Justin Zhou, and his co-founders at Ivy Creative Lab, want to change the way your wash room looks and functions.
"Fifty years ago, no one knew what the microwave was but today there's one in every kitchen," he said. "Just as the microwave complements the conventional oven and stove, the BlueWave complements the washer and dryer. In 10 years, there will be a rapid plasma cleaning device in every home and we want the BlueWave to be at the forefront of that industry."
The BlueWave is a device that deodorizes and disinfects items that can be difficult or impossible to wash like shoes, down comforters and athletic gear in as little as five minutes. It can even clean medical devices and equipment, fully killing MRSA in lab tests.
"We created it because we wanted to create a paradigm shift in the way people can deodorize and disinfect their belongings," Zhou explained. "We wanted to create a level of convenience that's never been possible before. In addition to saving people time and money on their cleaning bill, there are 1.3 million cases of MRSA each year, resulting in 100,000 deaths. We want to make lives better and protect people and their families."
Zhou and his co-founders, Miles Clark, Kenneth Cherisol and Julius Regalado, are a well-oiled team at this point, having worked together at a prior startup where they wrote several patents. Now they are teaming up again to launch their own startup.
"Julius made the first prototype out of a kitty liter box to clean his wife's moldy boots," Zhou said. "We thought if we could make it ultra-convenient, then the average household could use it in their home, on RVs, boats or business trips. We have a proprietary infusion process using ozone to kill germs 3,200 times faster than bleach. Our process takes five minutes to accomplish what others take hours to do. The BlueWave also uses 1,500 times less energy than a washer/dryer cycle while eliminating water and detergent use. As a cleantech company, we are really big on protecting the environment."
Zhou's advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is do you homework and get ready to work hard. "Do a lot of research looking at the industry you want to be in," he said. "Talk to other people who have run businesses to see if it's really for you. No one realizes the amount of work and dedication it takes to turn an idea into a real business. Get ready for a lot of late nights and long hours, but at the same time it's tremendously rewarding."