Welcome to Smarter Internet

I’d like introduce you to Aerēz, our home network solution built for families. Aerēz provides powerful tools to manage all the internet connected devices in your home, protect your kids with content filters, time limits and safe search, optimize the overall performance of your home network and turns your smart phone into the remote control that runs it all.

Why Us?

The path to Aerēz started early one morning when my husband woke to grab a drink of water and he heard the music and keyboard clicking that could only mean that someone in the house was playing an online video game – at 4am – on a school night! He escorted our then 8-year old son back to bed and made a plan to setup some parental controls.

Together we started researching options and quickly realized that an off-the-shelf product would not fit our needs to manage 30-ish Internet connected devices and keep our Internet connection lightening fast. I worked from home two days a week, connecting though a VPN, and I needed my network connection to not be throttled down by parental control software. So we made our own. What is now Aerēz evolved from the original solution we created with hardware, software and utilizing the cloud to keep track of devices, users, and rules we wanted on our home network.

One pretty amazing thing happened after we implemented a bed-time blocker policy on our new software. The bedtime blocker would automatically shut off the kids’ internet connection at the same time each evening. They stopped arguing for more time and started getting ready for bed. It totally ended the arguments for more time and the power struggle to take away their device!

And like any good parent does when they find a great solution, we bragged about it! We started sharing with friends and family our stories about the change it had on our kids and the peace of mind it gave us as parents.

As we started implementing Aerēz in user trials, families would not only give us feedback on the software, but also share that at certain times all or some of the devices would have slow internet connections. One example of this is when an Xbox or iPhone hogs all the bandwidth and makes everyone else’s Internet experience slow. With Aerēz, devices are forced to share bandwidth and play nicely.

With Aerēz in place we could tell them the source of the issue and set policies in the software to speed up their connection and optimize how all devices shared the bandwidth in the home. Over time we’ve made those smart algorithms a part of the core features of Aerēz that automatically optimizes and tunes your home network. And devices that belong to adults automatically get priority on the network over everything else.

Why Now?

We were fortunate enough to know some incredible people to team up with to help us develop Aerēz. We worked with some amazing families that gave us invaluable feedback along the way. As a team,we have worked hard to make a solution that easily integrates into family life and makes controlling the devices and Internet connection in your home a breeze…like air….Aerēz. ( Cheesy, I know!)

A Rebranding and A Pitch

Remember back when Google rebranded a portion of their company to Alphabet?  You probably didn’t give it much thought.  I remember thinking that all the media coverage was kinda lame and went on about my day.  I’m a software developer, why would I care about a rebrand? Apparently I should have paid more attention.

So guess what the team at MCP Networks has been agonizing over for the last month?!?  A name change and rebrand for Networkd Family, of course.
As a farm kid, I remember cattle branding as a painful experience for the calves, and in the case of the occasional kick in the ribs, for the workers too. The rebranding process has been a metaphorical kick in the ribs.

Who knew coming up with a name would be so hard?!?  When we started this journey the name was just another item on the “to do” list. While we loved the name Networkd Family, we found it wasn’t a good name for trademark purposes. I will spare you the gory details, suffice it to say we have chosen Aeréz.  It’s a play on “air easy” and Aries, since our first product is cloud management for your home network.

We work with a fantastic graphic designer, Kayla of  Cote Creative who helped us with the logo and color scheme for our app and we love the direction this is heading. A new website will be revealed soon to go with our new name. This is our first step in getting ready for our public beta launch.

So here is where we open ourselves up to the community and ask “What do you think”? We would love feedback, thoughts, suggestions….even criticism on the new name, logo, idea, etc.  Comment or  message us via social media or drop a line from our site.

We Are Pitching!

We are giving our first product pitch at 1 Million Cups in Bismarck next week! Come check us out, offer your mental support, words of encouragement, etc.

 

Our Journey From Idea to Start-up

Today’s busy family relies on their Internet service and they expect it to work. Your 9-year old needs to do research for a homework project, your 13-year old wants to game on his Xbox, you need to check email and update tax documents, and the 2-year old wants train videos on his Nabi.

Suddenly, everybody is at a stand-still because the Internet stopped working. What do most people do when this happens? Run down to the utility closet and pull the plug to restart the router? Call the Internet Service Provider? Cry?

We get it, we heard the stories and we lived it. We found our 9-year old up at 5am to play League of Legends on his computer. We were shocked with some of the content our kids found on YouTube. I lived the frustration of slow internet when others in the house were sucking all the bandwidth.

This was the start of our journey to find a better way to control our home network and manage our kids screen time.

We tried some different options, played with different routers, tried some parental control software and eventually found what we wanted on a Kickstarter campaign that was years away from launching. That was when we knew we could do better. That was when Networkd Family was born.

What Is Networkd Family?

Networkd Family is a hardware and software solution for managing your home network.

Our app lets you manage your network from the palm of your hand, so you’ll know how many devices are connected and the Internet speed you’re getting from your Internet Service Provider. Not only can you see everyone who is on your network but you have the ability to revoke someone’s access with little more than a swipe.

