SmartThings is doing what evades so many well-intentioned startups: they’re shipping.
Thirty of the roughly 300 Minneapolis-based backers of SmartThings uber-successful Kickstarter campaign joined the founding team on Thursday night at an invite-only event to celebrate and launch the beginning of the fulfillment process.
With 5,694 backers on Kickstarter, and thousands more pre-sales orders, the team of 30+ employees over at SmartThings has their work cut out for them in the coming weeks. Originally scheduled to launch in December, the rollout was delayed due to production issues, the complexities of building hardware devices, and the acrobatics required to close their $3m raise.
But now, a lucky few have finally received their SmartThings kit, complete with the hub and a wide array of devices that connect to it. The 3-hour kick-off event was a hands-on primer to the SmartThings ecosystem replete with demos, tutorials on how to build apps for the platform, some insight into the vision of the organization, and an individualized, personal hand-off of the long-awaited kits.
Starting today, the team will be shipping hundreds of kits per week, all of which must be assembled by hand. The company is bringing more production partners online in the next 6 weeks to ramp that number up to thousands of kits per week. Ben Edwards, Co-Founder and VP of Community, says the company wants to fill orders from Kickstarter backers by the end of April and all current backorders from other pre-sales by end of May.
“We are proud to be have a big community and development center around SmartThings here and to see it contributing to Minnesota’s position on the list of the world’s most innovative places,” said Alex Hawkinson, Co-Founder and CEO. “Plus, Minnesotans are just solidly good looking, which is cool.”
Good looking indeed, and with the help of SmartThings, perhaps just a little bit more connected too.