Venture: Everything Set, Inc. It uses advanced AI with dense real-time data to keep people and their electronic devices safe.
Founder: David Knudsen 91
What was your idea for this startup?
When my wife Sarah and I started renovating our home several years ago, we looked at incorporating smart devices like water usage monitors, intelligent thermostats, app-controlled lighting, and smart locks. But Sarah is worried and raises several questions about the devices: How do we know what they’re doing? What if they get kidnapped? What if we are spied on?
A decade ago, I started working with machine learning algorithms, doing pattern recognition on time series data. I started using a lot of cluttered data and very large datasets, which made the algorithms more efficient. I thought why not apply this to the problem of smart devices? Why not scale their behavior and communication patterns—every bit and byte to the cloud—to detect and fix individual problems as they occur.
In that “A ha” moment, I went about building a business, raising money, and bringing in people I had worked with before. Four years later, our team has built a technically sophisticated product that is simple and easy to use.
What is the problem you are trying to solve or the gap you are trying to fill?
Smart devices provide convenience in the home, but they are often vulnerable to hacking and other security and privacy risks that people don’t understand. Users have no easy way to protect themselves and often don’t even know they’ve been hacked, which means they can be spied on and their personal data and information compromised. The risk to businesses with employees who work from home is also a concern. In our beta, we found electric cars, entertainment devices and mini computers infected with malware and more dangerous features than expected, all invisible to users.
What was the most important resource that Yale SOM provided for your startup?
Our Class of 1991 is an entrepreneurial group, and the most important resource is the help and investment of other alumni. They’ve been part of our beta, provided feedback on our service, made introductions for us and encouraged us. Two married roommates had a set-top box that was one of the first real-time hacked devices. Alone, it can infect other devices in their home, hand over their personal data and information to bad actors, or be vulnerable to a botnet attack. Just like we thought, we warned them and then directed them to fix it before it became a problem. Thus, Yale SOM and Everything Organized have a bidirectional relationship—fellow students have helped us, and we have helped!
What is the biggest milestone your startup has achieved since graduation?
After more than two years in development, a year-and-a-half beta with over 150 homes across the US, we’re now making our product available to the public through our Early Access program.