Who Is It For?
Networkd Family is for families that just need their Internet to work. It’s easy to setup and use. It gives parents insight to what devices are connected to their home Internet and powerful parental controls to manage kids screen time, all from your smartphone.

Where are We At?
Like most babies, it has taken us a year to even get our feet under us. We have built proof of concepts and prototypes, and are still in the development process. But we are excited to be making progress and to bring Networkd Family to families who want to take back control of their family’s connected lifestyle. We will soon be launching a private beta campaign. We want to test our product in the hands of real families and real users to know how we can make it the best product available.

Launching A Startup in the Middle of the Great Plains

Take a Quick Survey!
 

For many months and far, far away from Silicon Valley, my founders and I have been diligently strategizing our tech startup. We’ve immersed ourselves in software development, writing business plans, attending business boot camps and learning the ups and downs of becoming entrepreneurs. Along the way we have utilized some pretty great tools!

Business Plan

Writing the business plan is not the most exciting part of being an entrepreneur. But we found a great online tool called LivePlan, which makes writing the business plan be a lot less painful. It allows adding team members so each can have a login and update their parts of the plan. LivePlan operates with a subscription model so you pay a low monthly fee for the software which is perfect for startups with limited capital.

Remote Meetings

We use Google Hangouts and Skype for our (virtual) face-to-face meetings and collaborative online tools to run our start-up. Google Hangouts requires a Google email account, but not much else. It’s easy to get up and running. Occasionally we use Hangouts on Air to record our meetings for others to view later.

Document Collaboration

The first thing we did as a team was sign up for Google for Business. We have our email and documents stored in the cloud where we can easily share and edit.  We can even collaborate in real-time with live edit, which means team members can watch and edit the same document simultaneously! And it’s just 5$ per month per user!

Team Updates

We use cloud software called Slack. We can post team announcements in one location, and keep track of previous conversations. It’s like a chat client on steroids. Our research and updates go into the Slack application so that we share like a group text, but with the ability to search a la Google.

Website Management

In our startup, we are big WordPress fans and run our external website and internal testing sites on the WordPress framework. Again, the ability to have multiple admin accounts gives us the flexible team environment necessary to manage various sections of a business.

Research and Data

Everyone knows the importance of doing their research and that Google offers a vast amount of research. Keeping updated on certain search terms is important to our team. We have set up Google Alerts to monitor news articles on the web and it automatically emails us when fresh news is found.

Networkd Family. That’s the name of the software I have been building for the last few months. I left my full time job in January and have been working as a Software Developer and Founder in this startup. Our goal is to help families manage their connected lifestyle.

I hope you enjoy reading this tech article and I also hope that you’ll help me out with a few minutes of your time. I’d love for you to participate in a quick survey to get feedback on the ideas behind the software that I’m working on building. It’s only 8 questions, multiple choice, and should take you no more than 2 minutes. I would be so grateful for your assistance!

Take a Quick Survey!

Native Mobile Application Developer

We need an experienced, passionate, and friendly developer who can jump in and help us with our start-up project. Our native mobile products interact deeply with RESTful API backends, so knowledge of web application architectures and technologies is a plus.

Primary Responsibilities
• Drive the development of our iOS projects.
• Ownership in developing and improving all aspects of app development.
• Storyboarding, auto-layout, and user interface related activities.
• Designing and engineering features that deliver value to the people who use them. This means collaborating closely with the entire team including designers, product managers, and so on.

About MCP Networks
We are a startup located in North Dakota specializing in making networking technology easy and usable for everyone.

Let’s Have A Chat If You…
• Have a portfolio of developed libraries or applications and want to show them to us.
• Enjoy working with Objective-C and/or Swift and have a successful track record of developing applications using these technologies.
• Have experience developing iOS applications.
• Are competent with storyboarding, using auto-layout, and building universal interfaces.
• Strive to automate everything you do – from sending out builds to running tests.
• Are equally comfortable working with HTTP-based web services, and have a working knowledge of web application and API architectures.
• Have an appreciation for the peace of mind that comes with well-tested, documented code.
• Have experience making decisions regarding application architecture.
• Are excited by the web and keep up with new technologies and that excitement is infectious.
• Communicate well with others in both written and verbal forms.
• Are self-directed and able to manage your time effectively.

Bonus points for…
• A BS or MS in Computer Science, Math or enough experience to show that you can do the job well.
• Development skills with web based languages, like PHP, Ruby on Rails or Scala.
• Previous history of working with a remote, distributed team
• Significant contributions to or ownership of open source projects (please do tell!)

Other information about this position
• Working remotely is how we operate.
• We are looking for people located within one of the U.S time zones.

To Apply
Email Candice at candiceperea@mcpnetworks.us. Please include the following:
• A little bit about who you are and a link to your online portfolio and/or resume. Make sure to highlight any experience that is particularly relevant, and the more details about your relevant work experience you can share, the better.

Deadline to apply: April 15th, 2016.
If we think you’re a good fit, we’ll be in touch!