Laptop security company FrontDoor wins Splash SF

Bambi Francisco Roizen · September 30, 2011 · Short URL:

Indoor mapping startup BuildingLayer places first for the People's Choice Award

FrontDoorSoftware took home the gold late Thursday night during Round No. 3 at Vator Splash SF, held at Cafe du Nord in San Francisco. 

Evergreen, Co.-based FrontDoorSoftware, aka FDS, provides an easy-to-use, theft-prevention and recovery-service for laptops that works on Windows XP, Vista, 7, Apple Tiger, Leopard, Snow Leopard and Lion.  The program is already being offered to students at major U.S. universities, including Brown, UCLA, UFL, and others. 

FDS came out on top after competing with 173 participants, in a three-round competition.  

 Carrie Hafeman, Founder and CEO, presented for her team, and did an outstanding job fielding questions from the VC judges Mark Goines of Morgenthaler, Andy Ross of Grant Thornton, Adam Smith of AOL Ventures, Bill Tai of Charles River Ventures and Rob Theis of Scale Venture Partners.

When one of the judges asked Carrie why she chose laptops and why now. She impressed the audience by sharing her 20 years experience selling computer security products that run the gamut, including burglar alarms. She also noted that she conceived of the idea while listening to customers during her time at World Security Corp.   

While the market for stolen laptops seems pretty small --  over 600,000 laptops are stolen annually, according to Safeware Insurance Agency -- FDS hopes to get inserted into every laptop, by getting adoption in Universities first. FDS offers the service free to colleges, which then give to their students for free. To date, FDS has 30,000 registered users. 

Indeed the FDS solution seems quite attractive to college students. Once a computer is stolen, an owner can actually control the computer to shout out: "Hey you stole my laptop!" 

Additionally, it's free to them, in exchange for seeing some advertising. The idea is that the students will graduate and become paying customers one day.  

Meanwhile, BuildingLayer, founded by Nick Such and Brian Raney, came in No. 1 for the People's Choice Award. BuildingLayer makes a very slick and cool indoor map. The company has already made significant inroads into the hospital market. Kudos to the team, and CEO Nick Such for being a solid presenter. 

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Bambi Francisco Roizen

Founder and CEO of Vator, a media and research firm for entrepreneurs and investors; Managing Director of Vator Health Fund; Co-Founder of Invent Health; Author and award-winning journalist.

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FrontDoorSoftware is a leading provider of laptop recovery services in major universities. The patent pending product is already offered to hundreds of thousands of students in major US universities such as Brown, UCLA, UFL, etc and is protecting laptops in over 100 countries. Our laptop tracking and recovery program is combined with one of the most powerful targeted opt-in page view delivery capabilities online today. The program has 2 revenue sources- a paid licensing model, and a free model For customers who do not pay, there is a great opportuntity for a targeted ad model. By moving delivery out to the computer ON button, every 15,000 users automatically generate over 1 million page views @ month (as users log in 2-3 times a day). and over 50 million page views @ user license lifetime!. Ultimate customer capture with little to no attrition!
Other laptop tracking products are often stealth, pretending there is nothing protecting the laptop, and then they try to recover it after it is already gone. FrontDoorSoftware's patent pending product is unique and is designed to be visible to prevent the theft in the first place.
The program works with Windows XP, Vista, 7, Apple Tiger, Leopard, Snow Leopard and Lion. The Android beta, iPad, and HP WebOS betas are due out soon. In addition to the university markets, the program is also used by consumers, corporate customers, K12 customers, healthcare customers, government customers, nonprofits are more.
The program can easily be set up to protect single users, multi-user accounts, and imaged for mass installs. The program is packed with features, like remote lockdown, Google Maps, Wi-Fi geo-location, changing recovery screens, and customizable yell for help features. The product is patent pending in the US and Europe.
The company is revenue producing and is self funded. The company is currently interested in outside investment and/or strategic partnerships.  



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BuildingLayer is a collaborative map of the indoor world. We enable organizations to more effectively navigate spaces, track inventory, manage facilities, and visualize other indoor data layers. We're making "lost" obsolete.

BuildingLayer is a...

  Betaspring 2011 Alumni (top 15 startup accelerator)


Carrie Hafeman

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Nick Such

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CEO at BuildingLayer. Past at GE/Toyota/KSTC. Used to race solar-powered cars. Got into Stanford MBA, but chose startup path. I love assembling teams of smart people to solve hard problems.