ALVI, the smartest furnace filter on the market, achieved crowdfunding success and is now in production. Since 90% of our time is spent indoors, the need for better indoor air quality was paramount. The team at Cleanair.AI was determined to address that problem and make a sustainable impact in the North American market, so they turned to crowdfunding for product and market validation. ALVI reached their goal, getting over $33,000 dollars in funding and over 140 backers.
What is Crowdfunding?
The loaded term of crowdfunding simmers down to people or organizations investing and contributing into an idea, important cause, or business. It’s a way of generating capital to stimulate the startup of an idea you want to support. Crowdfunding branches into subcategories such as peer to peer lending, donation-based crowdfunding, real estate and equity crowdfunding, along with human capital and reward-based crowdfunding.
Cleanair.AI used reward-based crowdfunding. Backers pledged money for the development of ALVI and can input their feedback for early validation. This form of crowdfunding empowers ideas and projects in the works, through support systems. While deciding on which crowdfunding platform to use for ALVI, Cleanair.AI’s team narrowed it down to two crowdfunding sites: Kickstarter and Indiegogo. It came down to the Arrow Certification Program that Indiegogo offers, letting you know that this technology is viable for manufacturing. For a startup like ALVI, having the Arrow Certificate added another layer of credibility for their early adopters.
When deciding on which crowdfunding platform to use, it’s important you do your research. The definition of crowdfunding has changed over the years, and there are many options to choose from.
FROM THE JUNE 2013 ISSUE OF INC. MAGAZINE
The crowdfunding campaign that launched on January 15th, hit half their goal in the first few days.With 146 backers the team hit 100% of their target goal with just a little over 15 days into the campaign. By the end of their campaign, they had achieved 107% of their goal, raising over $33,000 dollars.
Whether the purpose of an ALVI purchase is for higher air quality, catering towards a respiratory or special needs family member or adding to your smart tech advanced space, the user saves on thousands of added costs that regular filters would puncture you with. ALVI’s value proposition is to filter out 98% of household allergens and asthma triggers, while creating a savings of up to $200 in energy savings per year. It then connects to your Amazon Alexa, Google home, and your mobile app. This makes its benefits both unique and measurable.
The heart of Cleanair.AI is sustainability. This means 70% of the ALVI filter is composed of recycled materials, and with every ALVI purchase $1 is donated to a respiratory lead cause.
Co-founded in 2012 by Devin Ramphal, Cleanair.AI was established to address the frustration that comes along with air quality and those with asthma. And since sustainability is at the heart of the company, 70% of the ALVI filter is made of recycled materials.
Working with a Startup Accelerator
“In particular, the initial, one thing I suggest is having advisor support. Our Altitude Accelerator advisor, James Sbrolla has been guiding our hand since 2012 with navigating our initial business venture and continued to do so with Cleanair.AI”, cofounder and marketing director of ALVI, Michael Petgrave says. As an ex-general sales manager in the automotive industry, he highlights the crucial need for advisors and support systems for entrepreneurs.
As a small team of entrepreneurs, they were second guessing every decision made (with a limited marketing dollar to play with). Working with Altitude Accelerator allowed them to bounce initial ideas and receive real perspective from their advisor. Attending workshops, connecting with potential funders and creating strategic partnerships elevated their business, and helped Cleanair.AI reach startup milestones.
Cleanair.AI looks forward to 2019 and fulfilling all of the ALVI orders, ensuring those reach every customer, growing the ALVI community and the awareness of how important indoor air quality is. Their plan next is to enter the director consumer market or potentially enter the real estate development route.
ALVI creators highly encourage startups and entrepreneurs to join innovative hubs, attend business advising events, and reach out to an advisor for expert help to leverage and navigate an initial path venture. It’s about taking the measured leap of reinventing new ways of looking at known problems.