This month we are spotlighting Dana Pousty, Co-Founder and CTO of SoLED. Based in Israel, Dana participated in the IsraAID-Pears Program Humanitarian Market Bootcamp & Pilot Fund 2021.
What is SoLED's story? SoLED was initially developed by Prof. Hadas Mamane, the Head of Environmental Engineering at TAU, and Ph.D. student Dana Pousty, a UV-LED disinfection specialist at the Water Tech lab led by Hadas. In the past five years, the lab deeply researched the UV-LED disinfection method and the developing countries' challenges with implementing proper water treatments. After developing the core technology and with the aim of providing continuous safe water for low-income countries, they decided to take it to the next level to bring the idea to life with experienced business professionals – Itai Arad, CEO, and Meir Morgenstern, a serial entrepreneur. After extensive months of translating the research into a product and business concept, they founded the company. Tell us about the technology. SoLED offers a “Safe Water Platform” (aka SWaP) – a unique end-to-end platform for water treatment in developing countries that combines three main components. 1. Disinfection – patented off-grid disinfection device 2. Remote control – IoT technology to enable remote control and monitoring 3. Quality analysis – proprietary sensor and algorithms for water quality visibility in real-time The disinfection device is based on a small portable water disinfection reactor, based on a patented UV-LED technology. The device can be connected to any standard pipe or filtration system to eliminate any kind of bacteria or virus to the highest standard with minimal energy consumption. In addition, its unique mechanical design allows off-grid operations which is critical in developing countries, and thanks to our patent we also overcome one of the UV drawbacks – organism regrowth in water storage tanks. The system includes a unique machine learning sensor that can measure and indicate the microbial water quality in real-time - replacing the existing technologies that require sending water samples to designated laboratories. Moreover, the IoT system that collects data from all the devices in the field provides real-time usage data and maintenance alerts to assure allows continuous operations, allowing to dramatically reduce maintenance costs and efforts. What markets are you targeting? How do you plan on entering those markets? Our solution is focused on addressing developing countries' poor water scenarios. As such, we are targeting the developing markets, especially India and Africa. Our penetration strategy is based on design partnerships with established companies who already have a strong market grab in those locations with complementary offerings such as energy infrastructure, water treatment facilities etc. What would you say about the impact ecosystem in Israel? We are very excited about the growing impact ecosystem in Israel. In the past year, we had the chance to meet and collaborate with various firms as well as participate in several programs that focus on impact and sustainability to help companies like us to build solutions that focus on doing good while establishing a successful business. It is thrilling to experience the growth of this ecosystem of great people who want to help one another. Dana, you are a PhD student and you are now launching your company as a CTO. Did you ever imagine yourself being such a young entrepreneur? Honestly, if you were asking me two years ago if this is something I am going to do in the short term, I wouldn’t say so. But the drive to solve this huge problem and knowing we are able to build the amazing technology to support billions of people to gain access to safe water didn’t leave me with a choice. I am working hard and learning every day from great people.