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Sanitizing the world's mobile devices

A team of five Queen’s students sat in a classroom in Beamish-Munro Hall in the summer of 2014, dreaming big and mapping out business ideas on a whiteboard. Now – just 14 months later – the team’s idea, a product that easily sanitizes electronic devices, is poised to break into the American market.

[CleanSlate]
Oleg Baranov, Taylor Mann, Tyler Lypaczewski and Adel Ibrahim (clockwise from left) assemble the first CleanSlate pilot devices at Innovation Park in January.

Limestone Lab’s flagship product, CleanSlate UV Sanitizer, recently garnered one of six second-place prizes of US$500,000 at the 43North pitch competition in Buffalo, N.Y. The CleanSlate UV sanitizer is designed to quickly and effectively clean portable electronic devices and help stop the spread of infectious diseases in health-care facilities. 

Limestone Labs formed during the 2014 Queen’s Summer Innovation Initiative (QSII), which is now known as the Queen’s Innovation Connector Summer Initiative (QICSI). The team at the time – Taylor Mann, Artsci’14, Oleg Baranov, Sc’15, Geoffrey Hoy, Sc’14, Serena Li, Com’16, and Scott Mason, Artsci’14 – captured third place at the final QSII pitch competition.

Mr. Mann, CEO, Mr. Baranov, Chief Design Officer, and Mr. Mason, Chief of Business Development, remain with the company. They are joined by Tyler Lypaczewski, Sc’11, CTO, and Graeme Clark, Chief Operating Officer. Adel Ibrahim, a PhD candidate in Queen’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, is a systems designer with the company.

“It’s been a fast 14 months,” Mr. Mann says. “It’s really exciting, because the problem we are trying to solve – the spread of infectious disease through portable devices – will grow in urgency over the next two years.”

The bedrock of the company formed during QSII, according to Mr. Mann. Limestone Labs built its network and connected with mentors Brad Tipler and Ramona Bavington. The company also consulted with Leslee Thompson, President and Chief Executive Officer, Kingston General Hospital (KGH).

“We understand our customers, which is one of the greatest advantages we have over competitors. That understanding comes from multiple meetings with Leslee and staff at KGH. They were really helpful, letting us bounce ideas and concepts off them.”

After the competition, Limestone Labs migrated to QIC Acceleration at Innovation Park where the team developed the prototype. QIC Acceleration provides resources and support for QICSI ventures after graduation.

“Limestone Labs has come a long way, and we are pleased to see the venture continue to grow and flourish,” says Greg Bavington, Executive Director, QIC. “It’s heartening to see that the Queen’s Innovation Connector program is having a real impact by giving students the tools they need to take their innovative ideas and turn them into viable ventures.” 

With the US$500,000, Limestone Labs will ramp up marketing and sales as it prepares to break into the American market. The company is also on track to raise $1 million in seed funding that it will use to scale up the design and move into production.

43North is part of New York State’s initiative to create new economic opportunities in Buffalo and Western New York. Limestone Labs will occupy space in the 43North incubator, while maintaining its office in Toronto, and research and development space at Innovation Park.

Visit the CleanSlate UV website for more information about the product.