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Our guest is Alvin Sun
Thank you, Christopher. Thank you, Ellen, for inviting me here today to on speak your podcast. So truly an honor. Yeah. So my name is Alvin. I am the CEO of ore brains and we are dedicated to creating a sustainable eco-friendly PPE, specifically face masks made here in the US. The technology behind our masks was born from a material science research company, Vioxx that came from a UC Berkeley accelerator. And later on into an indie bio cohort, we have been focused on developing eco-friendly everyday products in filtration, specifically in filtration products. So that is with air and water filtration. When the pandemic came early year, last we had an opportunity to incorporate some of our technology into creating a better product to service the demand of face masks from last year. You know, we saw the huge disruption in the supply chain, both on the medical field and the on consumer end, something that we've always covered is world-class here in America.
We saw that disrupted greatly, and that there was a huge issue to get quality products and quality information out there year. last You know, people were getting a lot of different mixed messages. What should we be wearing? What be we should doing to protect ourselves from this virus? We were able to do, bring, bring a market, a product to market largely through a Kickstarter online platform, and really build out a brand and a presence last year, fast forward to right now, we do with the success that we've seen on the consumer end with our online market. We are doubling down on our production, our capability to produce single-use disposables using the same filter technology our, and we're our goal is to really introduce our tech, which is more efficient at the filtration, more breathable and more lightweight than the average N95 respirator that you see in hospitals and et cetera. So our mission right now is to really build out our capability to produce these N99 masks and provide them to all the markets and the consumer market that is in need of these products. Did we, or it's still mine.
Now you have, you've developed this over a period of time. What is the development process? Why is yours different from anybody else's? Is it a disruptive product or is it one that's that you've engineered? That just is a tad bit better. Tell me, tell me a little better wine.
Sure. So yes, this is a, when, when COVID came out and we saw like a huge influx of a lot of mass-based big smash products, what really allows us to stand above the crowd is we, we are scientists at heart, essentially, at least the founder of the company. When we designed this product with the technology, with the ethnicity in mind, it wasn't just another cutesy product that you can put over the face and cover and fulfill requirements to be able to enter buildings or to be able to move around freely. But we, what we wanted to do is really create the best product out there. And we believe we had that with the technology that we have, the material in the way that it is woven allows for 99% of filtration of airborne particles. Whereas the standard N 95 is only filtering out larger particles at a 95% efficiency.
The reasoning for that is, you know, the traditional respirator at the N95 is what we considered the gold standard these days. Those weren't developed with a consumer, consumer use in mind, you know, these are, we're back developed in the 19 hundreds, early 19 hundreds for chemical warfare, for industrial work, for medical work. it And wasn't really designed with an idea a of everyday American, everyday person wearing it throughout the day, whether it's in the office or out, out, out in public. So on that end, you know, there wasn't much design or thought in terms of the usability or the comfort of everyday use. So we developed, we, we thought that there was a huge opportunity to be able to innovate upon a decades-old design and bring out something better for the consumer and for the traditional industrial commercial applications well. as
Okay. Go ahead. I'm sorry, please. Go ahead. Okay. I was going to say one of the first things I noticed about your mask is that it's stylish. Okay. It doesn't sit on the nose like current masks do. There seems to be something inside that helps it sit up off of the nose so that you're able to breathe while you're still wearing the mask. Was that purposeful in your design?
Yeah. So every part of it was done designed for the purpose of having an efficient mask without sacrificing the aesthetic and the comfort. The idea is that this is a mask that you will be able to wear throughout the day without feeling the need to adjust or play around with it because it's uncomfortable. So the nose bridge, we have a medical grade nose bridge and the top of the mask so that it will hold it to contour fit to your face. However, it is put behind a mesh layer so that it's not uncomfortable, like pinching answered knows throughout the day.
Okay. Mr. Fair. Have you had any, Oh, testing is done as far as its reliability, its percentage. Do you have any real, real-life testing from a lab or anything yet?
Sure. So we've had some independent testing from third-party testing from labs, such as Nelson lab Intertech. And so we have the L we've put them through the ringer essentially, you know, we send, we've had samples tested or destroyed and just put through, put through a lot of rigorous tests. We are currently undergoing certifications with Nyasa and FDA, and we're confident to able be we that will surpass it, to fulfill the requirements, to get the certifications of the N 95. It's just a matter the of going the red tape had going through the process. Currently, the CDC, the FDA, they're all, they've all been notoriously slow in the process. And with the crisis of last year, it just adds a few more in months the process. However, fortunately, we are able to sell these more regulated products under what's called the EUA emergency use authorization, which is what was announced and what was declared early last year. And that allows a lot of mass products to be introduced to the market. Unfortunately, you also have a lot of bad actors which have made it difficult for more legitimate enterprises to really saturated the market. However, that's the case with any crisis, so to speak?
