SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — In just five years, Density, housed in Syracuse’s Tech Garden, has a client list of over 100 companies in 22 countries around the world.
Many of those companies are Fortune 1000 stretching across sectors like corporate real estate, hospitality, higher education, healthcare, retail.
Fifty million people, and growing, were counted by Density’s devices in just the past six months.
The goal of Density is to improve how buildings and spaces are used and for better security.
The idea for Density started a few years back at a Downtown Syracuse coffee shop with a few local guys running a software consulting company.
“And some days we would get there and be first in line and other days there would be 10 people ahead of us. And we said to ourselves if we can know the temperature anywhere in the world right now, how come we can’t know how busy the coffee shop is that’s two blocks away,” says Density Co-Founder Steven VonDeak.
Their little devices are discreetly installed over doorways and anonymously determine when a person enters or exits a room to give a count of how many people are in there.
VonDeak says, “You want to make sure that your employees have access to the space they need when they need it. You don’t want them wasting time walking around looking for a room.”
For most organizations, real estate is their second-biggest expense. 41-percent of leased or owned corporate office space in the U.S. is vacant, but paid for.
Lukasz Zagaja, Lead Systems Engineer at Density, says, “Those products, they never turn off, they work 24/7, whether it’s day or night, summer or winter.”
It’s why what they’re doing in the new hardware center at The Tech Garden is so important.
It opened this Spring, specifically for Density, which was sourcing out the making of their devices to a company in Texas.
Zagaja says, “Producing in Syracuse is in short, better, faster, and cheaper. We are able to control the supply of the product much better. We are able to respond to the demand as well, and the quality of the product definitely got better.”
Density is made possible by a combo of hardware and software, but at the end of the day, the customer is buying the results.
VonDeak tells NewsChannel 9, “We collect raw data, we analyze the data and we turn it into intelligible data that people can make data-driven decisions with.”
“Gyms use it to find out what classes are the most popular. We’ve got cafeterias that using it to know their popular days are, how much to forecast what their busiest days are going to be for food orders,” says Density engineer Charissa Lawrence.
Companies like Pepsi, Verizon, Marriott and Notre Dame University are clients. So is Dropbox, which just helped uncover a brand new use for Density.
“Dropbox has been trying to solve the tailgating problem for some time now. They have been exploring other technologies and they haven’t found anything to solve tailgating,” VonDeak says.
Tailgating happens at secure spaces that use badge or code entry when there’s only one swipe or code input but more than one person walks in.
VonDeak adds, “All of a sudden, your space is no longer secure and you don’t know who’s in there.”
He says Density can be integrated into a badge system, for instance, in real time, to determine if there’s one swipe but more than one entrance.
“We’ve got this tech thing happening and companies like this are doing well here,” Lawrence says.
“Many of us are born and raised in Syracuse. Syracuse is home for many of us and there’s a special pride in being able to start the business here and to continue to grow the business here,” VonDeak tells NewsChannel 9.
In just five years, Density has raised $40 million in venture capital to grow its business in Syracuse.
They’ve gone from five employees to start to now 50, and they’re hiring.
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For more local news, follow Jeff Kulikowsky on Twitter @JeffNC9