The proper name is “MEOW Global Networks”.
In the muggy Georgia spring of 2012 I was working on my senior design project. It was cool. I lead the avionics and experiment division of the Georgia Tech NASA USLI (Undergraduate Student Launch Initiative) team. We were making a magnetic levitation and dampening platform that, in theory, could be scaled up to provide a gentler launch capsule for satellites. As you can imagine, satellites today undergo quite a lot of stress during launch, wreaking havoc on their fragile precision instruments.
I’ve always been in to aerospace and loved the acronyms in the field. Some simple
HLV - Heavy Launch Vehicle
LEO - Low Earth Orbit
THAAD - Terminal High Altitude Area Defense
DAFT - Dust and Aerosol Measurement Feasibility Test
Others start to get a little ridiculous
ARTEMIS - Advanced Responsive Tactically Effective Military Imaging Spectrometer
SHOTGUN - Space Hardware Optimization Technology Ground Users’ Network
USA PATRIOT - Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism
COLBERT - Combined Operational Load-Bearing External Resistance Treadmill
Around the same time I was doing a lot of hacking on radios and getting more and more interested in another crack at the startup scene, which @mattcauble had originally introduced me to. I had an idea using software defined radios and whitespace spectrum to provide the developing world with cheaper web access. Noting that denizens of the web and startup scene seemed to share a particular affinity for felines, I decided on a simple name that would capture the technology while maximizing our appeal to potential customers and investors:
MEOW is a nested acronym standing for Multiplexed EDGE (Enhanced Data rates for GSM [Global System for Mobile Communications] Evolution) Over WCDMA (Wideband Code Division Multiple Access). Global networks because we of course wanted global reach.
I applied to Y Combinator, reasoning that while it was extremely unlikely that we would get in, I may at least get to hear Paul Graham, a man I have a tremendous amount of respect for, ‘meow’ at me.
We did in fact get in. However, after introducing us to the CEO of Deutsche Telecom while inadvertently making cat noises, PG demanded we change our name. Matt suggested Level, which I liked so we went with Level RF. Soylent was born out of the opportunity and perspective the entrepreneurial life afforded me, and I wanted to stay with Matt and YC so we kept the original corporate set up. Thus, our legal name and bank account still references MEOW Global Networks but we are now DBA (Doing Business As) Rosa Labs. Rosa was the street we lived on in Sunnyvale while in YC with myself, Matt, Dave, John, and for a time Julio.
I hope that explains the charge. And I still believe, that the future is MEOW.