Well, I, I often wonder not, not often wonder, but I wonder when we're talking about this type of product, of course, there's a, there's a lessening demand in the general population. And so how's that going to affect your sales, your sales projections, have you, have you decided which direction to take it in order to maintain profitability?
Sure. So understandably, you know, with increased vaccinations throughout the world, there will be a lessening of demand. However, we still foresee that for the next couple of years, there will still be an inflated demand for face masks, you know, and I think there's a larger consumer awareness in terms of air filtration, air quality, and that will still be here like there. That will still be the case after the worst has passed, you know, people going on air travel, there will probably be a need for, or a want, a demand for protection while in these enclosed spaces. Because if it's not, COVID, there's always to going be something that, that is out there. That's just the nature of, this is the reality of the world. You know, we've seen it in the past decade that there been has multiple diseases, although not any as impactful or as harmful in terms of like the global scale as COVID, but you've seen for the last year, you know, Zika, H one, None, SARS, there has always been harmful.
There's always been a need for this kind of protection. And especially in certain areas, such as traveling air travel, I do not foresee that those requirements will go away. Even if the general population like you don't to have be wearing one to be outside or to be in enclosed spaces. I still see there will be a huge demand at that respect, but that being said, you know, we are, as I mentioned, we were not originally a mass company, right? We, we were a science or research development company and we just so happened with the timing of our first launch to release this mass product. That being said, we're committed to being the best bet best mask product. There is out there. One of the products that we are excited to continue to work on and to launch in the near future is our biodegradable bile Palmer plastics, which has huge applications in the food and the packaging industry. That was something that we were very excited and very close to launching prior to COVID, which forced us to make a bit of a shift in our go to market strategy, you know, but we are excited to continue to fund and redevelop our research and development side to develop this biopolymer plastic, which we will plan to also incorporate within our own product line and make an effort towards our sustainability mission of creating a zero waste product.
Well, I can see it as Helen was talking about your background,
And so forth. I, I assume it's not in science, right?
That's correct. Yeah. So the founder of the company and my business partner and or brands, she comes from a science background, she has a master's in material science from UC Berkeley, and she was the founder of, or brands and bikes technologies, which is the research and development arm of the current venture.
Okay. And who else is on your team right now? Alvin?
Sure. So currently it's Vivian and me. We have built out our manufacturing capacity here in Nevada. And so we've built out an engineering staff and team as well to manufacture and fulfill our mass orders. And right now we have a team of about 8 people and that's spread out between the engineering, the manufacturing, marketing, and sales, and just administrative stuff.
With that being said, now let's move over into, are you pre or post-revenue right now? We are post-revenue. So a lot of last year, we've been focused on doing a lot of the research and development in terms of the product design. And we've, we're able to do a couple of hundred thousand in sales last year on our consumer product alone. This year we're continuing that trend of strong demand for our consumer product while also introducing our disposable products, which we hope, we believe we'll have a lot of higher demand and application and more traditional industries. As I mentioned that have used PPE in the past and are interested in a better alternative. So you have your construction companies, hospitality and food packaging industry. Those are current customers in those, in, in the commercial space.
Now Alvin, for people who are just becoming familiar with the aura brand on your website, you show the mass structure and the design of it. My question is what happens when a person comes to the website and they're interested in investing or purchasing a mask.
So, and that's something that we should probably add to our website as well, but you can reach out to me directly. And as you mentioned before, my email is [email protected] and happy to have the conversation to be a part of the team is join our efforts here.
Okay, good. It's, it's a unique construction that you've, your company has created. What other things are in your pipeline that you can talk about?
Sure. As I mentioned before, we are largely an eco-friendly green tech filtration at company our, at its core. And on the, in that direction, we are excited to be working on a fully compostable face graphs product. Obviously, that isn't something that's going to be used in a medical or more, more industrial setting. However, for a very socially conscious environmentally conscious consumer, you know, this is what we're very excited to offer this product in the near future, you know, with the increase of usage of face mask for the past year, we see that all over the place. You know, you see that in our parts and see that in our oceans, a there's a huge impact in the plastics and other harmful polymers out in our We environment. hope to use some of our material, right, dairy milk to material, to create safe and effective mask that can also be biodegradable and compostable. So after someone is done using it, they can, you dispose of it properly. And then basically it go will back the into earth it where came from essentially.
Wow. Interesting. Yeah. How long have you been in this field without having a science degree?
So in terms of this mentoring manufacturing, this space, it's been about a year, you know, previously my business partner brought me in to operate, be on more of the operational and the finance and to run the day-to-day mechanisms of the company. So that was sort of my background in my previous career and what I'm working on to continue to grow the business in that sense.
Okay. All right. Do you have any, well, I know you must sales projections on what you think the masks will bring in terms of revenue in the next year?
Yeah. So we've set a goal to sell 5 million masks this year. And we think with our current projection, we will be able to hit that in terms of production and sales. Our short-term goal is to be able to achieve a quarter million in sales, selling a quarter-million masks a month by the beginning of Q3. So that's currently what we're targeting for and aiming to achieve.
