MindUp Podcast with Glen Kochaney

Interview with Kirk Langson, CEO and Mike Bekiarian, COO of Cover 2 (C2): Discussing the CMC Platform their State Of The Art air purifying system...


Folks, welcome to Mind Up, and thank you for tuning in once again to another episode. My guests today are two of the four founding members of a startup company in the environmental space called Cover Two or c2. Kirk Langston is the Chief Executive Officer, and Mike Arian is the Chief Operating Officer.

Gentlemen, welcome and thank you for being here. Wow. Thank you, Glen. Great to be with you today. Yeah, thank you Glen. Great to be on your show. Absolutely. So why don’t we start by telling us what is C2 or Cover Two, and what made you decide to get into this particular venture? Well, I’ll tell you a little bit about, you know, c2.

We’re, we’re a company that is focused on really changing, bringing some unique technology and capabilities, uh, to both residential customers and to commercial customers to help them really change what we call the breathing experience. And we believe deeply that everybody deserves to breathe in the vitality of life and our mission.

Is to protect life from the invisible threats within indoor airspaces and allow people to thrive and flourish as they experience the incredible benefits of what we refer to as a HiPure environment, which is another word for an ultra-purified air environment. And so we are actively bringing these capabilities to the market to help people experience just a greater level of life and to experience the vitality of life that everyone deserves.

Thanks for that. And you know, interestingly enough, since Covid, you know, you hear about air quality, water quality, and things of that nature. So when it comes to indoor air quality, the average house, the average commercial establishment, How bad is it really? And how concerned should we really be? If I walk into a bedroom or a living room and I’m not having breathing difficulties, should I really be concerned about it?

If I don’t feel anything and I don’t feel like I’m being stressed, or I don’t feel any different than I felt when I was outside, should I be concerned? Yeah, it’s a great question, Glen. You know when we got hit with the pandemic and Covid, everybody was running around thinking about disinfecting. They were spraying all kinds of disinfectants and quaternary ammonium products, which was making life a little bit worse for a lot of folks.

And we were trying to beat the virus, and in fact, we were making our environments a lot worse by just the act of disinfecting. And from that, You branch off into other items and air components. I will give you a couple of just quick little snippets. You know, 7 million people die prematurely yearly from poor air quality.

You know, 91% of our global population, you know, breathed heavily polluted air. We spend 90% of our time indoors in America, yet our indoor air is five times more polluted often than our outdoor air. And so, We started in the early days of trying to fight Covid, and now looking holistically, the air we breathe is often just a soup of harmful elements that make our lives a lot worse without even realizing it.

And we breathe 22,000 times a day, and we have a saying, the rule of three. You can live for three weeks without food. You can live three days without water, but you can’t live without air for more than three minutes; you may or may not survive.

So air is the most crucial element that we, unfortunately, take for granted today. That’s how we came to form C2. It holistically addresses three key components around the breathing experience. And that is to create an environment of super-empowered air. To measure that and provide visibility to our customers of what’s actually in your air.

And then we provide a certification level from our perspective, the C2 certification, to let people know that the air is being monitored, evaluated, created, and then certified to bring assurance back to the people that experienced that air, right? You walk into someone’s home, you don’t have to drink their water or eat their food, but you do have to breathe their air.

And it would be nice to know that you’re walking into a home or a business where the air is being addressed. I’m glad you addressed air quality issues because the only time I think you ever think about, or I think about any air quality issues, is if there’s a smell in the air. If you go through an area that’s heavy with industry, and there’s an odor, you think, wow, should I even be breathing this? But if you don’t smell it, at least in my opinion, there isn’t an issue. I also wanted to see if you guys have heard of a term called sick building syndrome. I came across it about a week ago, and I have no idea what it is. 

Yeah, so sick build building syndrome is a term that’s been around a while now, and it’s really indicative of conditions that can creep up into various buildings that provide, or cause, I should say, unfavorable conditions for the occupants in that space. They get sluggish; they can get sick. And much of this often stems from poor ventilation or high CO2 levels inside a space. There can be an accumulation depending on levels of humidity, where maybe they have mold, they have mildew, and some of those things can cause chronic reactions; from a respiratory standpoint or cause more allergic reactions that can cause a flareup of asthma. And it’s really not conducive to optimal performance. So productivity is, is impaired. You can see absenteeism that is impaired, or impacted by those those types of conditions. And so it’s become a term well known in the industry and in the commercial space specifically. You see a lot of facilities management pro professionals looking to stem the risks and prevent sick building syndrome from occurring within their specific spaces.

