Envairo, a member of the third cohort at URBAN-X, helps offices maximize employee productivity while minimizing real estate operating costs. Gabriel Peschiera, who founded the company in 2016, talked about the origins of the venture.
What inspired you to start Envairo?
I’ve been working with buildings for the past eight years, specifically HVAC systems. I saw first hand how these systems underperform: freezing rooms, bad air quality, energy waste. I set out to solve these issues and found out that the data used to run HVAC can be used to determine how many people are in each room at a given time, a critical metric for architects and office space planners.
What is your main mission?
Envairo’s mission is to optimize the design and operation of office spaces. We optimize HVAC to make sure people are healthy and productive while ensuring maximum energy efficiency. We provide a unique window into how spaces are being used to inform interior design and space planning.
How did being part of the URBAN-X ecosystem help you to grow and develop your initial product and deal with the roadblocks you have faced so far?
The URBAN-X space has been our living laboratory, allowing us to constantly test our product in a real-world building environment. The Urban-X program has been critical for us to recruit our team and expand our network of friends and advisors while also connecting us to prospective early adopters.
A FUTURE WITH OUR PRODUCT IS A FUTURE WHERE OFFICE BUILDINGS ARE RUN MORE EFFICIENTLY & EFFECTIVELY.
—Gabriel Peschiera, Founder of Envairo
What’s next for Envairo?
We just launched our solution at the headquarters of Gensler, a leading global architecture firm. With our MVP built, we are ready to go to market, showcasing results from our first deployment in the URBAN-X space to validate the product in the eyes of prospective clients. Beyond driving our first sales in the next few months, we will be working to raise a seed round very soon.
What are the main risks you are facing in the future and how can they be mitigated?
Runway! Early sales always take longer than expected, as does closing a round of funding, so we will be hustling on both fronts and eating plenty of ramen.
With regulatory trends – such as the passage of energy disclosure laws in New York or cities’ motivation to become energy efficiency role models in a COP21 world – seemingly in your favor, how will Envairo harness its product to establish competitive advantage over potential new entrants in this growing market?
Energy efficiency is a significant part of what we do. That being said, right-sizing office space by using our occupancy metrics and ensuring work spaces are comfortable and healthy for occupants are actually bigger drivers for our clients. Envairo offers value for commercial real estate stakeholders in three distinct ways: improved worker productivity, energy cost savings, and real estate cost savings. The pull-through is there regardless of regulatory changes – though we welcome any policies that would provide a rising tide for all energy efficiency technologies. As far as competitive advantage, our technology enables us to offer a combined indoor air quality monitoring and occupancy measurement for offices at a cost that’s lower than any other solution.
This thought piece has been put together by the URBAN-X team; with research support from Felix Keser and Adrian Dahlin.