- Posted September 30, 2013 by
Simpsonville, South Carolina
This iReport is part of an assignment:
From hobby to job
Seems that I've always been a geek. A couple of years ago, I was helping start an international school in the North of Thailand. It was very expensive to get internet to my home, so I researched online and found that everyday routers could be modified with a new software and that would allow you to use them as wireless repeaters. After a few weeks of tinkering with some routers, I had a wireless mesh network which allowed the neighborhood to share the wireless access and cost. It became a hobby to me and from then on, all my routers in my home were modified. In 2008, I returned to the US and worked as an IT director. During the 2009 financial crisis, I got laid off near Thanksgiving holiday. I got the idea that these modified routers could be a business. I figured some people would want the solution without the hobby... so I spent $500 on 20 $24.95 routers, modified them to be wireless repeaters and sold them on ebay for $49.95. That was in January of 2010 and was the beginning of Sabai Technology. I started working with a company called StrongVPN which sold a VPN service for expats who wanted encryption and a connection to home country internet. A lot of StrongVPN's customers had an account but wanted to use it on multiple devices, so they were modifying routers to do the job. I began modifying routers to solve that problem and quickly sales ramped up. We're in our 4th year and about to hire our 14th employee. Today we've shipped to over 120 countries and work with over a dozen VPN companies. We are currently in development of a new class of router based on an Intel platform that we call JaiRo. We're based on Main Street in Simpsonville, SC and are looking forward to where this "hobby" takes us! We're currently a nominee for the InnoVision Technology Award in the Small Business category in Greenville SC.
Here's a link to a US Dept of Commerce Blog article on us: http://blog.trade.gov/2012/01/23/exporting-at-the-speed-of-light/