The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many to stay in their homes for months on end while working to keep germs from spreading. David M. M. Taffet has a response to that.
Taffet relocated to Fort Worth to launch a new high-tech consumer goods startup, Petal. Its first product was invented to stop the spread of germs—a timely launch considering how important cleanliness is during the time of COVID.
The first product, named after the startup itself, is “the world’s first zero-odor, germ-freezing waste bin.”
Petal was designed by aerospace engineer Primoz Cresnik. It can fit anywhere in the home to stop rot from occurring and smells from spreading. The technology efficiently freezes waste solid in under 35 minutes. Cresnik serves as the chief process officer, a role in which he hopes to push the limits of what’s possible as an entrepreneur.
He began a life hack project to solve their problem of storing waste effectively, now known as Petal.
Petal’s goal is to eventually become the go-to home solution for a number of problems, such as rotting food scraps, dirty diapers, hygiene products, and home composting. The frigid temperature ensures that nothing leaks or sticks to the reusable plastic pail, eliminating the need for landfill-clogging, single-use plastic liners, all while isolating germs in a natural and clean way, according to the startup.
Having launched several ventures in past recessions, Taffet is no stranger to launching businesses during difficult times. He has 30-plus years of experience with starting business ventures, developing commercial partnerships, and serving as a consultant and manager to several companies. So he decided to launch Petal in his new home of Fort Worth.
“Fort Worth made perfect sense for us,” Taffet, who is CEO of the company, told Dallas Innovates. “Over the course of almost six months, the Chamber of Commerce has played an influential role in my decision to establish Petal’s headquarters in Fort Worth. There’s no other place we’d rather be.”
After relocating from Oxford, Ohio and making the 1,000 plus mile journey south to set up Petal’s headquarters, Taffet found that launching the startup during a pandemic was the perfect timing for this type of “category killer” product launch, despite the uncertainty of the times.
“I knew that the biggest hurdle in launching Petal would be educating everyone as to why they would want to take on this new technology, this new approach to get better, healthier homes. The pandemic solved my problem for me,” he says. “Now, everyone understands we’re in quarantine and they know why you want to quarantine. They understand why that stops the spread of germs and why the spread of germs is bad.”
Using less than $1 a month of electricity, Petal cleanly and efficiently isolates germs in an eco-friendly way, perfect for keeping homes and businesses hygienic.
With an already positive response to Petal and pre-orders launching later this summer, Taffet is bullish about the product and its success. He plans to eschew the traditional VC funding route, instead closing out a seed round of financing and preparing for a crowdfunding pre-sale event.
“Petal’s innovative patent-pending use of freezing technology will supplant traditional disposal methods while reducing plastic pollution from single-use trash bags,” Taffet says. “We are on a mission that matters-to solve real problems and address real needs in people’s homes, business and the environment.”
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