Six months after the close of our Kickstarter campaign, our first winter in New York has finally come to an end. With months of warm weather ahead, we decided to look back at what we’ve accomplished so far, and talk about how to use the next six months to gear up for round two.
One of our biggest early accomplishments was winning the BigApps 2014 competition, earning $25,000 and the praise of Mayor de Blasio. After that we went into production for our pilot program. By electing to build our sensors ourselves, we minimized cost and were able to hold on to a substantial portion of our prize money. We deployed sensors in Brooklyn and the Bronx and went live in November.
As winter wore on, we continued growing our professional network, forging relationships with Microsoft, the Brooklyn Economic Development Corporation, Civic Hall, the Flatiron School, and the District Attorney. We also recently obtained sponsorship from Weather Underground, who is giving us free and unlimited access to their API. We received favorable press from Fast Company and CNBC. We took on some new volunteer team members: Jesse, a data specialist; Caroline, a non-profit expert; and Rachel, a social media strategist. At the close of the season, we had 120 sensors purchased and 24 in production.
So, what’s next for Heat Seek? Our plan is to use the summer primarily for outreach and fundraising, keeping our name out there and hopefully raising enough money to hire some of our volunteer staff full-time. While we can’t share all the specifics, one of our main goals is getting all of our hardware up to 99% accuracy, so we can go into next winter with a foolproof fleet of sensors and hubs.
To all of our friends and supporters—thank you so much! Stay tuned for more progress updates as we continue to develop and grow.