The Israeli air quality measurement startup attended the Summit as a special guest of the U.S. Department of State. An interview with Founders Ran Korber and Ziv Lautman.
The buzz this week was all about President Obama’s trip to Kenya. But not everyone knows that Obama’s entourage included Ran Korber, Co-Founder and CEO of Israeli startup Breezometer, who was a guest of the U.S. Department of State.
“It was really a once in a lifetime experience,” says Korber of the event, the 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) in Nairobi. “There were about 1000 people at the event, from 120 countries. I found myself sitting at panels with the CEO of Airbnb on one side and rapper and entrepreneur Akon on the other. There was a panel in which the questions were asked by none other than Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and President Obama! It was a real privilege to be a part of such an event.”
“One of Kenya’s aspirations is to be ‘the next start-up nation’, and this was a recurring theme at GES. So I was often asked ‘What is it that makes Israel so successful as ‘The Startup Nation’? This, together with the fact that air quality and pollution is a concern in Africa, created a lot of interest around BreezoMeter,” says Korber.
Breezometer was selected to the Summit following a wave of international recognition. The company emerged from a field of more than 600 startups from 38 countries to win the 2014 Startup Open, by Global Entrepreneurship Week, and was named one of the “20 hottest in the world” by American cable news network CNBC.
The company is also quickly advancing on the business front, having just completed a US$1.8M round of financing led by Entrée Capital and Launchpad Digital Health. “The financing round was completed on the day before the GES event, so it was a great week for Breezometer,” concludes Korber.
We also spoke with BreezoMeter Co-Founder and CMO Ziv Lautman, to understand more about the company’s business direction. “We just entered China, and are active in the U.S. and London, and soon will be available throughout Europe.” But the main source of revenue and growth for the company is not through the app available to the end consumer, but through organizational consumers like health companies who need more detailed information on air quality to better serve their patients and customers, as well as municipalities and governments, as BreezoMeter provides Smart City solutions to better understand air pollution patterns and sources.
BreezoMeter’s mission is to improve the health and quality of life for billions of people worldwide, by providing accurate air quality data for consumers and businesses in a format as simple, intuitive and actionable as weather data.
Oded Distel, head of Israel NewTech, the government program dedicated to promoting Israel’s cleantech industries, congratulated the BreezoMeter team on the latest honor: “It’s telling that the only Israeli representative at GES is from the cleantech sector, and is evidence of the creativity and drive of Israeli cleantech entrepreneurs. We’re excited to see BreezoMeter’s successes and will do all we can to help them continue to make strides internationally.”