Smart Compliance makes smoke detectors that can tell users if there is a problem even when they are out of the house. Founder William Mitchell tells BQ why he has entered the business into Innovation Showcase at Venturefest Scotland.
Describe your business in no more than 100 words
Smart Compliance owns a UK Patent for the measurement of any gas or particulate, transmitting information by SMS/GPRS and monitoring results.
Current products are domestic smart carbon monoxide/smoke detectors which do a weekly self- check and report to a web portal/mobile phone if the unit is faulty or tampered with, or if smoke is present.
All reports are for an individual postal address. Interconnecting function using RF radio communication so that if one detector sounds then all detectors within range will sound, alerting all occupants within the home. Our system and patent makes it scalable to any gas or particulate sensor
What prompted you to enter the Innovation Showcase competition? Describe the innovation that you’ve entered the showcase with.
Our smart system has saved lives and property. Smart Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors interconnect wirelessly within the home and warn people outside the home by text message. They self-test weekly in accordance with Manufacturer’s instructions and store records on a web-based Portal for each individual postal address. If Smoke or Carbon monoxide is present, a text message is sent to multiple mobile phones. It will also send a text if it is tampered with or faulty.
How would you describe that to a novice?
Smoke detectors in your home are “dumb” units that only make a noise if smoke is present and that only tells people inside the house. Smart smoke detectors tell people outside the house, almost immediately, that there is a problem. This can save the Fire Service precious minutes to save lives and save property.
What are the biggest challenges you face?
Raising market awareness and breaking into the marketplace which is currently dominated by the Big Four.
What are your biggest professional achievements to date?
Achieving the patent, managing the design of electronics, software, data flow, mobile communications, industrial design a BSI Kitemark. Also introducing a robust professional supply chain and creating a market ready product with no prior knowledge of how to do any of it.
How do you feel about exhibiting to potentially hundreds of people at Venturefest Scotland?
Really looking forward to it and excited about it. We always love ‘opening our kimono’ and telling the world what we have.
Where do you see your company in five years’ time?
Being an established provider of a range of Smart sensor, life safety awareness products to Social Housing providers and Private Landlords in the UK. We also hope to be selling our system and growing in Europe and North America
What advice would you give to aspiring innovators?
It is all about cash – Even if you need to progress in stages. Always have a tight cashflow to hand. Most projects need funding at some point – be aware of what your project is worth (now and potentially) and do not undersell yourself to potential investors. Remember that this is your innovation and idea, and don’t give in easily.
Speak with Scottish Enterprise as early as you can, for the right ideas, they will provide fantastic support.