46. Kymeta

Metamaterials surface antenna technology for satellites

Nathan Kundtz,  founder and chief technology officer of Kymeta
Source: Kymeta
Nathan Kundtz, founder and chief technology officer of Kymeta

Founder: Nathan Kundtz
CEO: Vern Fotheringham
Date launched: 2012
Funding:
$62 million
Industries disrupted:
Aerospace, Telecom
Disrupting: Comcast, Intelsat, Verizon
Competitors: Google, Kumu Networks, SSL

Kymeta is a Redmond, Washington-based company that is bringing to market an antenna product line that will simplify the satellite connection needed for broadband Internet on the go, anywhere in the world.

In 2012 the company was spun out of Intellectual Ventures, a firm that collaborates with leading inventors around the world to bring new products to market. IV came up with Metamaterials Surface Antenna Technology (MSA-T). Metamaterials are artificial materials that can manipulate electromagnetic radiation in a number of ways.

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Kymeta's mTenna product line uses this technology to electronically point and steer a radio signal toward a satellite. This creates a continuous broadband link between a satellite and a car, plane, boat or other moving object. The portable device the size of a laptop, has potential benefits for news reporters in the field, emergency responders in disaster areas, or even just average consumers looking to untether from public Wi-Fi and mobile broadband signals.

The company is backed in part by investments from Bill Gates and Lux Capital and expects to be selling the mTenna by next year.

How did you come up with your big idea?

"After doing extensive work on the ‘metamaterial invisibility cloak’ and other exotic phenomena that can be achieved using metamaterials technology ... we settled on the technology behind Kymeta’s antennas because of the dramatic impact we knew they would have in all aspects of wireless communications." -Nathan Kundtz, founder

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