Two Yale Ventures Named Finalists in ‘Internet of Everything’ Challenge

For the members of Trinity Mobile Networks and Wellinks — both innovative Yale ventures  — the warmth of spring arrived a bit early when their companies were named finalists in the Cisco-Kairos Internet of Everything Challenge, a competition that recognizes emerging leaders whose breakthrough, scalable solutions have the potential to impact billions of people around the planet. Challenge finalists are flown to San Francisco to strategize with Cisco experts on how to accelerate and improve their ideas, prototypes, and business models.

The competition focuses on products that, by connecting and contextualizing the relationships between people, processes, data, and things, seamlessly reduce the complexity for understanding those relationships. In what Cisco and Kairos call the “Internet of Everything,” these products offer innovative advances in their fields that are only made possible through the ability to connect to a wireless network.

Such a focus on networks most directly relates to Trinity Mobile Networks. Founded by Yale alumni Tyler Reynolds YC '14, Stephen Hall YC '14, and David Cruz YC '14, Trinity technology improves the capacity and speed of wireless cellular networks by offloading cellular data demand from overloaded cell towers to existing WiFi infrastructure; it does this by enabling a network of phones to relay WiFi signals to one another, thereby increasing the limited range of Wifi signals without facing the limited technological capacity of current cell data networks. However, Trinity’s “mesh network” is unique because it taps into and extends WiFi signals using only a combination of routing algorithms and software changes — i.e. not expensive “small cell” technologies or changes to current network standards.

Network capabilities are just as crucial to Wellinks, a company founded by Yale alumni Ellen Su YC '13, Levi DeLuke YC '14, and Sebastian Monzon YC '14. Formerly known as 109 Design, Wellinks has developed a compliance and feedback monitoring system to attach to braces of children with scoliosis — a device that improves treatment outcomes through the use of immediate feedback to patients and clinicians about both brace wear-time and tightness level. Such data, which also offers doctors a way to track compliance when a patient is at home, can also be the basis for dynamic customization of treatment plans that are adjusted to each patient’s progress.

The innovativeness and impact of both Yale ventures was established even before the respective company founders graduated. Both teams were first supported through Summer Fellowships from the Center for Engineering Innovation & Design, then further developed during Fellowships with the Yale Entrepreneurial Instituate.

For the Cisco-Kairos Internet of Everything Challenge, which is open only to entrepreneurs under age 25, the two Yale teams were among the five ventures named as finalists. Winners are also considered for the Cisco Entrepreneurs in Residence program, an incubation program focused on nurturing and growing breakthrough advancements at early-stage startups.