Many entrepreneurs get started by building businesses around the stuff they’re passionate about. For Greg Cullen, that just so happens to be the internet of things and chickens.
Cullen is the founder and CEO of My Connected Coop, an IoT product that makes it easier and more efficient for people to own and raise chickens. It’s a US-sourced wooden coop large enough to house five chickens and it comes equipped with an on-site camera, a mobile operated motor mount for the sliding door, temperature and humidity sensors, a wifi connector and more. The coop is fully automated and can be controlled and monitored directly from an app.
“People don’t realize how easy chicken are,” says Cullen. “The hardest part is opening the gate in the morning and closing it at night and now you can do that from your phone. You could actually leave for two weeks and take care of your chickens remotely.”
Like most connected devices, My Connected Coop is designed solely to simplify a task. However, unlike most connected devices, like a smart thermostat or a smart watch, in which the product automates a functionality that the user is already familiar with or accustomed to, Cullen hopes that this technology serves as an on-boarding tool and helps people actually try a new task, such as raising chickens.
“We have this disconnect with our foods,” says Cullen. “And My Connected Coop can help with that. People may be intimated by the thought of owning chickens. This is about getting rid of that intimidation factor and making as easy as possible.”
Cullen is also bringing decades of tech experience to the project. Previously, Cullen was a software engineer with J.P. Morgan and helped build five products that resulted in over 2,000 high tech jobs in Chicago. Most recently Cullen served as the CTO and COO for tech consulting firm Solstice Mobile, helping grow the team from 11 to over 350.
To bring the My Connected Coop to market, Cullen works out of mHUB, the recently opened co-working space and hub for makers. The full My Connected Coop package is available for pre-order for $1,350 and Cullen plans to start shipping everything mid summer.
Cullen is excited about helping people improve their relationship with their food and eat fresh eggs, but he’s also looking forward to introducing more people to the joy of owning chickens.
“You wouldn’t think it, but they’re truly great pets,” says Cullen. “I have five and they each have their own personalities. More people should own chickens.”
(Image via My Connected Coop)