We’ve all been there — checking a text, settling a debate by looking up which actor was in that one movie, or mindlessly scrolling through Instagram — and you get that pop up: “Select a Wi-Fi Network.” Let the eye roll commence. Of course you want to connect with Wi-Fi! Your data is at stake, but sadly, you don’t know the Wi-Fi password, or have anyone to ask, and in all likelihood the Wi-Fi is probably really slow.
Tive is a startup that has built a solution that makes free Wi-Fi easy to connect to and profitable for businesses to provide. Started by University of Utah students, Tive has grown from an idea to monetizing and customizing networks at hotels, restaurants, coffee shops and more to benefit both the user and the provider.
Tive first received funding from Lassonde Institute’s Get Seeded in December 2014 to build their initial product. In two rounds at Get Seeded, Tive was awarded over $2,000 that went towards building a scalable cloud software product that could handle the high traffic and large demand Tive had created.
“We created Tive because we hate the ridiculous process associated with logging in to free Wi-Fi networks. Recently I had to wait in line at a coffee shop to get the Wi-Fi password for 10 minutes, just to then remember how to spell ‘dinosaur,’” said Christian Wutz, CMO and U student.
Recently, Tive secured a partnership with a hotel internet provider and is using funds awarded from the Get Seeded competitions to handle the traffic that over 200 hotels could provide. Other partners include Survata, a San Francisco-based and former Y-Combinator company, and digital advertiser Q1Media, a Forbes “America’s Most Promising Company.”
Local Utah clients include Rodizio Grill at Trolley Square, where waiting customers can now connect to the free Wi-Fi, and in doing so, benefit the restaurant and improve the user experience.
“We built Tive to be as secure as possible, so businesses can provide free Wi-Fi not as a cost — but as a revenue generator, while maintaining their customers’ privacy and security,” said Chris Fowles, the CTO.
Now, users no longer have to reluctantly dismiss the “select Wi-Fi” notification, deal with obscure passwords or slow Internet again. Kevin Corelli, a former U grad and COO said, “Lassonde helped us build a product from scratch, and we’re excited to change the way people connect to Wi-Fi”.
For businesses that provide free Wi-Fi, Tive (tive.xyz) is a cloud monetization service that can convert a business’s WiFi cost to revenue. Unlike the typical login process, Tive replaces a password with customized or programmatic content so the customer experiences a simplified login procedure and the business makes money from the free internet it already provides.