Dust Networks – Profile
HQ: Berkeley, CA
Management: Joy Weiss is CEO. She has start-up experience and was President and GM of Nortel’s Network Management division. Founder is Kris Pister, who is currently on leave as a professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at UC Berkeley.
Investors: $7M in one round from Foundation Capital, Institutional Venture Partners, and In-Q-Tel.
Business Model: Creates remote wireless sensors. Primary product – the SmartMesh networking system – allows users to collect information from locations where cost makes wired sensors impractical or impossible. Products are aimed at real-time monitoring situations like building automation, industrial monitoring and security services. For example, a machine stops working on your assembly line – the Dust sensor lets you know – you don’t lose money to equipment downtime. Sensors run off AA batteries.
Competitors: Millennial Net, Ember, Crossbow Technologies.
Dirt: The Dust technology seems promising to us – and we like the bleeding edge element of what the company does. For example, if a sensor goes on the blink, the other sensors in the mesh network will automatically reroute data. Dust calls this a “self-healing” network. Founder Kris Pister is the brains behind the whole notion of mesh networks, but there’s lots of competition coming into the space. We’ll now see if he’s surrounded himself with the right group of business minds. The recent hiring of a VP of Sales points in the right direction.