Business Startup Spotlight: uHoo

Uhoo

uHoo can detect the air quality and check the chemical composition, dust, humidity, air pressure, carbon monoxide and more resulting in a healthier home and workplace.

Uhooo

Dustin Jefferson Onghanseng, Co-Founder

Name: uHoo

Location: Singapore

Website: https://uhooair.com

Product / Service Offering: Indoor air quality sensor

Co-founder Interviewed: Dustin Jefferson Onghanseng

Other Key Management Team Members: Brian Lin

This article is part of our Business Startup Spotlight series featuring entrepreneurs and their companies. We hope that these founders’ interviews will inspire and motivate you as you undertake your own entrepreneurial journey.

Tell us a little about yourself with a focus on what motivates you.

I’m not a fan of rules and norms. I like doing unconventional things and experimenting on things. Building a sustainable future and using technology to help people be healthier motivates me.

When did you establish your uHoo, and where did the idea originate?

Uhoo

Brian Lin, Co-Founder

We got idea in the dorm rooms during our MBA program at HKUST. The school dorms and buildings had awful air quality, and we often got sick. My co-founder, Brian, and I were particularly sensitive because we had asthma and hay fever, respectively.

uHoo came from solving our own problems! We pitched to different MBA competitions globally and have won a number of awards. Seeing that it had legs, we decided to drop our classes in 2014, incorporate the company and work on uHoo full time.

5 Steps from Concept to Startup

What need or needs does your company seek to fill for its customers?

We take 20,000 breaths each day. Unless we have a problem, we don’t think about what we’re breathing in and how that air might affect our bodies. uHoo can detect the air quality  and check the chemical composition, dust, humidity, air pressure, carbon monoxide and more.

We provide users information and knowledge to be more proactive in managing and creating a healthier home and workplace.

What is the one thing that sets your company apart from its competitors?

With eight measurable components, we have the most number of sensors in any one device.

What was the biggest challenge you faced while getting your company up and running, and how did you overcome it?

The biggest challenge is funding. We have a hardware component. The upfront capital is massive and can’t be compared to other software or app-based startups. We overcame it by throwing all our savings into the company, inspiring engineers to join our team with minimal to no salary, and then we just sat down and built the product. We eventually raised a small round of funding that was sufficient to complete the R&D.

Giving Away Startup Ownership: How Much Is Too Much?

What resources have you utilized that other founders might find compelling or useful?

Government grants are useful for short term capital needs. They are usually small, but they can help get you by for a month or two. We have also partnered with Kickstart Accelerator.

What steps have you taken to secure funding for your company and what, if anything, would you do differently if you had to start over?

We just had to reach out and talk to investors. What I would do differently is raise a larger round of funding in our first round instead of raising a small round.

What challenges, if any, are you grappling with?

Lack of funding to scale and meet our market demand.

Are you familiar with other startups you believe should be spotlighted? If so, we would like to hear from you.  Tell us about them in the comments below!

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Sandra Sloan

Sandra has previous supply chain and business operations experience which she is leveraging as an author with FundingSage focused on spotlighting entrepreneurs and their startup efforts.