Incubated at Technoport, startup Airboxlab has developed its first product, the Footbot. This connected object, based on processing via the cloud, allows users to track air quality at home. With its first application in the “e-health” field, Airboxlab is now preparing to seduce the U.S. market.
« 85% of diseases are contracted as a result of our behavior and the environments in which we live »
Airboxlab’s mission is to develop intelligent – and connected – products that improve people’s health. Its first product, called Footbot, is a monitoring device for indoor air pollution. It embeds environmental sensors to monitor the sources of chemical and physical pollution as well as the balance between temperature and humidity in indoor living spaces. “With these tools, based on concepts driven by the Internet of Things industry and the combination of sensors and data processing in the Cloud, we provide a tailored service and quality monitoring of the environment in which users live,” says Jacques Touillon, CEO of Airboxlab. “Currently, only 15% of diseases are hereditary. The other 85% are contracted as a result of our behavior and the environments in which we live. We want to give users the ability to better control the quality of their environment.”
The challenge of combining software and hardware
« Luxembourg is a country with a global outlook and one from which we can easily expand our business on an international scale »
Delivery of Airboxlab’s technological services relies on hardware products. In terms of development, this combination requires carrying out longer and more complex phases of development compared with those required for pure player web services or software. For a startup, it’s a real challenge. “We can create a service and a business model in 3-6 months. By contrast, it takes 18-24 months to design a physical product. Between the two, you have the challenge of perfectly handling the hardware/software synergy. This is best achieved by deploying the early-stage version of the product and continuing to iterate and manage the relationship with users,” says Jacques Touillon. To ensure its strong development, the startup took advantage of the great benefits that come with working in Technoport’s environment and in Luxembourg. “From the beginning, our startup has had global ambitions. Luxembourg is a country with a global outlook and one from which we can easily expand our business on an international scale. This is one of the main reasons why we chose to be incorporated in and run our business from this country.”
Market-oriented expansion into the U.S.
After having successfully designed and marketed its first product, Airboxlab is continuing to expand. Its chief ambition is to remain the leader in providing products that analyze air quality via a “connected health” approach. “It is therefore necessary to develop other systems that contribute to the monitoring of health by connected sensors,” says Jacques Touillon. Airboxlab is beginning its international expansion by focusing its attention on the U.S. market. The maturity of the U.S. market for connected devices and big data offers huge potential for immediate growth. “We have done everything from the very beginning of our startup to be positioned and recognized in the U.S. market, even without a permanent team based there. From January 2016, we’ll move to the next phase and join Plug & Play Tech Center’s three-month acceleration program in Silicon Valley. We have already conducted road shows in the U.S. to introduce ourselves to potential partners. We will be able, in the coming months, to increase our visibility and be better identified by American VCs.”
Founders: Jacques Touillon, Founder and CEO
Company Size: 15 employees
Industry: Consumer Electronics