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Everykey moves into University Circle office, starts shipping device

Northeast Ohio
Everykey moves into University Circle office, starts shipping device

Everykey now has a real office — and a real product.

The company recently moved into a small office near its birthplace, Case Western Reserve University, and it has slowly begun shipping the Everykey fob: a device designed to automatically unlock the owner's smartphone and computer when it gets close to them.

Everykey had shipped about 150 fobs as of May 8, according to CEO Chris Wentz.

Granted, the company has sold about 5,000 of the devices. And some of the people who bought them through the company’s wildly successful Kickstarter and Indiegogo campaigns have been complaining about the pace of shipments. The product launch had already been delayed multiple times.

Everykey will pick up the pace as it gathers feedback from early users and fixes any bugs that crop up, Wentz told Crain’s via email. It also will add capability with Mac, iOS and Linux operating systems along the way (some online backers have also complained about the fact that Everykey will only be immediately compatible with Windows and Android operating systems).

“We have the capacity at our manufacturing facility to scale up and ship more units quickly, but we’re purposefully waiting for the initial bugs to be resolved. Once this round of bug fixes is complete, we will begin to ship new waves of product in the magnitude of 1,000 - 2,000 units per wave,” Wentz wrote.

He and a few other Case Western students came up with the idea for Everykey a few years ago, during an entrepreneurship class. The company until recently was based on campus: Its employees were working out of a conference room when Crain’s visited them last August, shortly after the company raised $720,000 in capital.

Everykey’s 12 employees now work out of a 1,500-square-foot storefront office at 1988 Ford Drive, near Euclid Avenue. The company wanted to stay near campus, “which will help us find talented new people to work with us,” Wentz said. The circuit board is made in Solon, where final assembly also takes place. The wristband accessory is made in Kent and the product housing is made in China.

In an update published on Everykey’s Kickstarter and Indiegogo profiles, Wentz thanked the company’s backers “for sticking with us through the good times and the bad.”

“It’s been a bumpy road, to say the least. Starting this company and delivering our first product has been the most challenging thing I have done in my entire life… but also the most rewarding.”

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