On a hot and humid summer afternoon in Houston, Sandeep Apsangi’s air conditioner failed. The experience was incredibly frustrating—he and his family had to wait a few days to get the system fixed, moving temporarily into a friend’s house for the time being.
But Apsangi knew it wasn’t an isolated incident. So he took his background in designing and developing HVAC systems and set out to solve a problem faced by millions each year.
Apsangi is the founder of HVACIntel, a Dallas-based startup that aims to revolutionize the way field installations are managed by contractors. The company began in late 2017 when Apsangi filed the first patent, but operations to market the product publicly started last December.
Apsangi himself is an HVAC expert. He currently works out of his home lab and all other team members—contractual experts in electrical, software development, cloud computing, and installation—are connected virtually.
The team has designed a device and patented IoT platform that uses data analytics to monitor HVAC systems, proactively detect operational issues, and prevent failures.
That way, home and business owners are able to avoid major inconveniences and replacement expenses.
“The device and platform proactively alerts the home-owner, contractors and businesses about problems with their air conditioning systems,” Apsangi says. “This leads to convenience to the end consumer, customer loyalty, and trust for the contractors and boosts future business by predictions, not by sudden failures.”
According to Apsangi, around 60 million HVAC units in the U.S. aren’t monitored or connected to the contractor and distributor ecosystem. Based on current product pricing, that translates to a roughly $7 billion total accessible market.
The founder believes he has the vision and ability to disrupt a legacy industry with HVACIntel’s new technologies.
He is currently bootstrapping the startup, but is going to be looking for angel investors to fund installation and development goals for the next couple of years. Apsangi says two customers are already registered with HVACIntel and three more are in the pipeline this year.
“We are just not an AC unit monitoring services provider,” he says. “In fact, we can play a vital role in every facet of the HVAC industry by delivering the value in terms of reliable comfort to the end consumer.”
You can hear more about Apsangi and his team’s plans in our Q&A. The installment is part of a new Dallas Innovates series in which we highlight some of Impact Ventures’ Spring 2020 Fellows. You can also read about Exgratias and Education PowerED.
“Since this is my first startup, being accepted to Impact Ventures cohort has helped us with the much needed educational and mentorship support to try and realize the goals and vision,” Apsangi says. “Honestly, the IV team and mentors have played a vital role in introducing and educating us on the key pillars for a startup’s success. We hope to build on this base and continue working with the IV team and mentors to meet our goals and succeed in our vision.”
Give a real world example of what HVACIntel can do.
During peak summer or winter, we see numerous examples of consumers losing their air conditioning suddenly due to failure of their AC system. If a consumer has an older HVAC system or a new system that has not been installed correctly, knowing the state of the system in real time, helps to detect issues and predict impending failure or predict if they need to budget for a new system in the coming months/years.
What would be success be for HVACIntel in the next year—and longer term?
Long term success will mean integrating complete HVAC market ecosystem under one platform: consumers, contractors, distributors and manufacturers, to promote transparency across the industry and deliver lasting peace of mind and comfort to the end consumers.
One-year success will mean close to 1,000 installations encompassing residential and commercial markets.
How did you name your startup?
If I have to predict failure of an AC system, we will have to first monitor it—get the data and then intelligently predict issues. This led to naming the startup as HVACIntel.
What is your mission?
Company mission is: Predict HVAC failures and not face them.
What opportunities do you see rising?
We see the following opportunities:
• Integrating the complete HVAC industry ecosystem under one platform.
• Connecting end consumers and contracting industry in a way that enhances the experience for both the parties.
What sector trends are you most excited about?
Smart home revolution and new technology introductions in the HVAC industry.
Has HVACIntel done any significant research and development?
Yes, we have conducted significant R&D in designing a cost-effective device that encompasses measuring minimum number of parameters to detect a failure. Work is underway to analyze installation data and develop smart algorithms to detect HVAC failures proactively.
What’s on the horizon?
We are exploring multiple markets: residential, commercial, and heavy commercial markets towards refining a go-to-market strategy.
Has the pandemic and social environment shifted your plans this year?
It has shifted for the better by opening other markets, such as commercial applications.
How might HVACIntel be able to help businesses or people right now in this fast-changing environment?
Our company can help businesses in making sure their HVAC systems are operating reliably and maintaining air conditions conducive to reducing probability of health concerns.
This Q&A has been edited for brevity and clarity.
Dallas Innovates is highlighting startups in Impact Ventures’ spring cohort, which aims to assist the underrepresented startup community.
Meet Exgratias, a Financial Platform for Entertainment Gig Workers
First up is Exgratias, a first-of-its-kind financial platform for the entertainment industry that helps contractual workers get paid quickly and effortlessly.
Meet Education PowerED, an Online Marketplace of Culturally Responsive Teaching
Education PowerED is behind a fast-growing educational movement designed to energize educators, empower students, and eradicate educational inequity.
Get on the list.
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