Best Projects 2018 features all the nominated entries submitted to the Youth Citizen Entrepreneurship Competition under ‘Submit your Project’ category. All the entries consist of innovative projects run by existing enterprises in the form of businesses, NGOs or informal programs. If you want to know the 10 finalists in this category click HERE
Explain your project in details:
Systems for ensuring clean and infection-free spaces are critical especially now. Many of the air filtration solutions on the market are also not effective resulting in false sense of security and many serious building contamination problems. There is also evidence that when not optimized, air conditioning systems can accelerate the spread of infection within the building. Ventilation and cooling systems failure and contamination can lead to safety hazards as well as downtime, costing owners and managers billions of dollars due to declined productivity, repair costs and liability costs. Solutions on the market lack the ability to make accurate & real-time recommendations because of limited metrics tracked, lack of ventilation system monitoring & lack of accuracy. WeavAir offers continuous data-driven solution composed of plug & play multi-sensor IoT devices that measure 20 different metrics at 95% accuracy and predictive software to enable fast & accurate decisions and autonomous systems. WeavAir helps operators save up to 30% of operation and maintenance costs, save up to 60% of energy, and make better decisions to control of the spread of airborne contaminants and infection like COVID-19 while reducing liability and downtime. The ROI of the system is less than 2 years and can save over US$ 300K per installation per year. WeavAir developed sensors and algorithms that track the spread of contamination and infections inside buildings, transportation and infrastructure. Our product also tracks space occupancy to help implement safe distancing measures, while controlling the environment, including temperature and humidity to avoid spread of infection.
Impact of your enterprise on sustainable development
Social impact: An HVAC system failure is particularly significant in healthcare institutions, such as hospitals, where building air distribution systems are often operated in overdrive and occupants are already immune-compromised. This results in over $45 billion in annual direct hospital costs in the US alone. This issue has a large social impact. Our long-term aspiration is to reduce impact of pollution on health and prevent disease development. We would like to build a movement and increase public literacy about air pollution and offer air pollution analytics to governments to help inform better urban planning and building design decisions. Environmental impact: According to conservative estimates, WeavAir technology can contribute to reduction in energy use intensity by at least 80 kBtu/ft*yr. Deployed at scale, our technology can result in over 11 MMMBtu (11 Billion BTU) reduction in energy consumption each month. Economic impact: Healthcare institutions such as hospitals are spending large amounts of money on energy and technologies that manage contamination issues and equipment failures. Hospitals can protect their bottom line by being more energy efficient, which would also propagate to reduced government spending.
Sustainability and future plans
The revenue model is recurring and involves subscription plans for sensors and analytics. We are going to market by selling devices to building service providers. Because they own and operate the HVAC equipment, they often incur significant costs in fixing it (>$400K in labour costs alone). They told us that WeavAir solution would help them save time, money and can ultimately be used as sales tool for better and more energy efficient equipment. They would also serve as channel to get WeavAir technology installed in a diverse network of facilities. We have identified that building service providers, which work with healthcare organization, are particularly interested in our solution. The global market opportunity for WeavAir is large: $16B for sales of sensor modules and $28B for sales of analytics subscriptions. The market is growing at 13.4% CAGR. Our long-term goal is to position the device as a standard tool for monitoring compliance with green building standards and in the future a required technology to be installed in buildings according to building code. We are in conversations with regulatory authorities to certify our solution as a standard method to validate compliance with building code and green building standards. Our technology is also very scalable to other markets such as industrial systems and vehicle cabin air systems.
Your profile as an entrepreneur
Natalia Mykhaylova (age 33) has background in technology, business and life science. She has a BASc in Pharmaceutical Chemistry, PhD in Chemical Engineering, BASc in Chemistry as well as design background. She has 10 years experience with sensor and IoT product and algorithm development as well as product manufacturing from concept to tested product at scale. She also has experience with analytics, algorithms and data processing. She founded companies in Canada, South Korea and Hong Kong. She worked in business development in these geographies as well as in Taiwan, Chile, Netherlands and Austria and has direct connection with customers across industry sectors, particularly in traditional industries like real estate and HVAC system solutions. She has experience with sales and adapting tech for industrial, healthcare, commercial and transportation systems. She has been named Corporate Knights Top 30 Under 30 in Sustainability, Clean Top 50 Emerging Leaders and received over 15 awards.