We had the chance to catch up with 2018 Student Entrepreneur National Champion, Natalia Mykhaylova and where her business WeavAir is now.

Tell us about your business.

Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems represent one of the largest components of building energy usage and carbon emissions. HVAC makes up of more than 51% of building energy use and a lot of this energy consumption is a result of not having accurate real-time measurements. Furthermore, our buildings often have serious contamination issues, which are not just affecting the energy efficiency of the buildings, but also our health. In addition, many of the air filtration solutions on the market are also not effective resulting in a false sense of security and many serious building contamination problems. WeavAir built the world’s first device that harnesses environmental, mechanical and human metrics as well as predictive algorithms to manage ventilation, air conditioning, and purification systems. We provide actionable information to improve indoor air quality, save energy & streamline operations. We offer unparalleled insights and automation solutions to building owners, service & technology providers, helping them save time and money while creating new revenue streams. WeavAir has headquarters in Canada and operations in Asia & South America. We are currently recruiting.

Where did your entrepreneurial journey begin? Tell us about that first customer or first project.

WeavAir technology was inspired by the increasing evidence of the impact of air pollution on our health. Inspired by this problem, Natalia Mykhaylova developed a new low-cost device that can accurately measure air pollution. Many people approached her for advice on poor air quality in their homes and offices, which led her to start a company providing data. Customer interest grew, but business economics remained unfavourable. A deeper analysis of industry showed that there is a major untapped opportunity – many of the building HVAC (Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning) systems are mismanaged and can lead to costly failure, an insight that lead to the foundation of WeavAir.

How did you find out about the Student Entrepreneur National Competition? Did you nominate yourself or did someone nominate you?

Enactus student club at the University of Toronto encouraged me to apply.

You were 1 of 12 Student Entrepreneur finalists to be flown to Toronto to compete at the Enactus Canada National Exposition. Do you have any tips from your application? How did you make yours shine?

I would suggest focusing on the impact of your business – both financial and social – as show why you are passionate about it.

You did a great job presenting on stage – any tips to nail that presentation?

Practice presenting your idea every opportunity you get – every time you do it, you get better.

How did the Student Entrepreneur National Competition win help you and your business?

Student Entrepreneur National Competition was an amazing experience. I met great people and discovered new opportunities for the business. The event itself was very inspiring too as I learned about a lot of great projects going on throughout the country.

What were some highlights of the Student Entrepreneur National Competition for you?

Meeting talented and motivated people from across the country.

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

The company is a winner of the prestigious Clean50 Top Project (Toronto, 2018), Le Monde Smart City Award (Singapore, 2018), WeGo Smart City Secretary General’s award (Seoul, 2018) and IoT/WT Innovation World Cup (Barcelona, 2019). We have people all over the world interested in WeavAir and requesting our solution and ability to improve people’s lives is what drives us forward.

What’s next for your business?

We are currently growing our business in Canada and Korea. We are preparing for product shipments this year and also expanding the business in South America and Europe.