Independent coffee shops were hit hard by the pandemic last year. In October, Euromonitor International predicted that the U.S. would have just 25,307 coffee/tea specialty outlets by the end of 2020, a 7.3 percent drop year-over-year and the first such decline since 2011. While giants like Starbucks had the resources to weather the pandemic, smaller independent chains bore the brunt of COVID-19 fallout. 

Given this dark backdrop, you might think that Bellwether had a bleak year as well. The startup makes a compact, connected, electric and ventless professional coffee roasting machine meant for independent cafes — like the ones that shut down last year. But actually, Bellwether didn’t just survive the pandemic, it thrived.

Melbourne, FL, Feb. 22, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Building on its brand vision, “Life in a different light,” the sanitization and circadian lighting solutions leader Healthe, marked 2/22/21 officially as #222Day. The goal is to celebrate the extraordinary science and limitless potential of cutting-edge Far-UVC 222nm light technology and the critical role it is playing to help stop the spread of SARS-CoV-2 and create healthier indoor environments now and in the future. 

As part of this effort, Healthe announced that it is now accepting orders for the Healthe WAND PRO Boeing-licensed sanitization wand for widespread commercial applications. WAND PRO is the most powerful commercial grade sanitization wand that uses Far-UVC 222 light. This powerful, portable and chemical-free wand can quickly inactivate up to 99.7% of SARS-CoV-2, especially in hard to reach places like airplane cockpits. In addition to aerospace, WAND PRO is ideal for use in a number of other sectors, including transportation, hospitality, offices and retail. 

To mark #222Day, Healthe is also hosting a free, live streamed webinar today on Far-UVC 222 technology. The webinar starts this morning at 11am EST and can be viewed at https://healtheinc.com/222-day/ 

Topics of discussion will include the technology’s safety and efficacy as well as how it is being used commercially today and can be applied in the future. A Q&A will follow the presentations. The webinar is being moderated by David Meckstroth, Healthe’s Chief Marketing Officer. 

The panelists are Fred Maxik, a global expert on UV light and Healthe’s Founder and Chief Scientific Officer. He is also a U.S. Presidential Champions of Change award recipient.

Mr. Maxik will be joined by  Dr. Michael Roizen, the Chief Wellness Officer Emeritus of the Cleveland Clinic, Teresa King, Cabin Integration Leader at Boeing, Bobbie Lloyd, Chief Baking Officer for Magnolia Bakery in New York City, and Matt Higgins, CEO and Co-Founder of RSE Ventures and HBS Executive Fellow.

“While the human applications of Far-UVC have been known by researchers for well over a decade, it took the onset of a global pandemic for us to truly understand and appreciate what a powerful tool it is in terms of deactivating pathogens and viruses in the air and on surfaces,” said Fred Maxik, Healthe’s Chief Scientific Officer. “The real benefit of this technology is that its real-time capabilities means it is providing a constant source of cleaning for everyone while they are gathered in an enclosed space, with very few variables. This is truly game-changing and vital in terms of creating healthier indoor environments for work, school and play in the face of this current and yet unknown future viral threats.” 

In addition to the WAND PRO, Healthe’s suite of sanitization solutions that utilize Far-UVC 222 include the Healthe ENTRY™  sanitization portal and Healthe SPACE downlights. Healthe’s other sanitization solution is a Healthe AIRtroffer, which combines the germicidal properties of ultraviolet light and carbon activated filtration to improve air quality in indoor spaces. Healthe’s applications can be combined with the Company’s circadian lighting products that help regulate the body’s internal clock, boost performance, and enhance sleep.  

“Another positive with Far-UVC is that unlike traditional UVC, 222 has been shown safe for use in human environments– it apparently does not have enough energy and has been shown in experiments that it does not have the ability to penetrate to the living cells in our skin or outer layers of the eye,” said Dr. Michael Roizen, Chief Wellness Officer Emeritus of the Cleveland Clinic. “Multiple national and international studies point to Far-UVC’s safety and efficacy.” 

One recent study, led by one of the world’s leading far-UVC researchers, Dr. David Brenner, director of the Center for Radiological Research at Columbia University, demonstrated the technology’s safety and efficacy against airborne viruses, including coronaviruses. 

Today, Healthe’s products are in use in high-profile places throughout many sectors of our economy. They include the Miami Dolphins football facilities, the iconic Space Needle, Nature’s Path production facilities, The Capstone at Royal Palm Assisted Living and Memory Care Community (Florida), 9600 Condominium (‘Crown Jewel of the Jersey Shore’), 1909 K Street (The Millennium Building) in Washington, D.C., Blind Horse Restaurant & Winery (Wisconsin) and Magnolia Bakery (New York City), to name just a few. 