Interesting. Yeah. Thanks for that. I appreciate that. Now I must ask because when you look at, you know, the market’s been inundated with air purifier-type things. I bought an air purifier; I think I got it on Amazon a few years ago. It sits in my living room, and I turn it on. So isn’t that good enough? Or is this, you know, how does this, how does your system compare to this?

Yeah, that’s great, so there are quite a lot of cures. I put my air quotes up in the air. Um, there are a lot of cures out there for, um, air quality inside your home and your office. And we look at it as it’s not a one size fits all type of solution, right?

So air purification and filtration is a component of healthy air. Uh, we’ve addressed the market. We’ve created a platform that we call the CMC platform. This is a proprietary platform of ours, and in that, we address the creation of healthy air and utilize a technology called Bipolar ionization. We introduce nature’s ions into the air inside your building or home and raise your ion levels above 5,000 per cubic centimeter. And that is the equivalent of if you opened your room or your home and put it in a forest or a beach. Okay. And so we try to maintain ion levels.

Typical homes have between 200 to 400 ions per cubic centimeter, so we’re flooding your space with these ions. These ions are nature’s air scrubbers, killing bacteria and mold. They agglomerate around particles. They clean the air, like creating rain inside the home.

So the the core of our platform is we’re creating this purified state of air through bipolar ionization. Then, we measure the air quality we introduced. We have residential sensors or commercial quality sensors. We introduce sensors into the airspace, monitoring things like humidity, temperature, and VOCs.

We measure 22 different VOCs. Volatile organic compounds in the commercial space alone, you know, we look at ozone, nitrous oxide, we look at particulate matter one, 2.5, four, and 10. So we’re really taking a sample of the air and a new sample every minute. So within 24 hours, you’re getting 1400 samples a day. We’re sampling the air, and then that air is being displayed back to you, showing what is in your air.

And a lot of times, it’s really shocking when you first start looking at it. You go, wow, I’m breathing this in. My VOCs are off that 20,000. How can that be? Well, I was cooking, you know, we don’t realize all the things we put into our air just for the simple act of living. 

And then our last piece, in our CMC platform, is for Certified. We certify your building. So let’s say you’re a commercial space and building owner, you’ve got a business, and you have employees, and people are a little bit concerned about returning to work. Well, we are now creating and purifying air, monitoring and measuring it, and then certifying it to international standards.

The C2 HiPure certification and we put a seal on your door. If you achieve, it’s a 30-day period, and every 30 days, you will get recertified. And then that is the way of telling the world, “Hey, listen, I take air quality seriously. I want a performance increase. I want to protect people from asthma and lung issues, heart disease, particulate matter, poisoning, etc. And it lets people know that you’ve done so, and we put stickers and material throughout the office space. Let people know that you can return to this space. It’s a safe space and is protected 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with the CMC platform. So our program works commercially, but we also have a residential program. 

Well, that’s fantastic. Fantastic. 

Let me add some points to that if you don’t mind. You know, the feedback we get from a lot of our customers is the air purification products in the market are excellent. You know, there are different approaches to ’em. Many of them are a filtration approach. Many of them use more of a u VVC approach and and sterilize the air. There are a lot of different approaches. They can all be effective. 

I think the challenge we see with many purification technologies on the market today that people don’t necessarily like is that often times it’s some physical box or something that you maneuver into somewhere inside a space. It’s got a cord, and it’s got a fan, it makes noise, it requires maintenance. It has to be replaced. Sometimes you stick it on a wall, and again, it’s aesthetically maybe not pleasing to somebody.

It’s got some annoyances to it. And so the approach we’ve taken to basically as an alternative to that covers, first of all, large space. Most of the mobile purifiers you will purchase from Amazon or wherever will purify just a small, very small space.

