Jeremy Hitcocck with Gray Chynoweth

Jeremy Hitchcock, right, and Gray Chynoweth of Minim speak with a reporter on Sept. 4, 2019.

MANCHESTER — Dyn's acquisition by Oracle in late 2016 -- and the tech giant's decision to shed dozens of Manchester workers this spring -- might seem like the closing chapter for a homegrown success story.

For Dyn co-founder Jeremy Hitchcock, it represents the beginnings of a bunch of other stories he hopes will continue to resonate in New Hampshire and throw sparks in the state's high-tech community as his colleagues join other companies or start new ones.

Hitchcock's latest project, Minim, offers a great example. When Adored, a company founded by fellow Dyn alumnus Cory von Wallenstein, failed to find traction, Hitchcock recruited its engineers for his own 2017 launch.

"That startup didn't work so I inherited that technology team," Hitchcock said earlier this month when Minim announced its formal commercial launch. It also marked the arrival of Gray Chynoweth, a former Dyn executive who is now Minim's chief executive officer.

Chynoweth is one of several former Dyn employees who have joined Hitchcock to grow Minim, a 30-employee startup that has developed a cloud-based WiFi and internet-of-things security platform for “smart” homes. The company has $2.5 million of investment capital and a great location: upstairs from The Bookery, an Elm Street bookstore and cafe that is among numerous investments Hitchcock and his wife, Liz, have made in Manchester. Liz Hitchcock also is a co-founder of Minim.

Dyn was an internet performance company whose clients included Twitter, Netflix, Visa and Pfizer. The distributed denial-of-service attack on Dyn in October 2016, which targeted the company's customers and caused outages to internet platforms and services worldwide, inspired Hitchcock to found Minim.

"What Minim is doing is taking all of the complexity and sophistication that’s been developed over the last 15 years and incorporating it into a network environment and simplifying it and making it consumer accessible so that end-users, people in their homes, can feel secure in their internet environments," said Hitchcock.

A week after Minim's announcement, Jeremy Hitchcock's long-time friend and Dyn colleague Kyle York announced the public launch of his new company, York IE, an investment firm that is a partnership with two other Dyn leaders. York and his partners, Joe Raczka and Adam Coughlin, remained with Dyn after Oracle acquired the company. They left in July to start their own business focused on growing local startups and providing related services.

Both York and Hitchcock noted the presence of Dyn workers in other technology companies, including Fastly, a cloud computing services company based in San Francisco, and NS1, a software company based in New York City.

"It’s a bunch of clusters," Hitchcock said.

Some of the companies where Dyn employees are landing are considering opening local offices here, Hitchcock said.

"They’re looking at New Hampshire and this greater Boston ecosystem as a place where they are looking for talent. And where they can find the talent, they want to expand it. I think that’s great," he said. "Those executives, they go tell other people."

Hitchcock and and fellow Manchester native Tom Daly founded Dyn in 2001, when both were students at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Daly left the company in 2012. Hitchcock stayed on as CEO, growing the company to about 500 workers in several locations but mostly in Manchester. The West High School graduate left in 2016 shortly after the company attracted $50 million in investment from the venture capital firm Pamplona Capital Management and several months before Oracle acquired the company.

While interest from a global company like Oracle in a homegrown New Hampshire business makes a compelling story, don't expect them to move their corporate offices here. Smaller outposts in the Granite State are the more likely scenario.

"I don’t think we’re going to have these large multinational companies that are necessarily headquartered here," Hitchcock said. "But, hey, if they grow up to have offices that are 50 or 100 people, that’s a pretty good outcome."

Mike Cote is the business editor of the New Hampshire Union Leader. Contact him at mcote@unionleader.com or (603) 206-7724.

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Monday, December 09, 2019