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How to get started in the business of saving lives

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Air pollution is taking the lives of over 7 million people a year according to World Health Organisation data. While in New Zealand we still enjoy access to pristine air, globally others are not so fortunate.

Dan Bowden and Ilya Vensky met while studying towards a Master of Commercialisation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Auckland. They are the co-founders, along with Air Guard Technology Director Jerry Mauger, of O2O2 – an organisation with a mission to create pollution protection which has cutting-edge performance, comfort and style. Traditional face masks have a host of issues such as fogging up glasses, smearing makeup and rebreathing of warm humid air. O2O2 calls their new generation pollution protection solution ‘facewear’.

Ilya Vensky experienced the effects of air pollution during the five years he lived in China. His personal experience has left him with a passion for finding a practical, accessible way to improve the lives of the millions in China, many of them children, who live daily with poor air quality.

For Dan Bowden, it was living in London that gave him personal experience of the impact that air pollution has on urban lifestyles. He has a dream of allowing people in polluted megacities to reclaim the outdoors and be able to enjoy their daily commute without fear of pollution impacting their wellbeing.

Through the use of technology from New Zealand company Revolution Fibres, Dan and Ilya saw a better way to create the next generation of pollution protection. Dan and Ilya were introduced to Revolution Fibres through their participation in the Master of Commercialisation and Entrepreneurship (MCE) programme at the University of Auckland’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Both speak enthusiastically about the MCE programme and the way that it has sharpened their awareness of the importance of using a design centred approach with the customer at the centre of everything as well as sharpening skills around market validation, protecting intellectual property and developing commercialisation strategies.

Dan says that he chose the MCE because “the world is moving quicker and faster so you’ve got to create business models and ways of thinking which enable you also to adapt quicker and faster.”

This entrepreneurial way of thinking is the way of the future as organisations adapt to the changing global business landscape says Ilya, and the MCE taught him “new business thinking”.

A key benefit of the MCE programme was exposure to a wide range of perspectives from the commercial and entrepreneurial worlds and the resulting diversity of thought which was shared. While participating in the MCE they had as their lecturer Adjunct Professor Dr Peter Lee, who is also New Zealand’s Chief Defence Technologist. Peter is now a valuable member of O2O2’s advisory board.

Design and development for O2O2 is driven by a desire to deliver the best customer experience and have positive impact on the lives of real people. With design and engineering based in Auckland and aesthetic refinements happening in New York and London, O2O2 employed a 12 hour design cycle to allow continuous feedback and product improvement.

There is a huge global opportunity for facewear so a challenge for O2O2 has been to find focused opportunities to bring their product to market. In looking at new markets, Dan explains that “you’ve got to take your presumptions away, start from scratch, listen a lot and then you can start to build up your strategy.”

Their go to market strategy has been to develop partnerships with organisations who can share their vision and focus on delivering a customised product to specific verticals such as professional athletes and the military. This vertical markets strategy will ensure O2O2 remains focused on continued product innovation and new opportunities to leverage their technology.

O2O2 received investment from BMW’s Mini brand based in Mini’s Brooklyn, New York based innovation space, ADO. Their strategic partnerships also include Revolution Fibres, Callaghan Innovation and in the area of respiratory science, AUT. An active officer of the US military has just joined the team.

So where will the future take O2O2? Data is an area that offers exciting opportunities for O2O2. Technology is moving rapidly to enable analysis of data from breathing to provide feedback on health and performance. In addition gathering data on the impact of air pollution is vital to finding solutions to this pervasive and life threatening problem.

Having the ability to proactively use air quality data will enable new innovations to be developed to ensure access to better air quality in the future. “If you think about it from a quality of life as well as an economic impact point of view” says Ilya “protecting people from immediate disability due to air quality is important.”

Learn more about O2O2

Learn more about the Master of Commericalisation and Entrepreneurship

 

O2O2 pollution protection face wear

O2O2 pollution protection face wear.