So it’s somewhat limited in terms of its scope. The other piece we’re trying to accomplish is making it seamless and fully integrated into your ventilation system. So it’s always there, and it is working when your airflow is occurring and, and, and then basically taking the headaches of, of maintenance away as well, where it can be more self-cleaning, self-maintaining to some extent. One of the hallmarks of our solution is to cover a lot of space, make it seamless, make it integrated, and make it as headache free and as maintenance-free as possible. 

Well, thanks for that. And what I really like here is that you guys are constantly monitoring the air quality. I use the floor unit that I purchased on Amazon as an example. I think it’s working effectively, but there’s no way of measuring it. There’s nothing on there that shows that it’s effectively working. It’s either, it’s on, it’s off, and as you said, it’s making noise, and it seems to be doing its job. But. We really don’t know, do we? So again, I really like the fact that your organization has taken a holistic approach to monitoring air quality. Yeah, it’s a little bit of everything. To Kirk’s point, there’s a lot of great stuff in the marketplace. We look to link them all together in one holistic approach so that it’s not do-it-yourself. We do it all for you. In fact, let’s chat for a moment about that. We created a service called Air Quality as a Service (AQaaS). So for commercial and residential customers, you can get all of our program’s benefits and subscribe to it as a subscription. So we bring all of the components to your location.

We will install it for you. We guarantee and warranty everything behind it. You pay a small monthly fee, and you get to experience a very hyper state of air quality and purity that you would not receive by just sticking something over in the corner, as we discussed, and turning it on. 

It works throughout the entire air column, the air envelope within your building, and your space. Okay, so when you’re looking at the entire ecosystem of air purifiers and filters, that’s where you fit in, and there’s really no limit to it. You could be anything from residential to institutional to healthcare, long-term care.

I’m assuming that those would really be all your touch points for something like this. Is that correct or assumed? Yeah, sure. We really believe that everybody should have the right to this ultra-purified air, which is critical to people’s health and wellness. That’s a gap in the health and wellness strategy that most of us employ today. We all spend money on gym memberships. We spend money on supplements, dietary supplements, vitamins, and all kinds of things every single month to try to improve how we perform and how well we’re thinking, and this is somewhat of a blind spot or somewhat of a gap in the health and wellness strategy. You know, I can get sick through the air. In fact, at the University of Michigan, close to where you’re at, Glenn did a study and identified that you’re 1000 times more likely to experience viral transmission through the air space compared to surfaces you touch or come in contact with.

And so if we really want true health and wellness, we know we have to protect and purify the airspace. And we believe that everybody has the right to it. The challenge that we’ve seen in the past is that often, it can be to cover really all of your spaces. It can be very expensive. It can be a significant upfront investment. And so, therefore, it’s those one percenters that are incredibly high income or those that have no other choice. They just have health conditions that require it. And there’s no other way around it. They have to spend money on it. We believe that it really should be accessible to everybody.

And so that’s part of our goal as a company is to make it affordable, make it accessible to everybody, everywhere, and give them the privilege of being able to experience life at a higher level. And what’s not always understood is that when you are in this HiPure environment, you think much more clearly, and your cognitive clarity and focus are enhanced by as high as 61%.

You see productivity, depending on the studies that you read, being increased by anywhere from five to 9%. You see your energy, your sleep, your moods, and we also see it having a significant, and there’s research that just dropped in the last couple of weeks ago specifically out of the UK that’s linking air quality; Poor air quality environments to depression and anxiety. So there’s coming out of the pandemic where we were isolating ourselves, and a resulting mental health crisis came out of that. One way to really combat that, in our opinion, is to make this accessible everywhere. So we’re very passionate about making sure that everybody, whether you’re in your home or at work, regardless of the industry you work in, has an opportunity to experience ultra-high purified air.

Well, and I love that this is geared towards mainstream America as opposed to the top earners or whoever can afford that. You look at the cost of a geothermal system, but there’s $20,000- $30,000 for a heating-cooling system. So I love the fact that you guys are doing this.

