Adding Zinc to the mix
Louise is feeling galvanised
We’ve covered nitrogen dioxide, particulates and ozone in this blog; now for an element you didn’t expect when it comes to air pollution: Zinc. Louise is going to be joining Zinc venture builder next week. Zinc runs missions: they bring together people from different walks of life to tackle big societal problems. The mission for Louise and her cohort for the next six months and beyond is to create healthier environments.
In the manifesto for the programme - the thing that got Louise hooked - it describes how air pollution affects every organ in the body and contributes to 7 million premature deaths globally. It also connects air pollution to tackling climate change and the challenges of urban growth. They want founders to build commercial businesses that could ultimately scale up globally - and a healthier environment is truly a global challenge.
It takes all sorts
As we’ve learnt through our time writing this blog, air quality comes with so many angles. And so the group of Zinc co-founders brings a huge range of experience: doctors, engineers, software developers, marketeers, industrial designers, chemists, product designers, strategy consultants, sustainable financiers and social impact entrepreneurs. We’re sure that this combination will bring huge creativity and problem-solving skills to the multi-faceted issue of tackling air pollution.
Meanwhile Sacha has also been getting a taste of how the private sector is responding to the need to tackle air pollution. Last night he attended a pitch day for the latest Breathable Cities group of air pollution start-up companies. These companies are ahead of where the Zinc cohort is, and are ready to scale up and attract more funding.
Eleven companies presented some amazing products and systems, everything from Persium who are developing Digital Twin air pollution models of cities to Aerlusive, who measure indoor air quality and using machine learning, can help predict and reduce hospital admissions due to asthma attacks. Two other companies also had particularly interesting products: Climate Maps use satellite analysis to actually measure CO2 and pollution rather than relying on emission estimates from governments, and Enjoy The Air (ETA) who provide true data to enable the risk of air quality to be quantifiably linked to financial and physical health. Sacha left the event not only full of pizza (it was a start-up pitch day, after all), but also full of hope an excitement for these new companies as they tackle air pollution.
Friday 13th should be lucky for us, as we have all the permissions in place (and believe us, there have been a lot…) to install the node tomorrow afternoon in the grounds of St Matthew’s church in the centre of Brixton. Going up a ladder? with electrical equipment? on Friday 13th? We’ll be fine… risk assessment has been fully completed!
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