Tech start-up of the week: TracknStop

13 Oct 2014

Stephen Kehoe, co-founder of TracknStop

Our tech start-up of the week is TracknStop, an emerging player in the GPS technology space, which signals the end of the road for car theft.

TracknStop is an Irish company that offers customers a complete solution for vehicle security, combining and utilising high-end GPS technology and highly specialised software.

“The company combines hardware and software to stop a vehicle from being stolen, if it is stolen the vehicle can be stopped regardless of speed or location,” explains co-founder Stephen Kehoe.

Future Human

Kehoe said the software and hardware is discreetly installed under the dashboard of customers’ cars. 

“This is done in conjunction with authorities. However if the car is going below a certain speed you can stop it yourself. TracknStop offers full GPS tracing and pinpoint location accuracy, geo fences and much more.”

The market

Kehoe said that the market that TracknStop is targeting is global because car theft is pretty much a global problem.

“At the moment, we are currently targeting the consumer car market through white label partners.

“We are holding discussions with automobile associations and large scale security companies on three different continents.”

The founders

The TracknStop co-founders and directors have vast experience in a range of different sectors. 

Stephen Kehoe has a background in security, IT, tracking and also asset management. 

Michael Doherty is the CEO of Medicare and has an honours degree in engineering and pure mathematics. 

John Mullins is the CEO of Amerenco and Augmentis and also the ex-CEO of Bord Gais. He has a bachelors and masters degree in electrical engineering.

Francis Murray is the co-founder and marketing executive for Big Dog Digital and Tristan Fagan Guimond is the co-founder and technical director of Big Dog Digital and a technical evangelist.

The technology

Kehoe said that the technology in use is currently patent-pending in the US, Europe and Ireland.

“It basically controls the car through specially designed software and hardware, which can be fitted in half an hour by a qualified fitter. The technology controls the ignition and also the fuel supply through an app or any internet enabled device.

“The goal is for the product to get worldwide recognition as a life saving tool, to be in every car/vehicle in 10 years and for the car manufactures to come on board. 

“Currently, we are in closed beta and things are going great. We are speaking to numerous large scale companies over three continents and also a major US distributor. 

“We are in the market to raise funds now and to date we have self-funded over €300,000 to date,” Kehoe said.

Room to vroom

Kehoe said that TracknStop has dealt with many challenges along the way. 

“For what we want to achieve, the technology has never been used for anything like this before.

“R&D was expensive and self-funded. The trick is to keep on pushing and not to let things deter you. We have been very lucky to have been able to self-fund.”

Kehoe described the start-up scene in Ireland as currently very exciting.

“This country produces some great entrepreneurs but some of the products, including ours may be more applicable for highly populated countries like the US for example.

“We witnessed this first hand at the recent Web Summit Spark of Genius, which we were nominated.”

His advice to other start-ups is to keep pushing. “If it is a good idea now it will always be a good idea.

“Surround yourself with a great team, spend the money wisely if given any. Spend the money, effort and time on the product. The rest will follow.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years