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Product of Year winner can save companies big bucks in energy costs

New Hampshire Union Leader

October 10. 2018 9:29PM
Steve Graves, left, CEO of Product of the Year winner Measured Air Performance, talks with Lisa Bruinooge King at the N.H. Tech Alliance's awards event Wednesday at the Manchester Country Club in Bedford. (THOMAS ROY/UNION LEADER)

BEDFORD — The maker of a state-of-the-art system that measures the cleanliness of laboratory exhaust air won the state’s Product of the Year Award from the New Hampshire Tech Alliance Wednesday night.

Measured Air Performance of Manchester co-founder Steve Graves said prior to the competition that he did not expect to win.

“We are going up against companies that worked on solving cancer and making robots, so I don’t have any preconceived expectations,” Graves said during an interview.

The firm started when Graves and his co-founder doing ventilation consulting work confirmed that while hospitals, drug companies and university labs spend massive amounts of money to circulate air in their labs, 70 percent of the time it is perfectly clean.

They came up with SmartStack, which measures the purity of air and allows the companies to have dramatic savings in energy use by adjusting the power demand for the huge exhaust fans atop laboratory buildings.

“SmartStack is a very simple process. Our clients may be remapping the genome but we are not,” Graves joked.

The other four finalists for the award were:

• B2W Software of Portsmouth creates software designed to optimize performance for heavy construction companies. Its entry is called the ONE Platform, which includes B2W Schedule, B2W Estimate, B2W Track, B2W Maintain and B2W Inform;

• DoseOptics LLC of Lebanon makes C-Dose, an imaging system that tracks radiation therapy as it happens on the patient, providing real-time video rate visualization. The Dartmouth College-born startup was founded in 2015;

• Pak Solutions of Lancaster, a flexible packaging manufacturer, came up with a scented e-Commerce mailer, which contains a fragrance that releases when the bag is opened. Clients can adjust the level of scent to their own specifications;

• Waypoint Robotics of Merrimack makes Vector, an industrial strength autonomous robot for laboratory or factory use. Waypoint Robotics was accepted in February as one of 12 companies to take part in the fourth round of Accelerate NH, a program that helps startups.

The 13th annual contest coincided with the official re-branding of the New Hampshire Tech Alliance to create a new mission for what had been the New Hampshire High Tech Council.

To qualify for the competition, it had to be a new product made or altered significantly in the last 12 months, had to originate in New Hampshire and meet a broad definition of technology.

A five-person panel of judges, including New Hampshire Union Leader Business Editor Mike Cote and Columnist Katie McQuaid, selected the five finalists.

Judges’ votes counted for 50 percent of the final tabulation, and votes from members of the audience made up the other 50 percent. The prizes include a high-profile display at the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport in Manchester.

“The future is in the audience’s hands tonight,” said Lisa Bruinooge King of Cross Insurance.

The announcement was delayed as some votes cast by cell phone text messages in the audience did not go through and had to be cast manually.

“We cannot find something that works every single time,” quipped Matt Cookson. executive director of the alliance. He invited inventors to try to win next year’s competition by creating a new app for future vote-counting.

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