As CEO of Keen Home, Nayeem directs firm-wide vision, business development, strategic partnerships, capital raising, and investor relations. Prior to founding Keen Home, Nayeem spent his career focusing on M&A, corporate development/strategy, and ﬁnancial analysis ﬁrst at Prudential Financial and then at Loral Space & Communications. Nayeem has prior entrepreneurial experience as the founder of N&N Investments LLC, a real estate investment holding company and is also a Program Leader and Fellow of the Startup Leadership Program.
Nayeem holds a B.S. in Finance and Economics from the Pennsylvania State University and an MBA from the New York University Stern School of Business, where he was a class leader.
1) What is Keen Home?
Keen Home develops proactive hardware and software products to protect and enhance a home’s core systems. Our products provide increased comfort, improved efficiency, a healthier living environment, and a better maintained home.
2)How did you come up with the idea for it?
Co-Founders Nayeem, Ryan, and Will all grew up in homes with central air. They all suffered from the typical hot and cold spots that many homeowners deal with on a daily basis. In early 2013, Ryan was lying in his bed, with hot air pouring on him from the air vent above his head. He thought how much more comfortable he’d be if he could control the airflow from his phone, which was lying on his bedside table. Ryan brought the idea to Nayeem and Will and all three began running experiments in their homes that winter. They observed that selectively closing certain vents enhanced both comfort and efficiency of a home’s central HVAC system. The Smart Vent was born.
3) How near are we from fully smart homes?
We are still quite a few years away from living in homes that will be advanced enough to adapt to our needs. That being said, the building blocks are already in place. With advancements in natural language processing, machine learning, and wireless connectivity and reductions in component costs smart home tech is no longer the sole providence of the wealthy.
While some technologies improve at exponential rates, others progress quite linearly (e.g. battery tech). The industry must now cope with varying rates of progress, software fragmentation, and weak security (for both hardware and software).
At the end of the day, as long as new products are focused on solving true pain points for homeowners, the smart home industry has a bright future.
4) How did your experience on Shark Tank and the investment from Robert Herjavec help your business?
Appearing on Shark Tank boosted Keen Home’s brand visibility on a massive scale. Robert and his team at the Herjavec Group have helped our business in many ways. We leverage their social clout to promote Keen Home and our initiatives. We have also leaned on Robert for introductions to new distribution partners and investors.
5)What inspired you to go into business?
We started Keen Home because we recognized an opportunity to add intelligence to certain core areas of the home that were being ignored by other tech companies. In the last few years, there has been a lot of innovation focused on a relatively narrow range of home-related products. Keen Home brings sophisticated tech and beautiful design to certain forgotten, yet critical systems that keep everyone’s homes running.
6) What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?
Before you take the plunge, do not hesitate to have your idea thoroughly vetted by seasoned entrepreneurs, friendly investors, and other intelligent people. Remember, it is the execution of your idea that will differentiate you and ultimately lead to success, so do not worry about soliciting feedback from others. Entrepreneurship is often all-consuming and before embarking on what could be years of personal and financial sacrifice, it’s always best to have some sort of early validation of product-market-fit.
We would like to to thank Nayeem for speaking with us.