March 24, 2015
For the last few years we’ve been in the Connected Home 1.0 model, wherein your home monitors and reacts to problems. Nayeem Hussain, cofounder and co-CEO of Keen Home, is leading the charge into Connected Home 2.0, which is proactive instead of reactive.
That is, instead of alerting you after a problem has happened, Keen Home is trying to prevent the problem from ever happening. Once you can accomplish that – which is what Hussain has been doing with his smart air vent – your home begins to take care of you and not the other way around.
Keen Home took to Shark Tank with this philosophy and product after pitching investors for six months straight. They were so comfortable with their pitch that they actually received the seventh highest deal in the history of the show.
Getting that funding, even if it’s not coming from Shark Tank, can be difficult. According to Hussain, one of the mistakes he sees entrepreneurs making when it comes to fundraising is that they don’t have an end date in mind.
“Every second you spend on the fundraising trail is a second you’re not putting into building your company. It’s very time consuming potentially, and it can be very distracting,” says Hussain.
Having a focus plan of when you’re going to start, a list of investors who you think would be a good fit for your idea, and a set end date is crucial. That way you don’t burn your time, which is just as valuable as money, fundraising.
By following their own paradigm, Keen Home has been able to strike massive distribution partnerships, chief among them Lowe’s Home Improvements. Being a part of the Techstars RGA Connected Devices Accelerator helped Hussain build a network which he was able to leverage to secure this partnership, among others.
The question the team is focusing on these days is: what’s the thread connecting product one to two? Their experience has helped them put commensurate attention on that area, and their second product follows their smart air vent, offering proactive monitoring of sump and sewage pumps.
Hussain sat down to talk more about Keen Home, Shark Tank, and the future of Connected Home 2.0 with us at SXSW this year. Here’s the video:
This video series was made possible through the support of Microsoft BizSpark and TrepLife.
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