Featured Startup Pitch: OVAL’s connected sensor is built to enable consumers to better keep track of the things most important to them

By Editor September 23, 2014

Michael Harry, OVALBy Michael Harry, OVAL co-founder


OVAL—a small, affordable, wireless, and versatile sensor that protects the people, pets, and items you care about most by sending an alert to your phone or email by way of a push notification, text, email, or direct telephone call whenever it’s disturbed in motion, acceleration, temperature, light, moisture, and/or proximity.


OVAL is a smart, easy-to-use, and versatile sensor that’s designed to protect the people and things you care about most. Attach it to any object to detect any changes in motion, acceleration, light, moisture, temperature or proximity. If the sensor is disturbed, you’ll receive an alert on your phone or email, anywhere in the world.

OVAL Digital, Inc. is a company founded to help protect people and pets—and safeguard important items with the use of a highly-sensitive sensor and gateway system called OVAL. OVAL sensors have a global reach to warn users of changes surrounding their monitored items.

If a sensor is disturbed, you can receive a text, push notification, email, or even a pre-programmed phone call instantly from anywhere in the world, empowering you to take action right away. An integrated beeper and light indicator can also help you find lost pets or items that your OVAL sensors are attached to. Also, our localization feature uses your other OVAL sensors to create a virtual map of your home or business showing you an approximate location of your lost item.

OVAL Digital’s vision is to create the largest global IoT network—a bridge between people, things, and the Internet. Connectivity in a fast, reliable, secure and affordable way.


OVAL was created by a parent as a way to help prevent prescription drug and alcohol abuse. A few years ago, Rich Cosgrove’s teenage son expressed concern over the rampant use of these substances among his peers. Given the growing epidemic of the abuse of these substances, and how they can potentially lead to further drug use and addiction, Rich began to think of an unobtrusive way for parents to monitor their medicine and liquor cabinets. And the idea for OVAL was born.

He sought out an engineer to help design and develop this technology, and soon found Lars Gerd Piwkowski. Through many late night conversations, the idea for OVAL began to develop further. Why just monitor motion when we can have it do so much more?

Lars began to work on a prototype and within 10 months had OVAL sensors detecting changes in motion, acceleration light, moisture, temperature and proximity. This enabled OVAL to have thousands of additional uses.


Our marketing and promotion strategy consists of reaching the verticals that can benefit most from OVAL sensors, including parents, those who care for elderly and disabled people, pet owners, apartment dwellers, businesses, and homes.

Because OVAL technology is new on the consumer market, we’ve created a marketing campaign that presents this technology in a fun and accessible way.

We’ve reached out to our target demographics through blogs, social media, networking events and through personal contacts. Because of the broad reach that OVAL has, we’ve tailored our pitch for each audience.


Some competitors have found success with lost-and-found products (Tile) and home security products (Canary). However, OVAL is the first smart sensor that can detect a variety of parameters while sending an instant alert to your phone or email. The overall space of IoT is relatively new and a recent article from VentureBeat predicted that this industry will grow to $7.1 trillion dollars by 2020.


OVAL is different for various reasons, including reliability; engineering and production to industrial standards; notification time within seconds; significantly longer battery life; long range up to 1,500 feet; easy-to-replace, commonly found batteries; water resistant, heat resistant, tamper resistant; hundreds of sensors can co-exist in one network; multi-environmental data sensor; affordable; integration into other products; API cloud database access; and more.


We can achieve a significant income stream from profit on initial sales, follow-up sales for more sensors, subscription fees for special features (localization), licensing fees from B2B partners (including development license), in-app advertising, pre-roll add, and corporate premiums. Our initial test market is a crowdfunding campaign with a goal of $40,000. We achieved a 50 percent funding threshold after only one week.


$40,000 fundraising to manufacture the first production run of 500 Oval Systems; additional $1 million to $5 million to grow company; product improvements; UX and UI design improvements; hire employees (engineers, marketing, management).

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WEBSITE: www.meetoval.com

FOUNDERS: Rich Cosgrove, Lars Gerd Piwkowski, Michael Harry

INVESTORS: Bootstrapped


INDIEGOGO: igg.me/at/meetoval/x/8200536

TWITTER: @meetoval

FACEBOOK: facebook.com/meetoval

CRUNCHBASE: crunchbase.com/organization/oval-digital-inc