Rebuilding Earth's Atmosphere | Angad Daryani | TEDxDJSCE

Rebuilding Earth's Atmosphere | Angad Daryani | TEDxDJSCE

Personal Background and Motivations

  • The speaker grew up witnessing climate change and pollution, which fueled their frustration with the lack of action to address these issues.
  • They dropped out of school to pursue their interests, such as building 3D printers, valuing autonomy and learning beyond traditional education.

Academic and Entrepreneurial Journey

  • The speaker studied electrical engineering at Georgia Tech, working on projects related to electric vehicles, battery storage, and radar defense systems.
  • During their sophomore year, they initiated the project that became Pran, focusing on air purification.
  • Recognizing the inadequacy of existing air pollution solutions, they developed a filterless air purification system prototype, gaining media attention and attracting volunteers.
  • Pran grew from a two-person startup to a multi-million dollar valuation.

Challenges and Adaptations

  • After graduating, the speaker returned to India and faced pandemic-related obstacles, including a lost venture capital deal and limited job opportunities.
  • They adapted their approach to the Indian ecosystem, leveraging volunteers' skills and experiences to continue building Pran.

Fundraising and Talent Acquisition

  • Pran was founded with less than $15,000 and later secured funding from top venture capitalists, including Social Impact Capital.
  • Fundraising required persistence, with the initial funding taking 24 months to secure, but subsequent rounds were faster.
  • Despite funding, hiring talent proved challenging due to a shortage of engineers.
  • The company employed interns and fresh graduates, forming a diverse team of "misfits" with varied backgrounds.

Technological Solutions

  • Pran's vision is to rebuild the atmosphere by tackling air pollution in both the lower and upper atmosphere.
  • They developed an advanced measurement and simulation platform, filterless technology, and an AI platform called Edith to address air pollution in large spaces.
  • These solutions are available for purchase online and have been successfully implemented by customers.

Manufacturing and Product Development

  • The speaker highlights the challenges of manufacturing high-quality products in India, especially for early-stage startups with limited resources.
  • They emphasize the importance of building a reliable supply chain with direct oversight to ensure material safety, responsible chemical disposal, and cost-effectiveness.
  • The speaker showcases their product, the Hive, an air purifier with superior performance compared to existing market options.
  • They describe their journey from having no manufacturing knowledge in 2022 to achieving mass manufacturing by the end of 2023.

Impact and Future Goals

  • The Hive has been successfully installed in various settings, including steel factories, offices, schools, and hospitals, improving air quality and working conditions.
  • The company developed an auto solver using AI to optimize air purification solutions for numerous sites, reducing manual calculation time.
  • The speaker expresses their intent to venture into direct CO2 capture, recognizing its significance as a challenging problem for humanity.
  • They emphasize the driving force of intent and mission in their progress, acknowledging the contributions of over 400 individuals, investors, corporate partners, and mentors.
  • The speaker encourages their generation to tackle challenging problems, emphasizing the value of gained skills and experiences even in the face of failure.
  • They conclude by highlighting their significant impact in transforming an entire industry, regardless of their ultimate success.

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