Eyebloc


Website: eyebloc.com
Twitter: @eyebloc
Founder: CJ Isakow

Overview

Eyebloc is a webcam blocking shield that slips over webcams, built-in cameras laptops, Kindle Fire Ipads, tablet computers, and the Xbox Kinect to block others from unwanted webcam spying. The webcam shield fits over cameras without any need for adhesive. [12] The product is printed with a 3D printer, and is now sold on Amazon and on the Eyebloc website. 

History

Headquartered in Washington, D.C., Eyebloc was founded on July 4, 2013 by serial entrepreneur CJ Isakow.  Isakow developed the Eyebloc webcam shield in response to the growing number of people concerned about and adversely affected by a lack of webcam privacy. Isakow built an early prototype of Eyebloc after a series of webcam privacy breeches caused public panic.  In 2013, Edward Snowden revealed the NSA’s surveillance tactics, a school district in Philadelphia was sued for spying on their students through webcams, and Miss Teen USA’s webcam was hacked. [6] To test if there was a market for webcam blocking technology, Isakow posted ads on blogs that told users, “You’re being watched.” He then linked the ads to a web site he created that offered a product to protect users from spying. He requested that users submit their e-mail addresses for more information if they were interested in the product. Isakow received so many requests that within days he found a designer to make a 3-D print of his plastic prototype, which he shaped like a shield. [5] Working out of the 1776 campus in Washington, D.C., CJ is now using the crowdfunding platform Indiegogo to fund the next version of EyeBloc. [6] 

THE SHARK TANK EFFECT

Prior to pitching Eyebloc on Shark Tank in Sebtember of 2014, Isakow followed the Lean Startup philosophy,  focusing on your customers, validating ideas, testing, iterating, and making changes quickly. He did not seek funding for his early product. [8] When Isakow flew to Los Angeles to pitch Eyebloc to a panel of inevestors including Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, he asked for $50,000 in exchange for a 10 percent stake in his company. [7]  Isakow walked away from the Tank with no funding, but a lot of exposure. Since appearing on the show, Isakow has received orders for Eyebloc from Russia, Switzerland, and Latvia. [12]


References

  1. "CJ demonstrates WalletBloc and how to protect our privacy and identity from electronic pickpockets"  Atlanta's CBS Morning Show

  2. Abha Bhattarai "CJ discusses protecting yourself from webcam spying and contactless pickpockets" All Tech Radio

  3. "A ‘Shark Tank’ appearance can lead to millions — but is it real?" Washington Post January 19, 2014

  4. Laura Evans "Laura Likes Eyebloc" Fox TV Washington DC March 18, 2014 

  5. Matt McFarland "Worried your laptop camera will be hacked? Eyebloc might be for you" Washington Post December 17, 2013

  6. Mike Chan "How to Go from Idea to Sales and Shark Tank in a Few Weeks — The Story of EyeBloc" Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) February 6, 2013

  7. Benjamin Freed "DC Inventor to Be Featured on 'Shark Tank' " The Washingtonian January 10, 2014

  8. Billy Mitchell "D.C. Entrepreneur Will Pitch His Webcam-Spy Blocking Device on ABC's Shark Tank" DCInno December 19, 2013

  9. Billy Mitchell "Eyebloc Sees Only Positives After 'Brutal' Shark Tank Airing" In The Capitol January 14, 2014

  10. Allyson Jacob "Behind the scenes on "Shark Tank" with a DC entrepreneur" Elevation DC Januray 14, 2014

  11. Meg Rayford "DC's Eyebloc Gets Eaten Alive on ABC's 'Shark Tank' " Tech Cocktail January 13, 2014

  12. Harry Alford "1776 Member Spotlight: Eyebloc Founder CJ Isakow Learns from 'Shark Tank' Appearance" January 16, 2014

  13. "Eyebloc Webcam Blocker - Stop Webcam Spying - As Seen on TV" Indiegogo