Koyote is one of ten companies accepted into Birmingham’s Velocity Accelerator at Innovation Depot. The startup, founded by Andrew Petrovics, is developing a sensor that enables real-time crowd monitoring in a profusion of locations.
Petrovics is trained as a software engineer. He worked for Regions for two years before leaving his job to start the venture. “I put a lot of thought into it. When the time was right – and a lot of that had to do with the launch of Velocity – I liquidated my 401k and decided to do as much as I could with the savings I had,” he says, “I wanted to build something cool.”
He stresses that one of his greatest discoveries along the journey was how helpful people are when you’re starting a business. “Everyone wants you to succeed. I was expecting to do this on my own, but I’ve been supported by so many. Innovation Depot and Velocity have been hugely instrumental.”
When asked what’s next for Koyote, he says he’s still figuring out exactly what he wants to do with the technology, and that Velocity will help him define his target market. “We originally thought we’d use the technology to develop a mobile application, but we’ve pivoted to focus on the sensors as our primary product offering as it has wide application,” says Petrovics. On his wish list is a technical and non-technical co-founder and to see Koyote’s prototype in 5-10 different locations to further validate market fit assumptions.
Koyote isn’t without competition, but Petrovics is quick to explain that existing technology incorporates door counters or proximity sensors, which have limitations and aren’t very accurate. He cites competitors like Density and Euclid Analytics. Koyote’s smart sensors can be placed in any location with an electrical outlet. Data collected is automatically transmitted to the cloud and can be retrieved with ease.
When asked what words of advice he had for those considering starting new ventures, he said, “Often your idea will change four or five times. Talk to users early and often: it saves a lot of time when you know exactly what you’re building and who you’re building it for.”