UNC sophomore Aditya Bhatt has always been "kinda a germophobe" ever since he was a child who got sick often.
This spurred his decision to found Ultraloop Technologies, a company that sells chemical-free sanitization devices, with fellow student Mukesh Loganathan.
When COVID-19 began to spread in the U.S. in March 2020, Loganathan said a quick phone call from Bhatt led to the company's creation.
“After we had gone into lockdown and had to leave campus, Aditya went back to India,” he said. “When he was there, he called me and told me he has this idea.”
Now, the founders are working to make the product available on campus.
The team recently met with Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz to discuss the startup.
“Carolina’s Shuford entrepreneurs are seeing the challenges of our world and looking for solutions," Guskiewicz said on Twitter. "Great to meet with Mukesh, Aditya and Jared to hear about Ultraloop, a device that will quickly and sustainably sanitize phones and objects we use every day.”
Bhatt said Ultraloop products use a form of ultraviolet light to disinfect items.
“There are three types of UV light: UV-A, UV-B and UV-C; UV-A and UV-B we get from the sun,” Bhatt said. “We are exposed to them all the time. But UV-C is something more concentrated. It is high-energy waves and rays that kill bacteria. The RNA and DNA of bacteria are rendered ineffective.”
There are currently two Ultraloop devices on the market.
“One is a UV-C oven, Ultraloop O, which is a desktop oven that has about 32 liters of capacity," Bhatt said. "You can put your phone, laptop and backpack in it. And we have a conveyor belt machine made for airports, frat houses and hospitals as well.”
While plans for use in the U.S. are still under consideration, Loganathan said the company has already had success in India, where it was founded.
“In India currently there are over 5,000 units being used in schools, hotels and restaurants,” he said. “And we are working with a distributor, who is working with hotels and restaurants and they are getting it to these businesses.”
Bernard Bell, executive director of the Shuford Program in Entrepreneurship, has mentored Ultraloop Technologies. He said he is impressed with the work ethic of Bhatt and Loganathan.
“I think working with them, they are more technical than many of our students,” Bell said. “They have an entrepreneurial maturity that is not typical for someone of their age. They are not tentative in their desire to move the ball down the field. As a result, they get things done, and then they come back to me and ask for what’s next.”
While the University does not have immediate plans to bring the product to campus, a University spokesperson said UNC supports the work of the startup.
Bell said he is convinced that regardless of whether Ultraloop devices are used on campus in the fall, Bhatt and Loganathan are destined for future success because of their personalities.
“One of the things we preach at the Shuford Program is the value of relationships, how to form them and manage them,” he said. "I think that because they have a high likability factor, and they understand people dynamics, they will go far.”
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