High-tech intercom Nucleus raises $250K, launches on 'Today' show - Technical.ly Philly

Growth

Sep. 24, 2014 10:30 am

High-tech intercom Nucleus raises $250K, launches on ‘Today’ show

You can now pre-order the buzzy product, developed by a local Harvard Law Grad (and ordained rabbi).
The latest design for the Nucleus intercom.

The latest design for the Nucleus intercom.

(Photo courtesy of Nucleus)

Nucleus, the WiFi-enabled, touchscreen home intercom developed by a Lower Merion-based Harvard Law Grad (and ordained rabbi), is now available for pre-order.

It costs $150 and comes with this pre-order perk: free premium service, which would normally cost $99/year. Nucleus plans to ship units in the second quarter of 2015.

Fresh off a $250,000 friends and family raise, the company exhibited in early September at CEDIA, a home technology trade show in Denver, pre-selling a couple hundred units, said CEO Jonathan Frankel. Nucleus also rang in their public launch with a feature on The Today Show, which was highlighting gadgets that “make life easier.” Watch it here.

(How’d they get on the NBC staple? Simple: “Our PR rep, [Kansas-based] Todd Brabender, told a colleague about Nucleus. The colleague loved the idea and took it to the Today Show, and they decided to showcase it,” Frankel wrote in an email. The company was also recently featured in Business Insider.)

Frankel originally planned on crowdfunding to bring the prototype to market but decided to go the pre-order route because he thought that was the best way to relate to his target market — parents of young children and children of elderly parents. 

Crowdfunding “can often be overwhelming for those not familiar with the genre,” he wrote in an email.

That echoes the findings of another local hardware startup, Beacon & Lively.

Nucleus is still looking for a manufacturer but they have found a CTO: New York City-based Isaac Levy, who previously worked at VidyoCast, a Hackensack, N.J.-based arm of video conferencing startup Vidyo. Levy will work remotely from New York.

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