Vebbu combines three booming areas – air quality monitoring, purifying and energy efficient ventilation. We develop unique system (IOT, Mesh network) compound by sensors, heat recovery ventilation unit and mobile application. 

How did you come up with the idea? What was the problem area you identified?

The CEO and leading engineer in the project Hrvoje Lasic has more than 15 years experience in the Heating, Ventilation and air conditions industry (HVAC). He has worked with users and frequently met with their complaints, got to know their needs. Initially the project started aiming to develop the best smart thermostat and heating control system on the market. Heating market however is very competitive. The idea for this particular type of heat recovery ventilation unit was suggested by a German consultant and industrial expert to us. What we did is to bring further intelligence to it, creating unique solution with very clear value proposition. Vebbu not only measures air quality, but also acts upon the measurement to assure that in any moment your indoor environment is good for you and your family.

As the project developed we did a lot of validation and research and figured out that CO2 level is actually the best indicator of living beings presence in a house. After entering the ventilation market we would like to expand our solution to heating control. And we plan all heating solutions to be driven by air quality parameters, which is the best way to optimise not only ventilation but heating as well.

What happened so far? What are the milestones that you have reached?

We have had to build pilot projects for our sensors and backbone system in Croatia. In 2016 we were accepted and successfully graduated from Rockstart Accelerator Smart Energy program. By this we got our first formal, pre-seed investor. We got incorporated in the Netherlands, which is also the most developed market for heat recovery ventilation in Europe.

During the program we managed to gain as advisory board members two outstanding industrial experts – Joris Jonker, founder and ex-CEO of Quby smart, the company behind Europe’s top 3 smart thermostat Toon and Loic Driebeek, formal CEO of SHV Holdings NV.

We also managed to have our first pilot projects secured – in the Netherlands with Quby and in Ireland with partner called Energy Awarness and we are in negotiation with several more partners.

In terms of product for Rockstart Demo Day we reached the milestone to have 3D printed prototype of the heat recovery ventilation unit.

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What are your next goals? Any long term plans?

To be able to get our solution ready for the market we should make number of laboratory tests and certifications. To cover this final step in order to launch the product we are fundraising.

Hardware business is much harder to start with, due to the high initial cost, however on longer run can secure substantial margins. The market we are in – of heat recovery ventilation has been growing double digit, especially in Europe due to very favourable legislation. We are confident we have very attractive deal to offer to our investors.

In longer term we start with European Market – the Netherlands as most Developed, Ireland and UK as fastest growing (according to 2015 market figures) and Germany as biggest market. We are also thinking to adapt the product and launch US market next.

vebbu-team

Describe your team!

We are very diverse team in all aspects – gender, age, nationality. We operate in four countries in 2 continents. The idea owner and CEO is our most senior member. On board we have a very young designer team, that already won 3 Red Dot awards, a serial entrepreneur in charge of business development and a young but genius IOT expert.

 

What makes you rocket? 

Customer feedback – every time we present people from the audience will come and ask when will they be able to buy our solution.

Also we work great as a team and not less important have fantastic time in all occasions we are in the same country.

What was the biggest difficulty in your business that you had to cope with so far? What are the areas that are the hardest to handle as a startup?

When the financial resources are very limited (and in startup life they usually are) team becomes most crucial. We had the challenge of one founder who left and that was a threat for the project, but we not only managed to stand up, but also learned how to do things even better, more efficient.

Pivoting fast enough is sometimes a challenge, but we have coped with this very well so far – our brilliant engineers never fail to find alternative, better solutions whatever the need/issue might be.

The biggest thing for us in this stage is to bring our first product to the market.

How do you see the startup ecosystem in your region?

We come mostly from CEE (Croatia, Hungary). The region is developing and there are a lot of talented people – engineers, developers, designers. What is missing is what Rockstart meant to us – a network of over 200 industrial experts, serial entrepreneurs. People who not only have succeeded in their businesses but did it several times. In CEE the few who did succeed are really still in the region, it makes it harder for the ecosystem to grow.

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