The other thing, too, is that I really think it’s time that we open our eyes and be a lot less myopic in our thinking regarding the environmental. If when there are environmental issues, typically the fixes, and you touched a little bit on this, are pills or supplements. They think that there’s an issue with, I’m having a hard time with my throat, a little scratchy or whatever it is. Well, hey, maybe you’re deficient in a certain vitamin and/or the big push toward supplements. Supplements are a billion-dollar-a-year industry, so to look at this from a little bit of a different lens and say, Hey, maybe these environmental factors have to do with the air that we’re breathing.

But there, I think the go-to has always been, well, gotta be in a pill or supplement or something. There must be a medical explanation for this, and therefore there must be some therapy that involves drinking something or swallowing something. And, you know, to look at this from a different angle, I think is really, no pun intended, but kind of a breath of fresh air to see it this way. Yeah, it’s funny that there’s a pill for everything, right? But, we serve the lowest level of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, you know, it’s security. We need wholesome food, we need pure water, and we need clean air. And we’re trying to raise awareness around the clean air portion.

We had an understanding in the last few years because of the pandemic, what air really meant, airborne illness. But we are trying to raise the awareness that it’s more than just about viral mitigation. It’s about limiting your VOCs, monitoring your Co2, and your carbon monoxide. 

I’ll give you an example.

One of our customers is out in Pennsylvania. And they’ve got a restaurant chain, and they’ve got our solution in a couple of the restaurants right now. We noticed an increase in carbon monoxide in the restaurant. You noticed it happening at very strange times, like at one o’clock, three o’clock in the morning. Carbon monoxide is a byproduct of cooking. And if you don’t have the, you know, the proper ventilation, uh, you know, occurring, you could leach carbon monoxide into the restaurant. Our sensors are out in the restaurant, so there were elevated levels of Co2 in the restaurant.

So we brought that to the owner’s attention right away. And we started seeing that. And he was blown away. Like, wow, I never would’ve known. So it wasn’t at a high enough level that you would evacuate the building, but it was at a high enough level that it could cause performance issues with the people in there because you’re breathing in carbon monoxide throughout the day. So, not only does our solution serve our most basic need in breathing? But it also helps to provide direction into mitigating your environment so that now you can take action. To remediate the air quality issues, you should increase ventilation and consider making changes to your air system or air handler. We provide our customers with visibility into components of the air they may not have experienced before. It’s a comprehensive analysis that offers insights they might have never thought of. If you are a homeowner, restaurant owner, or run a long-term care facility and are interested in our services, you can easily reach us at our website c2pure.com or via email at info@c2pure.com. Please mention the podcast so we can understand the context of your inquiry. We take a thorough approach by first analyzing your space and collecting baseline data using sensoring technology. Once we understand the starting point, we can measure the impact of our purification methods.

Inside of that space afterward. We take a different approach there and wanna start with the data, but we’d love to talk to anyone out there looking to take a different approach. Somebody that’s looking to improve not just the indoor air quality but the indoor environmental quality as well. And there’s a lot of different aspects that go into that. It’s gaining a lot of attention now, and some of the ESG postures and frameworks out there are starting to connect the dots to human health and wellness and performance and being able to be at your very best to the environmental conditions we find ourselves in. And we’re one component of that. That’s great, and the information that you gave me regarding contacts, email, uh, websites, anything that you want, I’ll, that’ll be posted in the show notes here. So when people log onto this podcast right at the beginning, they’ll see that and be able to reach out and contact you guys.

But I’ll tell you; I absolutely love what you guys are doing. I love the approach. It’s fantastic what you guys are embarking on, and the timing is perfect for doing this at this. What I’d love to be able to do is have you guys on here in six months or a year from now and see where you’re at and how things are progressing along. I think it’s fascinating. I think our listeners are going to love this, and hopefully, you guys will get a lot out of it as well. Yeah, we’d love to come back. Thanks for, thanks again, Glen, for having us on today. Absolutely. It was my pleasure. And guys, stay in touch. Let me know how you’re doing and if there’s anything you want to add.

You guys are growing. If there’s something I’d like to talk about this. Is this something new that we came across? Contact me. You guys are welcome back anytime. I’d love to have you on. 

That’s great, Glen. Thank you very much. Yeah, thank you so much. All right, thanks, guys. I appreciate it. Excellent. Thank you, Glen.