The mission of Gecko Robotics is to improve the state of the world by helping the most important institutions ensure the availability, reliability and sustainability of critical infrastructure. Gecko's combination of wall-climbing robots, industry-leading sensors, and an AI-powered data platform give customers a unique window into the health of their physical assets allowing real-time decisions that prevent power outages, ensure military missions succeed, and help reduce energy costs.
Troy and Jake met in college at Grove City College outside of Pittsburgh. They lived in the same dorm, played sports together and enjoyed frequent conversations about the world. After initially bootstrapping Gecko, Jake and Troy reconnected and saw the same vision of building a robotics company to solve real challenges in the built world.
Jake was unfamiliar with Y Combinator before they applied. In the fall of 2016, Troy learned that Kevin Hale was scheduled to be in Pittsburgh promoting the next cohort. At the last minute Jake and Troy decided to meet him and were really interested in the vision he laid out for how Gecko could scale. At the time Gecko was making money but wasn’t yet focused on raising money or the traction it would take to turn the company into a scalable business. Kevin, Jake and Troy talked through that path and Jake and Troy turned in their application almost immediately afterwards. Going through the batch was formative for helping Jake and Troy chart Gecko’s path forward. As the batch was starting they were weighing an acquisition offer but, thanks in large part to the advice they were getting at YC, they decided to reject the offer and build the company together.
Yes. Mostly through interactions with Kevin Hale, Jared Friedman, Sam Altman and Jon Levy.
Jake built the world’s first wall-climbing ultrasonic testing robot in 2012. Soon after we were making money but weren’t sure on the path to scale. Going though YC was a key inflection point that lead us to our model for scaling Gecko. The decision to turn down early acquisition attempts and investments in favor of building the company we wanted build to was another key inflection point. Gecko turned down offers right before demo day from investors who didn’t want us to walk. We were getting incredible media publicity and were becoming more confident in our model. Fast forward to today and Gecko is closing deals with some of the biggest energy providers on the planet as well as global institutions like the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy.
Jake visited a power plant while in college. The owner talked about how assets at the plant just fail and the plant shuts down regularly and that was seen as just the cost of doing business. That seemed wrong to Jake. It made him think about the importance of the built world and how much we rely on physical assets to provide power, water, safety and other critical services. Yet at the same time they are aging and starting to breakdown - Jake thought he had found a problem hiding in plain sight. Jake and Troy talked a lot about that in the early days of Gecko and committed the company on a path to deploy advanced robotics to solve this critical problem that no one else seemed to be working on.
The long-term vision for Gecko Robotics is to transform the world’s most important industries that have been left behind in the digitalization movement. Gecko aims to be one of the first truly impactful robotics companies and prove that the best way to build incredible hardware and software is around solving real world problems and creating impactful outcomes for customers.