This Northwestern startup just got named one of the coolest college startups in the country

Sam Dewey

On Wednesday, Inc released a March Madness-style bracket to find the country’s coolest college startup. While the majority of the entrants fell on either coast, Chicagoland had one representative on the list.

The team at Eighty Nine Robotics Eighty Nine Robotics Visit their siteView company profile+ Create Job Alert, a group of students hailing from Northwestern, have created “Rook.” The Wi-Fi powered drone is a remotely-controlled sentinel that helps monitor your home and office from anywhere in the world. Users control it with a smartphone app, and Rook’s high-def camera broadcasts real-time visuals directly to your phone.

Founded by Jackie Wu, Spencer Williams, and Matt Cheung, the idea is to provide home and office owners with a cloud-based solution to monitor security and provide alerts while they’re away.

What's more, the Eighty Nine Robotics team is exploring additional product suites, like voice-enabled commands and smarthouse integration.

Though inclusion in Inc’s list is a nice nod for the company, they’re not exactly new to attention of its kind. Chief among such recognition include a $12,000 grant from The Garage (Northwestern’s startup incubator), a $20,0000 Indiegogo campaign they surpassed just two days after launch, and acceptance into the Department of Homeland Security’s affiliate accelerator program for first responders, EMERGE.

Despite their launch in 2015, the company has already amassed an eight-person team. The Rook is expected to be available for sale come December for about $250, according to Inc.

Photo via Eighty Nine Robotics. 

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