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    Date submitted
  • 18-Feb-2018

Sulis

Abstract

Sulis’ vision is to manufacture and distribute a series of solar ultraviolet light-induced sterilization (SULIS) devices in rural areas of developing nations affected by neglected tropical diseases and in developed regions affected by natural disasters to provide sterilized water for communities in need.

Additional Questions

Who is your customer?

Within the United States, we intend to begin operations in Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico is an ideal location due to the minimal relief it received during the most recent hurricane season, which has left the inhabitants of the island with an immediate need for sterilized water. In addition, the island’s hot and sunny climate and extended daylight ensure that solar ultraviolet light will be effectively harnessed. After establishing our presence in Puerto Rico, we will then expand our enterprise into the mainland United States, with an emphasis on disaster prevention rather than disaster relief. On the international scale, we intend to begin operations in the Presidency Division in West Bengal, India. West Bengal is an ideal location given its generally hot and sunny climate and extended daylight, so solar ultraviolet light will be effectively harnessed. Furthermore, during the monsoon season, our water container will serve as a rainwater collection vessel, so that the rainwater, which is usually potable, will mix with the sterilized water already in the container, thereby decreasing both dependence on a contaminated water source and exposure to pathogenic species. Given that the majority of West Bengal’s population lives in rural communities, we intend to work with the local governments, the village panchayats, to coordinate the implementation of our device on a large scale, to maximize the success of our device in its intended cause, and to ensure the financial feasibility of its implementation. Initially, our device will be installed village by village. We will eventually expand our enterprise beyond the Presidency Division into other districts.

What problem does this idea/product solve or what market need does it serve?

Current water sterilization methods are often expensive, inefficient, infeasible for large-scale use, rely on the use of toxic chemicals, or are highly specialized. Sulis is introducing devices that operate under a broad range of conditions, can sterilize water at scale more effectively and at lower cost than current methods, and do not rely on existing infrastructure. Based on recent groundbreaking research initiatives, the Sulis technology is unparalleled in its versatility, scalability, sustainability, and its ability to generate employment in the communities that we aim to serve.

What attributes will make this idea/product successful? Why do you believe that those features will create success?

The SULIS method is designed to improve upon the aforementioned existing technologies and methodologies by reducing cost and increasing sustainability. We recognize that clean water is not only required for drinking, but also for washing dishes, washing clothes, washing hands, and so on. We also recognize that clean water is required on the scale of an entire village. It is for this reason that we have designed our device to concentrate ultraviolet light onto a specific target, to contain a substantial volume of water, to decrease sensitivity to turbidity, to operate on a large scale, and to retain functionality during extended periods of cloudy or stormy weather, such as during the monsoon season in South Asia or the hurricane season in the United States and the Caribbean. Although the SODIS method also uses a clear PET plastic container, we add the aluminum reflector array, since aluminum is an excellent reflector of ultraviolet light, to concentrate the solar ultraviolet light into the water container and maximize its sterilizing power. Aluminum is the cheapest metal with maximal reflectivity in the UV-A and UV-B ranges, which are the primary ranges of solar ultraviolet light reaching Earth’s surface. Whereas the aforementioned existing technologies both rely on ultraviolet-induced radical reactions in the water or direct damage to cellular genomes, our device concentrates the ultraviolet light for optimal radical generation in an aqueous medium and includes a metal strip insert which catalyzes additional radical reactions in the water. In essence, our device increases the concentration of reactive radical species in the water, which increases its ability to kill or inactivate pathogens and decompose organic particulates.

Explain how you (your team) will execute to make this idea/product successful? What gives you (your team) an advantage over others already in the market or new to this market?

The co-founders of this company are Anurag Modak, Sarah Pomeranz, Yuki Osumi, and Ari Mendelow. Anurag Modak serves as the Chief Executive Officer. He applies his background in science and business and his strong leadership and organizational skills to guide the company’s efforts towards successful development and distribution of the device. Sarah Pomeranz serves as the Chief Operations Officer. She oversees the day-to-day operations of the company and communicates the company’s goals to its employees. Yuki Osumi serves as the Chief Technology Officer. He provides the scientific expertise for ensuring the effectiveness of our product design and aids in overseeing its manufacturing. Ari Mendelow serves as the Chief Design Officer. He provides the technical expertise for product design and oversees the manufacturing process, Sulis’ marketing campaigns, and Sulis’ digital presence. The management team’s expertise will enable Sulis to obtain funding, to source raw materials, to assemble the product, and to market and distribute the product in our target regions.