At the outset of COVID-19, Google ordered all employees to work from home and stressed the importance of air quality in these new workplaces. Google had done a great job of sealing offices to protect employees from the noxious smoke arising from the many wildfires that wreaked havoc in northern California in 2018, but those measures could not be replicated in the home.
Woosh Before Shark Tank
When Winston Mok, a Google product manager, considered ways to keep the air clean in his home, he realized that there is no way to see how clean the air is nor know when to change the HVAC filter. Change it too often and it’s wasteful; change it too seldom and you risk damaging the heater system. He also discovered that traditional low-quality filters do not attract and capture harmful bacteria and viruses. He was determined to correct those failings and improve air quality in all homes.
Winston has a degree in Engineering, Computer & Mechatronics from the University of Waterloo in Ontario and certification from the Project Management Institute, the world’s leading project management organization. He also has a history of successfully founding and operating start-ups, such as Simply Good Technologies and TechStars. Winston was well-suited to developing the smart air filter and establishing his company, Woosh Air.
Today, most homes use HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) filters to filter dust, pollen, pet dander and other small particles out of the air. The main purpose of traditional filters is to protect the blower fan from the particles that the return duct pulls in. Of course, the quality of the air is improved since those contaminants are prevented from being recirculated, but it is not the primary purpose of the filters to clean the air.
Winston left Google to build an air quality monitor and smart air filter that work together to automatically protect your home’s air with transparency and awareness of air quality as key. Like so many start-ups before it, Woosh began in a California garage.
What Is the Woosh Air Filter?
Woosh is a smart air filter that automatically monitors the air quality in real time and transmits the data, via WiFi, to a mobile app.
The filter consists of a sturdy, injection-molded frame filled with the specially designed filter media. Frame and media are sealed together to prevents leaks. The filter removes solid particulates and contaminants from the air and is rated MERV-13*, meaning it captures more than 50% of viruses and bacteria, including COVID-19.
* Note: MERV is the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value that measures a filter’s ability to remove particles from the air. Values run 1 to 20. Traditional filters average MERV-6. MERV-8 to 13 filters are recommended for homes. Higher ratings are for highly sanitized buildings, such as hospitals and pharmaceutical laboratories.
How Woosh Works
- Connect the Woosh air quality monitor to a smart thermostat.
- Install the Woosh filter.
- When the air quality declines, an alert is triggered.
- Air is actively filtered until it is clean once again.
- By measuring the quality of the air passing through the filter, Woosh automatically reorders filters as needed.
Benefits of the Woosh Air Filter
- Woosh transforms your home’s HVAC system into a smart air purifier.
- Via the Woosh app, you can see the quality of the air and the level of particulates.
- Sensors measure the life of the filter.
- Foldable filters are economical to ship and can be disposed of in an ordinary kitchen trash can.
Winston’s goal is to ensure everyone has the best air quality in their homes while providing important data to homeowners.
Woosh in the Shark Tank
|Shark Tank Air Date||10/14/2022|
|Season||Season 14 Episode 4|
|Pitch||$500,000 for 10% equity|
|On-air Deal*||$500,000 for 10% equity + $0.50 royalty|
Entrepreneur Winston Mok entered the Shark Tank with an ambitious proposition, seeking a $500,000 investment for a 10% equity stake in his business, Woosh. This valuation prompted an intriguing negotiation with Kevin O’Leary, who countered with an offer of the requested $500,000 but in exchange for a slightly higher 15% equity stake and the addition of a $0.50 royalty in perpetuity.
Winston countered Kevin’s offer: Stick with the initially proposed 10% equity stake but retain the $0.50 royalty. This allowed Winston to secure the desired $500,000 investment at his original business valuation of $5M. After deliberation, Kevin O’Leary agreed to this adjusted proposition and Winston left the Shark Tank with a new strategic partner.