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The future of clean air

Air quality has become a growing concern over the last decade. Whether you live in a congested city, suffer from airborne allergies, work in an office or a factory, or like to run outdoors, you may already be aware when the air that you’re breathing is of poor quality. And with increased pollution and wildfires, the problem will get worse before it gets better.

From a young age, Jenessa Olson suffered seemingly random respiratory illnesses multiple times a year. Some of those illnesses even resulted in hospitalization. As she aged, Olson sought answers. By narrowing down possible causes through a process of elimination, she was able to pinpoint where and why she was getting sick and suffering allergic reactions. 

The answer was bad air quality.  

Olson discovered that bad air quality isn’t just limited to one type of building, one city, one country, or even one continent. Unhealthy air is a worldwide problem that exists in restaurants, offices, hotels, and even homes. And it affects more than just people with allergies.  

She thought that there had to be a way to make better air easier to access. Clean air shouldn’t be a luxury. With this motivation, ecologicca and its air-purifying technology were launched. 

The first industry that ecologicca approached was hospitality: hotels. Using its proprietary technology, the company collected data on harmful particles and toxins throughout the building, which showed how bad air results in disturbed and unhealthy sleep patterns. The next step was to install ecologicca’s air-purifying units to improve guests’ sleep and have a better experience overall.  

ecologicca’s air purifying system leverages the same air filtration technology that’s been used in the International Space Station for over 40 years. ecologicca’s hardware does the work of four regular-strength filters, which also releases germ-fighting hydroxyls that produce new and fresh air.   

With customer network help from Andrew Leest, Manager, Venture Growth, customers began contacting the company almost immediately. The connections that were facilitated by TechAlliance helped shape the company’s direction and how ecologicca’s products were communicated to other businesses. When the opportunity to apply for the i.d.e.a. FundTM was presented to her by Leest, Olson went for it and was successful.  

Supported by a $10-million Government of Canada investment, through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), the i.d.e.a. FundTM . It is led by Boundless Accelerator (previously Innovation Guelph) in partnership with five Regional Innovation Centres (RICs): WETechAlliance, Haltech, Innovate Niagara, Innovation Factory and TechAlliance of Southwestern Ontario. The program helps high-potential ventures access the tools they need to succeed by providing financial and business advisory supports to develop or redesign products, services, processes and technologies that reduce impacts on the environment and create made-in-Canada solutions.  

With i.d.e.a. FundTM and TechAlliance’s support, ecologicca is expanding its data collection monitoring and analytics, focusing on the environmental determinants of health. Using this data monitoring and collection, the team hopes to communicate this key information to increase awareness around air quality, and how to know when you shouldn’t be running outside, or when bad air quality exists in your home or office.  

The funding also supports investment readiness and business development, and Olson has been attending health and clean tech conferences across North America. At these conferences, she met countless industry experts and refined ecologicca’s pitch as an Internet of Things company.  

Jenessa and ecologicca have recognized the need to adapt over time, reinventing the business and finding the best strategy. From her initial venture to starting ecologicca, Jenessa is staying ahead of the curve and narrowing down the ideal opportunity to help the business grow and improve the future of air quality.

To learn more about ecologicca visit https://ecologicca.com/  

To learn more about the i.d.e.a FundTM go to https://www.techalliance.ca/i-d-e-a-fund/  

To learn more about FedDev Ontario, go to https://feddev-ontario.canada.ca/en  

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