DURHAM – Imagine never worrying about burning your dinner again.
It’s a promise from a new Durham-based Internet of Things (IoT) startup Inirv that is getting ready to launch its smart knobs so you can “cook more hands-free and never worry about burning your food again.’
Founded by Duke University grad Akshita Iyer, the company is dedicated to building connected devices that bring “safety and simplicity” to the kitchen.
The knobs instantly upgrade any gas or electric stove. They are also wi-fi connected, so you can cook and turn off the stove remotely.
Want more? They have built-in motors to automatically adjust temperature at the right time.
Iyer got the idea for the knobs a few years back after her mother nearly burned the house down after accidentally leaving the stove on.
“It was scary. I learned that unattended cooking is the number one cause of house fires, leads to $1 billion damage every year, yet should be preventable with technology,” she recalled.
“Unfortunately, people only buy appliances every 12 years, so we wondered if we could build something simple that could work with your existing appliances, solve this safety problem and help you to actually cook at home too. And that’s what we did.”
In 2018, Inirv presented its product on the hit TV show “Shark Tank,” but failed to get a deal. However, that hasn’t held her back.
Earlier this year, Inirv raised $450,000 in funding from TechStars after completing its three-month Future Home Accelerator in Munich, Germany.
It’s also recently won two startup competitions – including the Atlanta Startup Battle where it nabbed the $100,000 first prize from Techsquare Labs.
Iyer, a Duke University graduate, also won $15,000 for second overall place at the recent Women Founders Network Fast Pitch, along with the $5,000 Junior Judges Award.
Apart from that, the startup is completely bootstrapped. Even so, the word is getting out.
The startup already has a pre-order waitlist of around 7,000 people.
“Right now, we’re working on scaling manufacturing so that we can fill that demand,” she said.
“We are amazed by the amount of demand for Inirv this early. We are committed to getting Inirv out as soon as possible not only here in the U.S., but eventually around the world.”