While at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Dustin Jefferson Onghanseng and Brian Lin encountered a problem. The two friends suffered from chronic breathing problems and often found themselves having asthma and allergy attacks while inside their dorm and other school buildings. Realizing that they were not the only students suffering, they decided to set out and fix this problem. They turned success in a 24 hour hackathon into a startup that became uHoo, an indoor air toxin sensor. They chose to take to their invention to Indiegogo to show there is a demand for the uHoo, to establish a more credible reputation, and to gain media attention.
According to the US EPA indoor air is two to five times worse than outdoor air. So, when people spend a majority of their time inside, they need a way to keep track of the air quality. Education about the issues surrounding indoor air quality became very important to the success of the uHoo campaign. Although their target customer base was those who suffer from asthma, hay fever, and allergies; Dustin and Brian also wanted to make the product approachable for “parents of young children, the elderly, and those interested in knowing the air they breathe and how to keep it safe.” Because of both the very targeted nature of their product and the wide range of possible customers they wanted to bring in, they had to make sure the information they wanted to give as well as the description of the product was approachable and easy to understand. Each function of uHoo and its attached app are broken down and easy to understand. The way that Dustin and Brian structured their campaign is easy to follow and understand no matter who you are.
Since the success of their Indiegogo campaign, uHoo has continued to grow on an international level. Crowdfunding has allowed Dustin and Brian to connect with an international community that they would not have had the same amount of access to previously. The global nature of the internet has allowed for this expansion. Now interested customers could purchase and monitor their air anywhere in the world. Dustin and Brian’s crowdfunding journey has allowed them to take an idea from a prototype creation to the worldstage.
Dustin is a believer that everyone needs to have technology that empowers people to create healthier living and working environments. From this belief, he founded uHoo to help people understand the air they breathe and take action. Prior to creating uHoo, he was a management consultant with Deloitte. He also holds an MBA from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and a Bachelor’s from the National University of Singapore. Today, uHoo is part of KPMG’s real estate innovation’s for 2018 and 2019, with clients across Asia and Europe and has received various press coverage from the likes of Forbes, Information Week, Entrepreneur and Business Mirror, among others.