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David Kahn, CEO of the six-employee Mountain View (Calif.) company, which develops software that allows communication between fire and police departments and other first responders:
Late last year, the founder of the technology company DARTdevices approached me to see if I was interested in investing or joining the company. At the time, it was building a controller to manage all of the different equipment in a person's home. They were having discussions with companies like Sony (SNE) and other electronics companies, but weren't getting a lot of traction.
Soon after that I was watching the news, and it was showing fire trucks pulling up to a burning building. It involved multiple fire departments, and when they drove up, they met to swap walkie-talkies before entering the building. And I realized that software to provide interoperability between communication systems still didn't exist. I joined the company, and now we're a pure software company, focused on collaboration and security.