Yes, I know today everybody is building a startup to earn the profit, but I also know such people who do not fall under this category. And they are the waste management masters!
They're the Indian techies who landed up in the US with heavy bags and big dreams. It was in 2013 when the Indian engineer duo Saiman Shetty from Karnataka and Patrick Patel from Gujarat moved to the US to pursue their Master's in Science (Control Systems) from Arizona State University.
The pair had been determined, and in their last semester, they began working on an idea which was so unaccustomed that it eventually made its way towards success.
Unlike every other student, they knew what good and what right they wanted to do - to build a platform for managing waste collection which was pertinently named as Hygiea.
It is a waste management IoT platform founded in 2016, that aims at eliminating waste by way of waste management. These guys make technology to improve the efficiency of waste collection operations and reduce landfill waste.
Headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, United States, Hygiea was formed out of a simple entrepreneurial funda - "grab the opportunity". They found the present waste management system still archaic which has not been changed yet.
The daily process which involves the trash trucks visiting the half filled bins and the janitorial workers who waste time walking to the bins to check if they're full or empty are all inefficient. Yes, each one of us must have seen overflowing and unmanaged bins. Despite the implementation of the 3 trash bin system, most of the facilities provided remain far from contributing, ultimately leading to the problem of waste contamination.
With even more serious situation, hospitals also face a lot of problem in managing the waste. The founders stated that if this problem is not settled today, it will grow as the population increases.
This humanitarian and public issue became their personal matter of concern, leaving their profit motive aside and keeping the welfare for all on priority. And this is how Hygiea was born.
To combat this, a system was developed which runs the data collected from the waste holders through analytics engine optimising the collection schedules and routes.
On this, Shetty says, "The wastage of resources in picking up partially full or empty waste containers gave us the idea. Despite large trash-collection crews, bins are often overflowing, which is certainly not desirable. Workers have no feedback on whether bins are full or not, and they cannot plan their collection circuits effectively".
The product sensor hyThings TM is deployed in the waste bins that helps in reporting about their fullness to their cloud engine. Actually, not only the sensor helps in tracking whether the bin is full or not but it also assists in anticipating how much time is left before it requires emptying. With the help of status and analytics app, the waste collection workers double their efficiency that too using lesser resources. All this also helps the organisations to adhere better to waste collection regulations. The product which can be fitted on almost any bin, have been designed for janitorial applications using a unique combination of technology with low costs and delivery with super accuracy.
It is good to know that the same service is available even for the haulers and soon a technology will come into existence that will help the organisations to reach their zero waste targets more conveniently.
Currently, the venture charges an initiation fee for providing the sensor hardware, which is followed up by a monthly fee for the software service. To which Shetty says, "But once we start deploying in mass, we will hit the hockey-stick [curve]."
However, their belief in the idea was supported by a number of competitions and prizes they have won since, which involve...
#At an expo hosted by the Mayor of Los Angeles in December 2016, which is to recognise and honour the innovation and contribution of people towards bringing an impact on the life of the city, Hygiea was among the top five out of 150 teams.
#January 2017 brought a great start to the year where the duo won the prize of $10,000 among 86 participants in the Changemaker Challenge competition at Arizona State University.
#Hygiea has also been featured in Silicon Valley Business Journal magazine.
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#The product has also been the winner at Silicon Valley Business Competition, San Jose State University.
#Became winners at Edson Entrepreneurship Competition, Arizona State University.
#Currently, Hygiea is among the top 15 finalists out of 250 teams at the entrepreneurship challenges conducted by Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley.
Boosting up with all the motivation, Hygiea is now operating with the United States. The product has been inviting requests for the demo and purchase, and the venture is also open to volunteers for piloting our upcoming products. The team of two is also planning to bestow their product across Asia, Europe by this year end, considering India and Arabian Peninsula as two huge markets outside the US.
Saiman Shetty (left), the CEO of Hygiea who earned Master's degree in Electrical Engineering from Arizona State University has worked with companies like Tesla working in critical roles for high growth.
Patrick Patel (right), the CTO of Hygiea is a successful serial entrepreneur having diverse working experience in communication and sensing hardware.
Pooja Addla Hari handles the business development at Hygiea is an author as well as an entrepreneurship catalyst at Arizona State University's entrepreneurship and innovation wing.
Believing in the strength of the idea, Hygiea has received incubation offer of $150,000 from Plug and Play, which has incubated companies like Google, Dropbox, PayPal in their infancy.
As for now on the work front, Hygiea has hired an Indian company in Rajkot in order to jointly develop the software side of the product.