were regularly experiencing weak or dropped Wi-Fi signals within the office or loss of internet connection all together. It became a daily ritual of having to reboot the system to regain performance and speed. ”
Breezy was one of the quickest companies to set up their network after receiving their Kit.
“Our new Meraki equipment has eliminated all the issues we were experiencing on a regular basis and the Startup Kit was a cinch to install – taking James and Mark just a matter of minutes to reconnect all the cables, configure the equipment and get the office up and running and back to work.”
Breezy CEO Jared Hansen tells us “[the Meraki gear] is just solidly reliable — not having to reboot even once since receiving it has been great for morale all around.”
Indeed it appears that now that the network isn’t causing any trouble, the Breezy guys have much more time for extracurricular activities.
Our latest Startup Kit Spotlight features our Mission district neighbor Good Eggs.
The mission of Good Eggs is to grow and sustain local food systems worldwide using technology. It’s a local food marketplace, a guide to eating well, and a set of tools to help local farmers and foodmakers sell directly to customers. Good Eggs caught our attention because of its unique approach to a traditionally staid industry. Its mission to change our food systems is a valiant goal, and its methods are quintessentially San Francisco.
Bob Zoller reached out on behalf of the Good Eggs team and mentioned that Good Eggs and Meraki used to share an office back in our early days. While both companies have grown to need our own spaces, Good Eggs is still only a stone’s throw away from the current Meraki headquarters.
AJ and Jen delivered the Startup Kit (by hand truck!) in person. Bob showed us their existing network closet of consumer gear, which he was more than happy to replace with a Meraki Startup Kit.
We also got a look at the lovely Good Eggs office and kitchen.
Below, Bob shows off his Meraki pride.
We’re still sending out #StartupKits in small batches. If you’ve applied, please be patient, and in the meantime look out for each week’s Startup Kit Spotlight.
Clutch Mobile is a San Mateo-based company that provides advanced mobile security for organizations that is simple to use and quick to deploy. Its unique technology enables enterprises to protect mobile devices and their valuable data through web security, app and network controls, cloud antivirus, and much more. These innovative solutions block more threats, reduce IT complexity, and mitigate the overall risk of data loss.
A fellow Sequoia Capital-funded startup, Clutch had already caught our attention with press about its cloud-based IT security tools. When Clutch applied for a Startup Kit, we were more than happy to provide one for a company working to provide tools for a similar audience as the Meraki demographic.
Below, the Clutch team displays their Meraki gear and schwag:
After using the Meraki gear for several weeks, Garrett tells us, “It’s been great. A huge upgrade over our previous Linksys router.”
Brandon, another Clutch employee, explained, “I think the thing that speaks most to the Meraki gear is the fact that I spent about an hour getting everything set up the day we received the gear and haven’t had to touch a thing since. Everything just works!”
To tide you over for the holidays, here’s a quick update on where we are with our #StartupKits.
To date, we’ve hand-delivered or shipped 19 Startup Kits to companies all over North America.
The feedback has been amazingly positive from the recipient companies. We’ve saved companies that were trying to function off a single AirPort Express. We’ve offered an easy solution to companies with lackluster internet connections that were affecting employee productivity. We’re reached companies who have lovely new office spaces but no networking equipment to furnish it. Some companies have heard of Meraki since the early MIT days, while (many) others were exposed to Meraki through TechCrunch.
We still have many more companies poised to receive Meraki gear, but the lucky companies to receive their Startup Kit so far are listed below (in no particular order):
In the coming weeks, we will delve into these companies to highlight their particular networking needs and how their Meraki Startup Kit arrived at the perfect time. It’s been extremely rewarding to connect with so many talented and promising startups. We’re excited to reach more and more folks in the new year!
This week’s Startup Kit Spotlight features Canadian company Maluuba. Maluuba’s mission is to empower people with the ability to find exactly what they want by speaking to their smart phone. Maluuba is a “do-engine” that supports 18 different domain categories including movies, events, weather, finding businesses, and many more.
We actually received separate applications from two different employees at Maluuba. One of the applicants pleaded, “Our internet connection is terrible and slowing down productivity! Saaaaave usss!! :( ” and the other informed us, “We have serious wireless problems in our office, so this gear will be super helpful!”
Given that Maluuba is based in Waterloo, Ontario, we weren’t able to deliver the Kit in person, but we shipped it out quickly and the folks at Maluuba were so excited to get their Meraki Startup Kit (pictured below) that they set up their network the first night it was delivered. “Can’t wait to set it up tonight; Hoping this ends our networking woes.”
We got an update via Twitter when Maluuba announced, “Our #StartupKit setup went off without a hitch, and we’re seeing significantly improved performance. Thanks @Meraki!”
We’ll have another great company to feature in our #StartupKit spotlight next week. Check back to find out who else is getting a Meraki #StartupKit.
CircleUp, one of the first recipients of the Meraki Startup Kit, is an online social marketplace that supports direct equity investments from individual investors into privately held consumer and retail companies. At CircleUp, accredited investors find free access to select private investments, easy tools to identify and diligence companies, and online transaction capability to make investments. In addition, CircleUp provides investor relations tools to help maintain engagement between companies and investors beyond the initial financing.
When we met the CircleUp team to deliver the kit, they were working out of accelerator RocketSpace, getting ready to move into a new office of their own the following week. They needed an enterprise-class network to support their growth, so the Meraki hardware came at just the right time.
A week later, we checked in with the CircleUp team to see how their network deployment went. “We set aside most of the morning to install and configure the Meraki equipment in the new office, but to our surprise, we were done in 10 minutes,” said Erik, Director of Engineering (pictured below, center). “They really do ‘just work.’ The cloud monitoring dashboard is just as intuitive to use, and incredibly powerful. We couldn’t be happier.”
Below, the CircleUp folks were excited to get the gear personally delivered by AJ and to display their new Meraki t-shirts.
CircleUp’s COO Rory (above, right) was very excited to get the gear in hand. “Thank you again for the wonderful new equipment,” he said. “We are thrilled!”
We are equally thrilled to be running this amazing and fun project! We have a good number of deliveries still to come. Check back next week to find out which other companies receive the Meraki Startup Kit and follow our progress on Twitter at #startupkit.