O2O2 pollution protection face wear

O2O2 pollution protection face wear.

social media

Air pollution is taking the lives of over 7 million people a year according to World Health Organisation data. While in New Zealand we still enjoy access to pristine air, globally others are not so fortunate.

Dan Bowden and Ilya Vensky met while studying towards a Master of Commercialisation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Auckland. They are the co-founders, along with Air Guard Technology Director Jerry Mauger, of O2O2 – an organisation with a mission to create pollution protection which has cutting-edge performance, comfort and style. Traditional face masks have a host of issues such as fogging up glasses, smearing makeup and rebreathing of warm humid air. O2O2 calls their new generation pollution protection solution ‘facewear’.

Ilya Vensky experienced the effects of air pollution during the five years he lived in China. His personal experience has left him with a passion for finding a practical, accessible way to improve the lives of the millions in China, many of them children, who live daily with poor air quality.

For Dan Bowden, it was living in London that gave him personal experience of the impact that air pollution has on urban lifestyles. He has a dream of allowing people in polluted megacities to reclaim the outdoors and be able to enjoy their daily commute without fear of pollution impacting their wellbeing.

Through the use of technology from New Zealand company Revolution Fibres, Dan and Ilya saw a better way to create the next generation of pollution protection. Dan and Ilya were introduced to Revolution Fibres through their participation in the Master of Commercialisation and Entrepreneurship (MCE) programme at the University of Auckland’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Both speak enthusiastically about the MCE programme and the way that it has sharpened their awareness of the importance of using a design centred approach with the customer at the centre of everything as well as sharpening skills around market validation, protecting intellectual property and developing commercialisation strategies.

Dan says that he chose the MCE because “the world is moving quicker and faster so you’ve got to create business models and ways of thinking which enable you also to adapt quicker and faster.”

This entrepreneurial way of thinking is the way of the future as organisations adapt to the changing global business landscape says Ilya, and the MCE taught him “new business thinking”.

A key benefit of the MCE programme was exposure to a wide range of perspectives from the commercial and entrepreneurial worlds and the resulting diversity of thought which was shared. While participating in the MCE they had as their lecturer Adjunct Professor Dr Peter Lee, who is also New Zealand’s Chief Defence Technologist. Peter is now a valuable member of O2O2’s advisory board.

Design and development for O2O2 is driven by a desire to deliver the best customer experience and have positive impact on the lives of real people. With design and engineering based in Auckland and aesthetic refinements happening in New York and London, O2O2 employed a 12 hour design cycle to allow continuous feedback and product improvement.

There is a huge global opportunity for facewear so a challenge for O2O2 has been to find focused opportunities to bring their product to market. In looking at new markets, Dan explains that “you’ve got to take your presumptions away, start from scratch, listen a lot and then you can start to build up your strategy.”

Their go to market strategy has been to develop partnerships with organisations who can share their vision and focus on delivering a customised product to specific verticals such as professional athletes and the military. This vertical markets strategy will ensure O2O2 remains focused on continued product innovation and new opportunities to leverage their technology.

O2O2 received investment from BMW’s Mini brand based in Mini’s Brooklyn, New York based innovation space, ADO. Their strategic partnerships also include Revolution Fibres, Callaghan Innovation and in the area of respiratory science, AUT. An active officer of the US military has just joined the team.

So where will the future take O2O2? Data is an area that offers exciting opportunities for O2O2. Technology is moving rapidly to enable analysis of data from breathing to provide feedback on health and performance. In addition gathering data on the impact of air pollution is vital to finding solutions to this pervasive and life threatening problem.

Having the ability to proactively use air quality data will enable new innovations to be developed to ensure access to better air quality in the future. “If you think about it from a quality of life as well as an economic impact point of view” says Ilya “protecting people from immediate disability due to air quality is important.”

Learn more about O2O2

Learn more about the Master of Commericalisation and Entrepreneurship

 


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