Shoelace Wireless Launches Kickstarter Campaign

Calit2 TechPortal startup Shoelace Wireless, founded by a Samueli School professor and her former graduate student, today launches a Kickstarter campaign to fund Netup, its newest app created to make mobile Internet faster and cheaper.

By combining Wi-Fi and cellular networks, Netup helps mobile users stream HD videos more smoothly, download large email attachments instantly and browse the Internet faster. The app, which works seamlessly in the background, improves connection speed and reliability, and saves money on costly data charges by making intelligent decisions about which network to use and when to combine them. Netup supports Android devices from 4.0 to 5.0 and works with any cellular network.

Netup's core technology originated from research conducted at UC Irvine and EPFL, Switzerland. UCI electrical engineering and computer science professor Athina Markopoulou, her former graduate student, Anh Le, and their two EPFL collaborators spun off Shoelace Wireless in 2012. Grants from the National Science Foundation’s Small Business Innovation Research division and from EPFL’s Innogrant program funded the company initially; now it seeks Kickstarter funding to further advance its newest product.

The company has built a working Netup prototype and is appealing to the Kickstarter community to help fund the final stages of development and deployment. Kickstarter backers will receive discounted monthly service fees on the app and early access to the product.

“We’re so happy with the product and excited to introduce it to the Kickstarter community and eventually the world,” says Le, Shoelace Wireless chief technology officer. “After all, who doesn’t want faster, cheaper mobile Internet?”

Adds Markopoulou: “Today, we are surrounded by so many networks and devices, yet wireless access is still slow in places with congested WiFi, like coffees shops, airports and conferences, or spotty cellular coverage. Netup takes a step towards solving these problems by seamlessly combining the best of both cellular and Wi-Fi worlds.”

Learn more about Netup and its Kickstarter campaign.