Now, when you said the masks are contoured to the face, I immediately thought of people who do gardening or people who are susceptible to allergies, like pollen and that kind of thing. And it seems like your mask would fit that solution for people who have allergies.
Yes. You know, obviously, you know, it's, it was designed with the idea of having, having the effectiveness without sacrificing the comfort and the aesthetic as I mentioned before, and additionally, to the way that most masks are designed or woven, it does not really filter out many parts well. It would probably be effective enough to filter out most like pollens or larger particles such as that. But what's great about what we have done is we have a non-woven material that will do what's called surface filtration, meaning it will be blocking any incoming harm, potentially harmful particles from entering or coming in through the mask. You know, a lot of the guidance that we have been receiving is that these mats, the mask mandate, isn't so much to protect the mask wear in terms of, you know, these masks are designed to stop viral particles. It's more to prevent the mask wear from transmitting through coughing or like sneezing part of harmful particles into the, their environment, into people they're associated with. What we have created with the non-woven build is that it is filtering it at the surface so that the harmful particles are not coming in and affecting the mask
Interesting what's on the horizon for your company.
Well, currently, you know, we're working on building out our manufacturing capability and our sales channels through to these companies so that we can provide people with a safe, alternative, safe option to get back to work, essentially. And again, once we get our research and development backup in full gear, we are looking to continue to build out the compostable products and find different applications for our technology. You know, there's a filter tech is also has great applications in HVAC and home filtration as well. So we're exploring some options of incorporating our filters into an HVAC product. Additionally, we are also working on some water filtration technology that we will probably be exploring more further down the line,
Quite a mix of products. And of course, I think when we talk the first time, my, my suggestion was can you make grocery
Bags, plastic grocery bags with your biodegradable products. So, you know, when you decide to do that, let me know. I'll be happy to be your representative
For sure. Yeah. I mean, like I said, with the bio, biodegradable plastic biopolymer plastic, there are multiple applications in multiple industries. So we're really excited to dedicate our efforts to building that out in the near future.
Right now. You're, you're asking for what now? What do you, what do you want to, what do you need, what's your ass?
I, I'm digressing a little bit, but I'm sort of touching a little bit on my motivation and what insight, insight excited me about working with this opportunity with my business partner in this mass product, in this manufacturing project as a whole.
Okay. But did you, didn't, you didn't talk numbers with me though. I need to know the numbers and what's in it for them and what are you gonna spend it on?
Gotcha. So we are currently raising about a million, 1.5 million. And what that will do is that will allow us to continue to build out our sales and marketing, to put our message out there, to build brave awareness, and to increase our sales channels. Part of it will be dedicated to our manufacturing capability. We have some equipment that we have on hand that we're looking to acquire that will bring down our cost of goods. If are we able to bring our supply chain fully in-house vertically integrated in-house. We're looking to increase, decrease our cost of goods by half. And that requires a substantial capital investment at the beginning. But however, that will allow us to achieve our revenue goals early in the year. And additionally, as I mentioned in the past, we are looking to jumpstart our research and development division to be able to introduce new products, product cool lines to, for the
Okay. And your, your investment is structured, how
We're currently using a safe note or convertible note based on our current evaluation.
Okay. And your current evaluation is what
We are currently evaluating it based of, on our previous pre-seed angel investment round at 5.5 million. Okay. And we think that's a discounted valuation rate. It's just currently, it's early stage discount evaluation. Okay.
All right. Very good. Very good. All right. Ellen, anything there from your side? No, I, I like the company. I like the product and I think they have an interesting future ahead. Yeah. I agree to that because of that diversity of the product area, although it falls in the same basic categories, it's a very diverse selection of various types of things that they can do with the same type of technology. Now, yeah. Alvin, is there anything you'd like to say to the investors before we close out this episode of make your pitch anything you'd like to say to them that you think will make them want to take a closer
Yeah. I think we're in a great space here with the manufacturing mass here in the US you know, there's a lot of cool things that we're doing here with our product. And we believe that that truly has the opportunity to really disrupt a very archaic industrial sector. And with that, there's a lot of opportunities once we get the word out, essentially, that there is a better alternative to what's currently the gold standard. And we are looking to replace it, disrupt that in many places, more places than one. And we are very excited for the opportunity to build this operation here in the US and remain competitive to through automation, supply chain efficiencies, and just continue to innovate on a superior product. So that's
Very, very, very good, very good. You know, there are, as we, as we wrap up this episode, Alvin, thank you so much for being a part of a baker pitch. We appreciate your joining us and spending some time with us and telling us about what you have going on because it is, it is a disruptive product and Ellen and I love disruptive products. So thank you for being a part of this podcast today, Alvin. Thank you so much.
Thank you, Chris. Thank you, Ellen. Have a good one. You too,
Be definitive when you make your pitch.