Neverware’s ‘Juicebox’ Keeps School Computers from Becoming Obsolete

The education industry may be able to enjoy a new invention that will help them save thousands of dollars on replacing old, obsolete computers.

Neverware, a New York City-based startup, is offering a plug-and-play solution designed to boost performance of old computers for a small monthly fee, according to Marti Benedetti of Entrepreneur.com.

The new software was developed by Neverware especially for schools and education centers that spend tremendous amounts of money — in short supply in an era of tight education budgets — to upgrade their old computers.

The new solution is a large-computer-sized box called a “Juicebox” that can be plugged into schools’ old computers and make them operate like new. This cost effective way of boosting computers performance has a special appeal to budget-constrained schools who are committed to using education technology in spite of a difficult balance sheet.

Neverware was founded by Jonathan Hefter, who observed that most schools spend too much money to update their aging computer fleet. In 2009, he decided to develop software to help schools save money in a simple, efficient way.

Hefter, 27, came up with the idea for his business in 2009 as a senior at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Realizing that most schools might need to replace their computers every four years, he figured why not invent a device that could quickly and easily make a slow, outdated laptop fast and efficient. With this, Hefter joined a market for education software and services estimated at $7.8 billion by the Software & Information Industry Association.

Neverware began installing its software in schools in early 2013 and recently secured $1 million in a funding round from investors including Thrive Capital, Khosla Ventures, General Catalyst, Collaborative Fund, and Nihal Mehta.

Neverware currently has several clients within the New York Department of Education, contracting with individual schools by meeting with principals and district superintendents directly, and is looking into additional markets.

Neverware is looking for new markets for its innovative technology, going beyond education to potentially target small and large businesses.

Demand for the Neverware solution is huge, Hefter said, adding that they planned to sign contracts with five schools in the first half of this year. Hefter was wrong, though — they went into double digits, as Neverware’s solution appealed to schools looking to save, on average, between 40% and 50% in hardware and maintenance costs.

Neverware installs a powerful server that connects to a school’s existing computers, taking over the ‘heavy lifting’ and allowing the computers to run like new. Neverware’s pricing is based on affordable subscription model designed to fit into any school’s annual budget, according to Neverware’s website. Neverware takes just two days to update 100 computers.

Hefter said that computers will never slow during the contract period because Neverware controls all the equipment virtually and ensures the speed of the service increases in time to match the speed of the latest computers. The system is virtually maintenance-free for customers.