“When COVID first hit, we needed to act quickly to ensure that our production facility and customer locations remained open for business but first and foremost were safe for our employees and customers,” said Bobbie Lloyd, Chief Baking Officer for Magnolia Bakery.“As an added measure of protection to our existing cleaning practices, we installed Healthe’s solutions, which has enabled us to keep our business operating successfully in the face of a historic health crisis which has negatively impacted so many sectors of our economy, including small businesses.”  

About Healthe

Healthe is the technology leader in developing and deploying sanitization, circadian and biological lighting solutions that inactivate pathogens in the air and on surfaces, regulate the body’s internal clock, boost performance and enhance sleep. Its mission is to harness the power of light to create a safer, more productive and healthier environment. Learn more at www.healtheinc.com and connect on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and Instagram.

Outdoor cooking industry leader and famed kettle-grill-maker Weber has acquired June, the smart cooking startup founded in 2013 by Matt Van Horn and Nikhil Bhogal. While financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, Weber has confirmed that June will continue to operate as its own brand wholly owned by Weber-Stephen Products and will continue to both sell and develop the June Oven and related products. 

The Drone Racing League (DRL), the global, professional drone racing property, today announced the 2020 DRL Allianz World Championship Season and their first-ever Drone Racing League Simulator on Xbox. Featuring a new competition format, new video game on console, and new ways for fans to stream the sport, the 2020 Season will kick off a new era of sport.

Boeing [NYSE: BA] entered into a patent and technology license with Florida-based Healthe® Inc. today under which Healthe will manufacture an ultraviolet (UV) wand designed to sanitize airplane interiors. Boeing designed and developed the UV wand as part of the company’s Confident Travel Initiative (CTI) to support customers and enhance the safety and well-being of passengers and crews during the COVID-19 pandemic.

BBQ legend Weber is getting into the connected cooking game with their new SmokeFire grill, which uses wood pellets for fuel and incorporates technology developed by Weber in partnership with appliance startup June  for Wi-Fi-enabled smart cooking.

The Drone Racing League (DRL) will host a series of races and competitions where autonomous drones will try to beat a professional drone pilot. Teams of university students and other drone enthusiasts will be invited to compete for more than $2 million.

Stephen Ross, the owner of the Miami Dolphins and developer of New York’s Hudson Yards, has made a $30m acquisition in the first step in a plan to build a brand that aims to demystify cyber security for small and mid-sized businesses.

Five months ago, we led the first investment in the Drone Racing League with the intention of building the next great sports property. Today we are proud to announce its official launch.

While it is certainly too early to tell if DRL (or drone racing for that matter) will take off, the initial traction has been promising. The DRL team has built state-of-the-art technology and both pilots and fans have shown their passion for drone racing as a sport of the future. This early feedback, coupled with our belief in the DRL management team, is what gives us confidence that drone racing has the potential to become engaging and mainstream.

Through our years of experience working with teams, leagues and fans we’ve come to realize how rare it is to find something truly new and disruptive in sports. Typically, the ‘new’ properties we see are modified versions of old classics (i.e. a 1-on-1 basketball league). A new idea in sports that can actually create something out of nothing is not to be ignored; particularly when it is poised to capitalize on major global trends like VR, eSports and drones (a multi-billion dollar market). It was this combination of factors that both inspired us to invest in DRL, and ignited our imagination for what the future of drone racing could be.

Of course, there remain some looming issues around drone racing that need to be resolved before the sport can truly scale. These include: creating the necessary channels to foster grass roots engagement, the development of standardized rules, and technological improvements to create a more fan friendly live-event.

While some investors might see these challenges as red flags, we see them merely as growing pains in a nascent sport that carries massive potential. At RSE, we are searching for ideas on the fringe, long before the details have been worked out and (of course) have great entrepreneurs behind the wheel. We look for the opportunity to mold a company from the ground floor using our portfolio and institutional knowledge as resources. Furthermore, early stage companies (like DRL) not only carry the most upside, but also give us the chance to get deeply involved in the business and help shape the future of the company.

We have high conviction in what we do, and the necessary resources to build big, novel and seemingly implausible businesses. We are proud to be a part of the DRL growth story and look forward to a very exciting road ahead.

Since our initial investment in August, DRL has held two full-scale events: The Gates of Hell (New York, NY) and Miami Lights (Miami, FL). Today the media from these events have been released, and you can see for yourself what gets us so excited about the future of drone racing.