Lightning Lab demo day coming up for hi-tech startups
A startup founded by University of Canterbury students will be among 10 companies vying for investor funding on Thursday.
Wireless Guard was part of this year's Lightning Lab Auckland programme, a four-month business accelerator for tech startups.
The programme culminates with demo day, an evening where the startups pitch to hundreds of investors in the hope for funding.
Created for a University of Canterbury entrepreneurship challenge, Wireless Guard is developing a security device called Hatch, which monitors whether windows and doors are open, locked and shut and sends that information to a user's phone.
Co-founder and engineering major Taylor Howatson said the idea came after he was burgled through an unlocked door.
"We found that even though you could get a security system, that's reaction based - a burglar is already inside the home," Howatson said.
"As a flat of six boys, everyone's coming and going, and we found it hard to secure our house."
Howatson and co-founder Anthony Lefebvre-Allen came up with the idea for an adhesive sensor that alerts residents when a door or window is open.
Hatch links to existing home security systems so when force is applied, or even if it sensed someone lingering near a window, it set off the alarm.
Through Lightning Lab, Wireless Guard has been able to leverage professional networks, set up an advisory board and get the opportunity to work with major home security companies in the United States.
"It would have been hard to set that up if we were just a little startup from Christchurch," Howatson said.
Lightning Lab digital programme director Jeff Mann said he felt all the companies were ready for demo day.
"The ideal outcome for teams on demo day is to find the right group of partners who have valuable connections and the right level of investment to enable teams to meet their business growth goals.