A disinfecting launch founded by two seasoned entrepreneurs is awarded the inaugural Recovery & Rebuilding the Region Design Challenge funding
Photo: Go Fog It co-founders Diana House and Melissa McInerney
A London-based startup founded by entrepreneurs Diana House and Melissa McInerney has been announced as the recipient of the first Recovery & Rebuilding the Region Design Challenge.
Go Fog It, which offers disinfectant fogging to make spaces safer, has two main components to helping Southwestern Ontario recover from COVID-19. The first one is safety and health, with a goal to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. The second is helping open up the economy and supporting business owners with their disinfecting challenges so they are able to focus on their business.
Go Fog It was chosen from over 100 applicants and will receive $20,000 of seed funding and a personalized suite of business advisory, financial coaching and community impact services presented by Libro Credit Union, Pillar Nonprofit Network and TechAlliance.
Both McInerney and House are well known in the city’s business community. McInerney is co-founder, CEO and COO of tbk Creative, and House is president of FFV Capital and a real estate investor and developer. Both women were also recipients of London’s 20 Under 40 Award in 2016.
According to the partners, Go Fog It will use the seed funding to hire operations staff, purchase equipment and continue to scale quickly. Advisors from Libro, Pillar and TechAlliance will provide expertise on connecting with new networks and leveraging available resources in order to effectively combat the issue at hand.
“Winning the Design Challenge has meant the world to us. Over the past few months, we have poured blood, sweat and tears into Go Fog It,” said House, Go Fog It president. “But we didn’t do it alone. It takes a team of brilliant people with different skill sets, mentors, advisors and early believers.
“We really think that navigating the post-COVID-19 economy is going to be a huge challenge. As experts in what we do, we are confident that we can provide a cost-effective and accessible solution to residents and businesses on a global scale.”
“We strongly believe the perspective of ‘cleaning’ is forever changed ― focused now more than ever on essential health requirements,” added McInerney, Go Fog It CEO. “It’s not simply enough to wipe a surface, but instead, to disinfect it, and Go Fog It uses disinfectants on Health Canada’s COVID-19 list that have been found effective in killing viruses and bacteria, including coronavirus. Our 360-degree fogging disinfection protocol is the most thorough, effective and affordable process to keeping spaces safe.”
Last week marked the launch of the first Recovery & Rebuilding the Region Design Challenge. Design Challenge One, co-presented by Communitech in the Waterloo Region and WEtech Alliance in Windsor-Essex, was an open call for innovative solutions centred on responding to the immediate health and social issues of COVID-19. Applicants across Southwestern Ontario had three days to submit their ideas, products, services or solutions for consideration, with the intent to accelerate and scale solution delivery to make an impact in our community.
“Fierce founders Diana House and Melissa McInerney captured the spirit of the Design Challenge and presented a vital solution to the uncertainty that we are all facing as we look towards re-entering our public spaces,” commented Christina Fox, TechAlliance CEO. “Go Fog It is an incredible example of harnessing innovation utilizing existing technologies in order to apply new solutions to emerging issues. TechAlliance is inspired by Diana and Melissa’s bold pivot and lightning speed action to bring this technology to our region.”
The second stage of the Design Challenges will focus on recovery and rebuilding and revitalizing the community, post-COVID-19. The timeline for Challenge Two will be announced in May 2020. Interested applicants can sign up to be notified via email when the application period begins.