From left: Liz Hitchcock, Gray Chynoweth and Jeremy Hitchcock of Minim. Photo by Christine Carignan.
For most of its existence, Dyn was the type of tech firm everyone in NH wanted to replicate. A fast-growing company known as a cool employer of young talent, Dyn was absorbed by Oracle in 2016 when it was reportedly purchased for more than $600 million. (The Manchester location officially closes this month.) But that’s not to say there aren’t traces of its innovation still to be found.
Several former leaders and employees are starting new ventures. Among them is Minim, a cloud-managed Wi-Fi and IoT security startup, founded by Dyn co-founder and former CEO Jeremy Hitchcock. And he’s enlisted seven former co-workers in the new venture, including former Dyn COO Gray Chynoweth and Minim’s CEO.
Minim Secures Homes
As homes become more connected and smarter, homeowners are increasingly vulnerable to online attacks. Minim, in Manchester, markets its software to internet service providers and consumer device manufacturers as an extra layer of security. A mobile app provides reports on security issues, parental controls and customer support.
“You want to feel secure at home,” Hitchcock says. “We lock our cars and house doors. People want that same
Chynoweth says with one app, a homeowner can ensure the security of their network and all the devices on it. Hitchcock notes Minim can also determine what’s behind any problems.
Liz Hitchcock, a founder and investor in Minim and a former Dyn employee, says she knew they were on the right path when an engineer told her that her own home had been compromised. “I felt safer,” she says of knowing it was addressed. She also likes that when it’s time for the kids to do homework, she can shut off the internet or see what they are doing online.
Launched a year ago, Minim has helped more than 55 service providers and tens of thousands of users, Jeremy Hitchcock says. The company started with five engineers and is already up to 32.
So why did these successful executives even want to start a new company? “When what you love is building a successful company, you do more of that,” says Chynoweth.
Jeremy Hitchcock says he was inspired by a highly publicized attack on Dyn in 2016. The Mirai botnet used more than 600,000 unsecure webcams and other devices to attack and take down Dyn’s system, subsequently taking offline Twitter, Reddit, Netflix and Airbnb.
And while Dyn is gone, its presence lives on in NH’s tech ecosystem. “The culture of Dyn remains active. The people who made up the company are still sticking together,” Chynoweth says. “What’s more exciting than one company changing the tech scene is 10.”
Another startup emerging from that talent pool is Heretic Technology in Goffstown. The firm was founded by CEO Brent Hale, a former sales manager at Dyn. Heretic’s first product, Maverick, is a virtual sales assistant app designed to develop sales prospects and automate engagement.
Hale originally started Heretic as a development and consulting firm in 2017. “People were struggling on the sales side with engagement and relationships,” he says.
Hale says most sales products don’t solve the real issues salespeople face. “What about the people I need to stay connected with? People who say my budget season is X, call me back then. As a rep, I don’t know where I will be in six months. If I forget to follow up or don’t have time, I will likely have lost that relationship and potential sale,” Hale says.
Maverick allows salespeople to create automated responses from customizable email templates and then set them to be sent to clients at a certain time.
“You can write a customized email talking about Thanksgiving coming up or asking if maternity leave went well. Maverick will automatically send it,” Hale says.
Once it has made contact, Maverick creates a listing in the customer management system and limits how much email can be sent to avoid being labeled a spammer.
“If you want contacts to know about a webinar coming up, [Maverick] will send a message out to your contacts,” Hale says.
Maverick costs $100 to $200 per month per rep, depending on the level of service.