We all know that clean air is paramount to good health, but monitoring our environments for hazardous conditions has not been something the average person could easily do.

Wearables can track heart rates, sleep cycles, steps, and even blood oxygen levels. However, these devices focus on what is happening inside the body but very little on what is happening outside.

This problem inspired a group of rising seniors to build an affordable portable solution in the eLab Summer Accelerator Program. Over the last ten weeks, the team has developed a low-cost wearable that can monitor personal atmospheric conditions.

Their company Boreas strives to empower users to improve their wellbeing by increasing environmental awareness and providing instantaneous and long-term tracking of pollution exposure and health risks.

This motivated foursome has used their time in the eLab to advance their technology, understand what it takes to be an entrepreneur, and develop the skills and knowledge required to create successful ventures.

One advantage to developing a business venture in the eLab is access to advisors and mentors to help teams understand the skills needed to succeed. For example, the Boreas team is mentored by Keller faculty member Dennis Strigl, former president and chief operating officer of Verizon Communications. 

Team member Alkin Kaz feels Stigl’s mentorship goes above and beyond the norm. “He has challenged us with questions that helped us hone our focus—to understand our target customers better, the value of our product, and the most effective ways to get our devices out into the world,” said Kaz, “but moreover, he makes us feel that our success is valuable to him and that he is part of our team.”

Mentorship is a vital part of Keller’s eLab program and a valuable resource for anyone building a new venture. More often, the relationships and experiences are mutually beneficial. “It has been a great pleasure to work with the Boreas team this summer. They have studied the market, examined the competition, tested pricing models, and simultaneously moved from product concept to a working prototype. There is no doubt in my mind that the Boreas team and their product have huge potential.” said Strigl.

As the team wraps up their final week in the eLab they are putting the finishing touches on their pitch deck and readying for the upcoming Demo Days. After which, they can take a deep breath before embarking on the next steps for their impactful, innovative technology.