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Innovation of the WeekIoT EcosystemStartupsMarch 25, 20220Innovation of the Week – March 25, 2022

by Brooke Bender


Population – IoT

What it is: 


Population offers a connected system that uses Far UV-C light in office settings to kill viruses and bacteria.  Far UVC-light is a germicidal UV light that is safe for human exposure.  The easy-to-install lighting system starts working immediately and the Population App allows users to control intensity, dose delivery, and more while producing advanced documentation and reporting to support compliance.  The Far UV-C light works against SARS-CoV-2, influenza, MRSA, and other dangerous pathogens common in group settings and areas.  


Population currently offers two products: 

  • Focus provides the highest energy density, with a ½ power angle of 32 degrees from center 
  • Broad delivers a distributed dose of Far UV-C with a 54-degree ½ power angle to cover larger zones 

The Population team works with clients to determine the optimal arrangement of devices in a space.  The standard working lifetime of each lamp is >6,000 hours, or 2-3 years’ operating for 8 hours/day, before performance will start to degrade.   


Who Made It? 

Population was founded by Megan Groves in 2020 and is headquartered in San Francisco, California.  Groves serves as the CEO and is also a founding partner of Modular, an acceleration team and growth partner that augments emerging tech companies with expert marketing strategy and implementationShe is an active mentor for 3 New York-based Techstars programs (Hardware/IoT, FinTech, and New York City), and is also an angel investor for multiple early-stage startups like Miso Robotics, Ruby Love, Genius Juice, Remi, Ei, and more. 

Funding status: 

  • Population participated in the PlugAndPlay IoT program, Batch XIV, and won the PlugAndPlay IoT and Mobility 2021 Start Up Award. 

Why we like it: 

  • Population claims that this system deactivates up to 99.99% of harmful viruses & bacteria 
  • Businesses are under increasing pressure to provide a safe environment for their employees before a full “return to office.”  Products like this can help improve the safety of shared spaces.   
  • Founder Megan Groves has a strong background of building companies and launching products, both as a founder and as an active advisor or investor. 

Did you know?  

A joint study by scientists at Columbia University (Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons) and in the UK found that a new type of ultraviolet light that is safe for people took less than 5 minutes to reduce the level of indoor airborne microbes by more than 98%The study suggests that far-UVC light from lamps installed in the ceiling could be a highly effective passive technology for reducing person-to-person transmission of airborne-mediated diseases such as COVID and influenza indoors and could lower the risk of the next pandemicThe study was published March 23rd, 2022 in the journal Scientific Reports, a Nature journal


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