Above, from left to right: Elliott Richards, Edward Buckler, and Jack Greenberg of Hardware Team Outland chats with Matt Mikkelsen on Rev’s terrace. Photo by Alisha Tamarchenko.
Ithaca is a tight-knit community with a surplus of unique talent; personal connections can quickly turn into big impacts. This week, Entrepreneur in Residence Brad Treat helped Hardware Team Outland Analytics make an especially harmonious connection with local entrepreneur Matt Mikkelsen.
Mikkelsen, a sound engineer and documentarian, started his own audio and film company — Hayloft — in Ithaca to share his passion and skills. His particular interest is in noise pollution. Recently, Mikkelsen’s short film Being Hear won international notice at the Banff Mountain Film Festival. The film takes viewers on a journey to the Olympic National Park in Washington State, showcasing it’s unique lack of noise pollution to raise awareness about protecting our auditory environments. Being Hear has now been shared through National Geographic, and the film is on its way to additional festivals.
For the Outland team, someone like Mikkelsen is a critical business connection. Outland’s goal is to help park rangers and other people working to protect national parks identify trespassing, particularly illegal off-road vehicles. They recently shifted their focus from physical sensors to audio sensors; Mikkelsen’s unique expertise in noise pollution is exactly the input they need at this stage in their development.
The team sat down with Mikkelsen at Rev to talk about the challenges their technology faces, especially differentiating different types of background noise from their target noises. With this new connection in their network, Outland can now ring up an audio expert any time they have a question – a valuable resource for young product entrepreneurs.
You can hear Outland pitch alongside the other teams at Hardware Demo Day on August 10th. RSVP now – it’s free!