Latest BoxTop Media News
Mar 21, 2014
Email | Twitter Columbia entrepreneur Noah Berk is looking to cash in on demand from Americans for less germy apartments and hotel rooms. Berk’s company, FreshSpace Solutions, installs air filtration and water purification systems in apartments and hotels to make them more environmentally friendly for people with asthma or those who just want a cleaner environment. Berk recently inked a deal with Mill Creek Residential Trust, a national apartment owner, to use FreshSpace’s services in its 603-unit Trilogy NoMa complex in Washington, D.C. Berk, 29, is also talking to Beltsville-based apartment developer Bozzuto Group and some major hotel chains about deals. To help fuel FreshSpace’s expansion, Berk is looking to raise $450,000 to do marketing, buy additional products and drum up business at industry trade shows. It would be FreshSpace’s first round of outside funding. Berk expects to launch a $1.5 million funding round in 2015. FreshSpace stems from Berk’s earlier company, GreenSpacers, which grew and sold houseplants that grew in clay granules, rather than dirt. Bozzuto Group was one of GreenSpacer’s customers. Part of GreenSpacers’ appeal was that the plants helped purify the air. That got Berk thinking that the real business play for a startup is in a business that provides a total cleaning solution for indoor environments, including water, surfaces and lighting, as well as air. “I didn’t get into this to grow plants,” he said. “I got into this to clean air.” Berk figures that an ultra-clean environment is the latest amenity hotels and apartments will be looking to offer as a way of standing apart from the crowd. He cites a Cornell Survey Research Institute study in which 83 percent of travelers said they would prefer an allergy-free room and that 63 percent said they would be willing to pay a premium of $10 or more for it. Page 1
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