Peer-Arne Böttcher (Co-Founder, CEO) and Helge Knickmeier (Co-Founder, inventor of the AIRY system) Maximilian Probst
What inspired you to found your startup?
My friend Helge suffered from allergies and hay fever. He had been looking for a way to live comfortably for years. Technical filter systems proved to be inadequate. A study by NASA gave him the idea of using plants as air purifiers. By the time he thought it through, he had reinvented the flowerpot.
How are you different? What is your unique value proposition?
We at AIRY believe that we enable everyone on this planet to breathe clean air again.
How do you define success for yourself and your company?
What do you want to achieve next year?
After reinventing the plant pot and successfully introducing it worldwide, we now want to expand our business. In the coming months, AIRY will become an IoT company that offers unique products to improve and safeguard indoor air quality.
Why do people want to work at your company?
We’re solving one of the biggest threats to mankind. Many more people die from indoor air pollution than from HIV and malaria combined. This brings a lot of responsibility, but also a lot of joy and satisfaction for our team.
What has been the most important milestone so far?
Every product launch has been a big and important milestone for us so far. But the first successful campaign on Kickstarter will always be of special importance. The campaign was the springboard for our further development.
Looking back at your whole development story — what makes you most proud?
There are people who wrote us gratefully that they are well again and that they no longer need medication for their allergies or respiratory diseases. There are people who have become fans and ambassadors of our vision and products. This makes us all proud, and encourages us to continue working hard.
Where do you see your company in 5 years?
In 5 years we will still work on equipping every room on this planet with our AIRY systems.
What is your impression of launching a startup from your based city?
Since 1993 I have founded several companies, almost all of them in Hamburg. This city is networked on foot. It offers everything you need to build a successful business.
What is your impression of the german startup scene? Would you change anything?
My impression is that the founding scene is alive and kicking. Basically, I would like to see better networking with science and potential investors.
AIRY was featured in “The Hundert Vol. 10 – Startups of Germany“, November 2018.