Ksplice Wins Grand Prize of MIT $100K Business Plan Contest
First Software Company to Win Grand Prize Since 1998
Cambridge, Mass.—May 14, 2009—Ksplice, Inc., an enterprise software company that makes systems more secure, reliable, and maintainable through seamless updates, won the grand prize of this year’s MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition, taking away $120,000 in an awards ceremony on Wednesday night.
“We’re making those ‘You must reboot to install new software updates’ pop-ups obsolete,” said Waseem Daher, Ksplice’s COO. “Every layer of the data center—from your network router to your virtualization layer to your high-level application—currently struggles with updates and needs better technology for keeping software secure, reliable, and up to date.”
Ksplice is the first software company to win the grand prize since 1998. The winning company is chosen by a panel of distinguished enterpreneurs and venture capitalists, based on the strength of its business plan. Over the last twenty years, the MIT $100K Competition has led to the creation of more than 120 companies with a total of $12.5 billion in market value.
The idea for Ksplice’s technology was born three years ago, when Jeff Arnold, Ksplice’s President, was a student administering server systems at MIT. A new software update was announced in the middle of the week, and he decided to wait until the weekend to install it, to avoid disrupting the system’s many active users until a scheduled downtime window. Unfortunately, the delay was costly—an attacker took advantage of the unpatched system and broke in, forcing Arnold and others to reinstall the system.
“That got me thinking: why do we have to reboot to install updates?” Arnold said. He went on to tackle this problem in his award-winning MIT master’s thesis, which laid the groundwork for the Ksplice technology. Installing updates may be an inconvenience for individuals, but it has real financial cost for servers and other IT infrastructure. “The need is ubiquitous,” Daher said.
The Ksplice technology is currently available for the Linux operating system, though bringing it to other operating systems and applications is straightforward, Daher said.
For more information about the MIT $100K Business Plan Contest, visit www.mit100k.org.
Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Ksplice is an enterprise software company that makes systems more secure, reliable, and maintainable through seamless updates. Organizations use Ksplice Uptrack, Ksplice’s first product, to keep their Linux systems up to date and secure without the disruption and downtime of rebooting.