Featured Startup Pitch: By managing Wi-Fi access, WebCurfew wants to give parents more control over their kids’ Internet usage

By Editor September 5, 2013
Rod da Silva, WebCurfew

Rod da Silva, WebCurfewBy Rod da Silva, WebCurfew founder and CEO

Elevator Pitch: WebCurfew’s Internet parental control service allows parents to remotely switch Internet access on or off for devices in the home.

Product Overview

WebCurfew is the home Internet automation service designed to put parents back in control of their family’s Internet consumption habits. The simple and intuitive web interface gives parents the ability to quickly and easily toggle Wi-Fi Internet access to any device in the home, for free. It works with the routers people already have in their home.

Upon setup, the WebCurfew service quickly detects all Wi-Fi-enabled devices running in the home, including laptop computers, iPods and other MP3 players, smartphones, tablets, game consoles, and IP TVs. Parents can simply log in to their personalized control panel to manually allow or disallow Internet access to any device in the home. WebCurfew’s premium service allows parents to automate the entire process by setting up timers that enforce their rules. With WebCurfew, there is no software to download, install, or configure. Anyone interested in trying out the product can create a free account on the WebCurfew website.

Founder’s Story

My background is in IT, but more importantly, I’m a father of three teens. The idea for WebCurfew started about four years ago, when I realized that my kids were spending more and more time connected to their devices. For every decision there is an opportunity cost. For our nation’s youth, that means the countless hours they spend loitering online could be spent in more productive ways. And the issue wasn’t that I suspected my kids were ever using the Internet in inappropriate ways; but between Facebook, YouTube, Xbox Live, and the countless other distractions, I could sense a growing issue in my always-on wireless broadband Internet-connected home. And when it became apparent that virtually every household deals with similar issues, I became convinced of the need for a service like WebCurfew.

Marketing/Promotion Strategy

Where we see the most success is when we’re able to talk directly to the folks affected—mostly parents—and have a candid discussion with them about the problem we solve. We’ve pursued a multi-prong approach—attending events, reaching out to media, and blogging on the WebCurfew blog, Digital Loitering. We are also looking into partnering with organizations aligned with our vision.

How We Differentiate From the Competition

We are the only startup tapping into technology that already exists within the routers people are using in order to give families the ability to automate their Wi-Fi access. And while the big ISPs have the capability to provide a similar service, to date it hasn’t been in their financial interest to do so. They make more money when kids stay online longer! WebCurfew supports hundreds of routers, including models by Verizon. We have realized the incredible demand for this service, and our hope is that the major ISPs do, too.

Business Model

WebCurfew’s basic service is entirely free. Where we monetize is with our premium service, which automates access to specific devices in the home according to schedules pre-set by the user. So, a mom or dad can turn off Internet access to their daughter’s iPad or son’s laptop automatically at 9 p.m. on weeknights or 10 p.m. on weekends, for example.

Market Opportunity

The market for WebCurfew is enormous. There are 50 million homes across North America alone with both a broadband Internet connection and at least one Internet-aged child.

Current Needs

We are looking to take on outside investment. If you’re an investor interested in learning more about our technology and plans for growth, or if you see an opportunity to partner with us, please get in touch.

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WebCurfew logoWebsite: www.webcurfew.com

Headquarters: Toronto

Founder: Rod da Silva

Year Founded: 2013

Employees: 3

Twitter: @WebCurfew

Facebook: facebook.com/pages/WebCurfew/536782433057386

AngelList: angel.co/webcurfew