Splash SF Feb 2013 Finalist - Younity

Kristin Karaoglu · March 20, 2013 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/2e38

Check out Younity's presentation at Splash SF Feb 2013

Splash SF Feb 2013 finalist younity creates a personal cloud for all your files, built from your devices and your online services, so that all your devices work as if they were a single device. With younity, you can grab whichever device is most convenient without ever thinking about where a file is.Here's a video of Erik Caso presenting at Vator Splash SF.

Among the judges were Stewart Alsop (Alsop Louie), Josh Breinlinger (Sigma West), Keval Desai (InterWest Partners), Andres Fabris (Traxo.com), Deepak Gupta (BBVA Ventures), Erin Håkansson (Ackrell Capital), Jed Katz (Javelin Venture Partners), Trevor Kienzle (Correlation Ventures), John Kobs (Apartment List/ Vertical Brands), Bill Lee (prolific angel, and serial entrepreneur), Rebecca Lynn (Morgenthaler), Jules Maltz (IVP), Paul Martino (Bullpen Capital), Alex Roizen (Ackrell Capital), Harshul Sanghi (American Express), Robert Scoble (Rackspace), Mike Sigal (Guidewire Group), Jules Walker (KPMG).

Do you want to present on stage in front of 350 high-tech influencers and try your shot at being Splash LA May 30 2013? Splash is free to enter. And, it's great marketing and exposure, along with some fun prizes, like sit-down meetings with VCs, an Apple iPad, free legal and accounting consultations, and more.
Join the competition today

Even though success is not defined by how much money a company has raised, past Vator winners, such as ThumbtackGetableGrovo, Astrid, Udemy, and Geeklist have gone on to raise millions of dollars collectively from venerable VCs, soon after presenting.

Here's some other testimonials: 

"The process of inviting everyone one we knew to vote for us, even before the event, was a fantastic way to build support for our company. Then presenting at Vator Splash was a blast. The short presentation style ensured the audience was engaged and the follow-up questions from the judges were on-point and constructive. At Vator Splash, I made great connections with a number of investors and had a number of follow-up meetings. We were able to raise our last round entirely from investors who discovered us from the publicity we generated from Vator Splash," said Jon Paris, CEO and founder of Astrid.

"Working with Vator, and Bambi, is a pleasure. She's really passionate about uniting great ideas with the right people. We actually tied for first in last years Vator Splash SF and as a direct result raised $150,000 from an investor who saw us pitch. TEEC Angels approached us right at the event and invested soon thereafter. Reuben Katz, CEO and founder of Geeklist.

"Vator has acted as a launchpad for my startup in terms of awareness and exposure. As a winner of a Vator competition, my startup enjoyed early traction and buzz. Vator has kept my business relevant in the minds of investors, entrepreneurs and potential employees. I've made many invaluable connections to the investor and entrepreneur community." Tim Hyer, founder and CEO, Getable

"DogVacay.com won Vator Splash LA in June 2012. The competition allowed us an opportunity to meet and pitch against some of the great Los Angeles startups and further foster our entrepreneurial community. There was such a positive energy with so many great minds providing insightful feedback throughout the night. Two paws up, Vator!"  Aaron Hirschhorn, founder & Top Dog, Dog Vacay 

"Events like Vator Splash are critical for startups to generate awareness. We were a top 10 finalist for Splash LA. It provided us with an amazing opportunity to network and gain exposure to a whole community of investors and VCs. Soon after, we raised $3M as a result of the momentum/exposure from the event and the platform in general," Peter Vogel, founder and CEO, Plink.

Join the Splash competition here.

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Kristin Karaoglu

Woman of many skills: Database System Engineer; SplashX event producer; Author of Startup Teams

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younity

Startup/Business

Joined Vator on

younity creates a personal cloud for all your files, built from your devices and your online services, so that all your devices work as if they were a single device. With younity, you can grab whichever device is most convenient without ever thinking about where a file is.

younity is a ubiquitous data protocol that integrates into device OSes, making them inherently multi-device aware. With younity, users can use any device they own and have access to any file as if it was stored locally on that device, regardless of available storage. With younity, devices simply become screens. Customer Problem:  Consumers today are overwhelmingly multi-device users, yet OSes are still designed around single device usage. Consumers have lots of data stuck on their devices. They are unable to put it all in the cloud and/or it costs too much; existing solutions are also management intensive, requiring constant user interaction.

Solution / Product:  younity makes all a consumer’s devices work as if they were a single device. By extracting the file system from an OS and putting it into the cloud, younity establishes a singular file system from multiple devices that is pushed back into the native OS. Thus, the OS does not know where files are stored – on the local hard drive, on another device or some online service or all of those places. This eliminates a file’s stored address from a device to an identity. Any device registered to a user has all that person’s files and all devices look the exact same. The only difference between devices is whether there is enough storage to store local or virtual copies.

 Competitors:  younity is most similar to iCloud. However, unlike iCloud, younity is OS agnostic, application agnostic, file-type agnostic, vastly easier to use and cheap or free for any amount of data. 

Target Market:  Consumers with 3 or more Internet-enabled devices (over 220M people in the US alone). Research shows: the average household will have 2.2TB of data by 2013; consumers will have an average of 5.8 devices/person by 2015; and 51% of households have both MS and Apple products (as of late 2011). Data synchronization products that accommodate partial data start at about $450/year for 250GB of online storage, with utility online storage costing vastly more. There are currently no cross-platform solutions for users that can accommodate all their data, let alone deliver it into their native device functionality.

Questions and Answers

Q. You've been around since 2010, What's the traction been like?

A. The idea for younity was born in 2010, but the company was angel funded and started hiring in summer of 2011. Our product is not a strong fit for "lean methodology"- it is enormously complicated and simply requires a lot of hands working the keyboard to make it work (typical for heavy duty, client-server software). 

The additional challenge was making it simple for consumers. After hiring our team late in 2011, we were able to take our prototype and get a private beta done by July, then launch into public beta in December 2012. Traction has been good since launching in December 2012, we've been adding thousands of users/month and engagement is high.

Q. How are you marketing this? Is there a viral component?

A. Our product is inherently personal (it's a "personal cloud"), which makes the viral coefficient low. However, we've been developing a unique way for people to share any file that is stored on any device making them sharable directly to another person via a private Facebook post. This will be launched the week of Vator Splash.

Q. What's the distribution model? What's the business model? How much will you be charging for this service?

A. younity has a direct to consumer strategy and will be offered as a freemium service that is free for up to 3 devices. For 4 or more, there is a flat annual fee that we anticipate will be around $24/year (although we have not finalized this yet). Other than the limit on devices, the free version of younity is not limited in any way- it is the same as the premium version.

Q. Where do you go from here? What other services could you offer?

A. Currently we are working with a variety of app vendors to enable offline data in their apps via our API. As a ubiquitous data protocol, younity is really about unifying data around a user's identity. This has a variety of applications, with younity being the first. 

Q. Is this a consumer-only product? Are you making something for the enterprise?

A. For now, we are focused on leading in the consumer market. However, we are well aware of a variety of enterprise applications to enable an on-premise younity server with a policy engine attached to it. In fact, we regularly are asked if this would be available now (it isn't).

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Erik Caso

Joined Vator on

Product guy and CEO of Entangled Media, where we're trying to make the Internet work better for you.