Notion Gives Homeowners Peace of Mind from a Distance
Brett Jurgens, CEO & Co-Founder of Notion, was inspired to create peace of mind for homeowners after receiving a call from Co-Founder & CTO, Ryan Margoles, who came home from work one day to find his dog spooked by a smoke alarm. During the call, Jurgens and Margoles resolved to create a smoke alarm that could send alerts to users anywhere. The two moved forward and conducted market research, which revealed that homeowners wanted to monitor other things like water leaks and opening doors in addition to smoke alarms. “People had different monitoring needs and desires,” Jurgens said, “and the use case turned into making the user experience for the whole home—emergency situations, but also casual stuff.” After Jurgens and Margoles quit their day jobs in 2014, broadened their horizons at Techstars, and got customer validation from a successful Kickstarter campaign, they shipped the first version of Notion in 2016.
Today, Notion sells an Oreo-sized sensor that can be placed around the home to monitor a variety of household changes such as opening doors, temperature changes, water leaks, and sounding alarms. Using Notion’s app, customers can check the status of their house in real time and customize alerts to monitor what is most important. Notion launched their second-generation device in 2017 to introduce better range, battery life, and durability than their first device. “Getting that second-generation product really gave us the confidence to grow and scale the company,” Jurgens said. Since improving the device, Notion has been active in forming meaningful partnerships.
“A lot of stuff in IoT right now is fluffy,” Jurgens said, “and we want to continue to add meaning and purpose in our partnerships to help people be proactive in helping their families.” Notion has partnered with three of the top five home insurance providers in the country to offer a cost-effective mitigation system, which has proved to be quite effective. “Of all leaks Notion has detected, not a single person has filed an insurance claim,” said Jurgens. “Notion has effectively helped homeowners mitigate water damages in 100% of those cases, saving homeowners over $1 million to date.” The company has also partnered with Nest to allow customers to control Nest thermostats using Notion’s app, which can recommend thermostat adjustments if Notion senses an open window while A/C or heat is running. Most recently, Notion partnered with Home Advisor to connect customers to plumbers the moment a leak is detected. “We were so excited about the Home Advisor integration because it’s so purposeful—as soon as you have a leak, you just want to get it over with,” Jurgens said.
Notion continues to provide real-time peace of mind for homeowners away from their home and helps mitigate property damages, and the Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network is thrilled to assist Brett and his team. “I’ve had a lot of mentor experience now and I think there is a hesitation sometimes where people don’t want to hurt your feelings,” Jurgens said. “The group that BEN put together was applicable and correct in some of their assessments and feedback, and that’s where I’m going to grow.”