Entrepreneurs of the Week: Dick Swart and Vic Aprea

March 26, 2014

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Launch NY is proud to be working with some of the most promising start-up businesses in Upstate New York. Each week we will bring you an interesting story about people with whom Launch NY is working, and who are shaping the entrepreneurial landscape in Upstate New York.

Dick Swart & Vic Aprea

Co-Founders, Wicked Device

Dick SwartDick Swart, Co-Founder, Wicked Device – Dirk Swart is the Co-Founder and CEO of Wicked Device LLC. A native of South Africa, he graduated is with a Computer Science degree from the University of Cape Town. He has Masters in International Relations from the Fletcher School at Tufts. He started Wicked Device when he became frustrated with the sealed / un-repairable nature of modern electronic devices. Leveraging off the Open Hardware movement Dirk wants people to be able to build and/or repair modern gadgets. When not trying to grow Wicked Device he can be found sailing around Cayuga Lake with his family or if raining locked away in his wood working shop.

Vic ApreaVic Aprea, Co-Founder, Wicked Device – Vic Aprea is the Co-Founder and CTO of Wicked Device LLC. He graduated from Cornell University with a BS (’02) and M.Eng. (’04) in Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE). His interests are primarily in Networked and Embedded Computing Systems, especially in the application of low-cost and low-power micro-controllers. When not computing (i.e. rarely), he enjoys spending time with his wife and pets, playing board games, consuming science-fiction books and movies, and playing drums and guitar.

Wicked Device, LLC

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Wicked DeviceWicked Device, LLC is an Ithaca, NY based electronics design and manufacturing company. With its roots in the rapidly growing DIY Maker movement, Wicked Device has a suite of products used to create embedded connected systems. In 2013 Wicked Device had a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign for the Air Quality Egg, an internet connected device that allowed anyone to monitor their local air quality and store results in the cloud. The release of the Air Quality Egg opened a whole new market for Wicked Device when others interested in developing their own Kickstarter campaigns came to wicked device for their design and manufacturing skills. Most recently Wicked Device has moved up the food chain and is now doing design and prototyping work for large corporations.

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Launch NY is a non-profit venture development organization with a mission to create jobs by providing guidance, mentoring and investments to help emerging companies succeed within the 27 counties of Upstate New York.