Meet our innovator: Chris Wentz, CEO of Everykey
Eureka moment: Designing a stylish, Bluetooth-enabled wristband that unlocks users’ password-protected devices
Hometown: Boulder, Colo.
Degree: Bachelor of Science in computer science
Dream job? I’d love to run Everykey as long as I can, and pass it down to my kids
Some college students spend their senior years stressing about landing that perfect first job. Case Western Reserve University alumnus Chris Wentz spent his making sure he’d have a job lined up well in advance of his 2013 graduation—as CEO of his own company.
And he took his product on the road—to practically the biggest venue there is: the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) held each year in Las Vegas, where the tech world shows off its latest and greatest next big things.
“It’s unreal,” he says, recalling being blown away by the size and scope of the show his first time around. Both trips to CES allowed Wentz to get his company in front of hundreds of thousands of attendees—including members of tech’s elite and potential investors. “We made a bunch of contacts out there—very important people. These shows make you think about the industry in a much different light.”
In addition to CES, Wentz and Everykey made a strong showing in this year’s national Blackstone LaunchPad Demo Days business plan competition in New York City. And the company launched a Kickstarter campaign that raised more than $25,000 in just two days—going on to pull in more than $117,000 in funding.
Meet Everykey and say good-bye to remembering passwords and keys
Wentz is now running Everykey full time, with a staff of four others that he hopes to grow in the near future. He’s focused on growing the business and getting Everykey into the marketplace, measuring success not by his bottom line, but by the impact his product makes.