Curie Labs: Helping commercial buildings to reduce power consumption

 

Curie Labs is a Gurgaon based startup founded by Abhinav and Saurabh Vij. They have introduced an AI which helps commercial buildings reduce their power consumption.

We are better because of our unique approach to solving the same problem. Its like the search engine days and everyone was after this goldmine. This is the new goldmine and we happened to have a better approach in our perspective.

We got an opportunity to talk with Saurabh, one of the co-founders of Curie Labs and see what he has to say. I am sure his interview with us will inspire you.

 

Team: Curie Labs

 

Give a brief info about your startup?

We are Curie Labs and we have built an AI that helps commercial buildings reduce their power consumption by up to 30%.

In simple words, we are the NEST for buildings.

 

 

What made you start your startup and what problem does it solve?

Last Diwali, I and my friend (co-founder) Abhinav were appalled to see the levels of pollution recorded in Delhi and the country at large.

Discussing the pollution problem, we soon realized that the buildings consume and waste most of the power consumed in a city (Almost 40%).

We started engaging with mall owners and commercial office building managers to understand the real source of wastage of power.

To our surprise, there were a lot of areas/scope for massive improvements.

In fact 35-40% of power is still wasted in a building due to lack of data, deeper insights and inability to react in real time.

It was our eureka moment; we realized that this problem can easily be tackled by leveraging the power of sensors and AI.

This research coupled with a strong desire to tackle this problem gave birth to Curie Labs with a simple but strong mission to help buildings reduce their power bills and hence carbon footprint.

 

 

Tell us about yourself, your previous jobs/ventures? What were you doing before this startup?

All my life, I have been passionate about physics and that led me to become a Nuclear Scientist. Work ex at CEA and CERN helped me developed a scientific discipline and approach towards life itself.

Few years back, I came back to India to start a venture that could solve an important problem. It was just after the Nirbhaya incident, so I proposed a solution to the govt. of India of a wearable safety device that could send across GPS location of the victim with few trigger mechanisms. Was able to raise a grant from govt. of India and collaborated with IIT Delhi to develop the product.

Later on sold the venture to a bigger company that could provide it the right distribution. It was sort of a failure, as it couldn’t reach the right customers and vision I had started with.

So I took a break and reflected on all the valuable lessons from this experience to develop a framework for all my future ventures.

Met Abhinav during the IIT days and we started exploring the energy wastage problem and started developing a simple but effective solution for this.

He is an IOT expert and have worked with prestigious institutions like UC Berkeley and IIT Kanpur so we teamed up to solve this important problem.

 

 

Where is your startup based out of? Why do you think that is the best place for you?

We are based out of Gurgaon. Gurgaon over the last decade has transformed into a business center with a lot of buildings and thus being the right target for us.

 

 

As a startup founder, what are you paranoid about? What keeps you awake at night?

Few things:

  1. Quality of product
  2. Building a scalable system
  3. Fund raise as we want to do a lot more stuff to improve our product and adoption and it would need some outside capital to accelerate the process

 

 

Who are your competitions and how are you better than them?

Building IQ

Verdigris

We are better because of our unique approach to solving the same problem. Its like the search engine days and everyone was after this goldmine. This is the new goldmine and we happened to have a better approach in our perspective.

 

 

 How hard is it to have a work-life balance as a startup founder and how do you manage it?

Forget it. Is you are after greatness, and then you should forget balance of any sort. Everyday feels like a roller coaster and I guess that’s how it’s supposed to be because it makes us tougher and more fluid for the next level.

I manage it by managing expectations of family and friends to a point that they now don’t expect anything and understand that it needs to be this way at least for first few years.

 

 

Have you raised funding? If yes, then we would like to know the details. If no then please tell us if you are looking to raise.

Yes, we raised a small angel round of $50,000 last year from an incubator in Gurgaon.

 

 

What’s the biggest misconception people have about you? Why do they have that? What’s the reality?

That I am just a scientist and a scientist can’t sell. That’s a big one I had been hearing for a long time from investors. That’s the stereotype they have in India which is changing as more inventors are starting and running solid businesses.

Reality is, that a truly passionate scientist can actually sell and our revenues prove that.

Another reality is inventor type people when they turn into entrepreneurship, they can create such a compelling product that it sells by itself. They don’t need to sell.

 

 

What gets you excited about this company?

World Domination. I have a vision of a million buildings controlled by our AI system.

This excites us everyday.

 

 

Tell us how a day in your life looks like? Your schedule for a day right from the time you get up till you hit the bed at night.

I have divided my schedule in two parts:

  1. Maker time (First 4 hours)

Product

Strategy

Learning new stuff

Lead generation

Marketing

  1. Manager time (1 hour * 8 zones or as required)

Dedicated to managing team

Customer issues

Client Meetings

Product discussions

 

 

Tell us about your team and how did you meet each other?

Curie Labs was founded by Me and Abhinav. We met at IIT Delhi, few years back working on different projects and then collaborating on few.

We realized that we could combine our skill sets of IOT and Data Science to solve this crucial problem.

Started meeting facility managers to understand the real source of power wastages in a building and then designed the product for them. This helped us in easy adoption that translated into great revenues and growth.

Our philosophy is to be as close to the customer as possible and to act like a leader servant. Lead while serving them with the best product and results.

 

 

Know a great startup story or want to share your own? Write to us at contact.bangaloreinsider@gmail.com and we will get back to you. For more updates follow Bangalore Insider on Facebook.

 

 

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