Tyler Skluzacek is our Minnesota Tech Rising Star 2015
New Prague native Tyler Skluzacek had initially enrolled at Macalester College to become a politician, but made the wise decision to pursue programming over politics before the first semester had even ended.
In early October this year, the 22 year old triple major (Economics, Applied Math, and Computer Science) spontaneously flew to the nation’s capitol to combine some sight seeing with a tech meetup, a trip that manifested in his first hackathon called HackDc.
After 36 hours of coding, Tyler & co. walked away winning the ‘best mobile app for clinicians’ category for a mobile + wearable combo that can detect night terrors, a severe sort of nightmare associated with physiological responses suffered by those who have experienced major trauma.
His inspiration for myBivy, as it would come to be called, was his own father. An Iraqi war veteran who suffers from PTSD, such terrors often keep him awake at night and compound to have profoundly negative effects on many aspects of life and family. Multiply that by the ~8 million diagnosed vets and countless beyond with PTSD — it’s clear that this is a real problem in society today.
Tyler turned to Kickstarter upon return to Minnesota to further fund develpment of the MVP app created in DC that weekend. With sights set on a mere $1,200, the campaign grossed $26k in backing, or 20x the original goal.
A week later, he took to the stage at MobDemo to compete against four local mobile entrepreneurs for cash, recognition, development + legal credits. His story won the audience’s hearts and minds as he was ultimately crowned the champion.
What started on a whim has quickly become a local startup on trajectory to positively impact tens of millions of people around the world. Watch for a myBivy launch on Apple, Android and FitBit apps this spring.
“For a while, I’ve had my sights set on grad school…but with myBivy becoming what it has so fast, it’s clear there’s a world of possibilities that entrepreneurship has to offer. We’ll see where this takes me.”
You’re our rising star and a shining inspiration Tyler :)