After the outbreak of COVID-19, UV Medical is ensuring everyone’s safety where infection risk is an ongoing concern. On this episode of the Economic Development Podcast, Nathan Branch, CEO of threeUV shares how companies can grow after COVID-19 surge by ensuring their people’s safety and the scope of the state’s growth outside health tech sector.
I think there’s an opportunity for Atlanta to identify itself as a city of innovation. I think the opportunity for Atlanta has all the raw ingredients. It’s not just about location or having a really effective airport hub. It’s a diverse city and region, there’s many great green spaces, and I think for me, it’s a can-do attitude amongst the employees that these companies who choose to relocate here will employ, and they will benefit from.
- 01:16 – Nathan shares the challenges faced by them while relocating from Manhattan to during the peak of COVID outbreak
- 01:45 – UV Medical has become the go-to provider of UVC which is very effective in killing COVID on surfaces and in the air.
- 02:50 – The organization helps businesses from many industries, getting people back to work safely and getting customers through the doors.
- 03:15 – Nathan shares what’s the key to growth for businesses during COVID
- 05:02 – Atlanta needs to do is to better promote what it offers to businesses across the US who are considering relocation right now.
- 05:48 – Delta Airlines, the recovery of that business will be a really strong bellwether for Atlanta
- 07:39 – UV Medical submitted over $60 million worth of state government bids in Texas and California to help school districts with UVC technology
Nathan Branch 00:00
I think there’s an opportunity for Atlanta to identify itself as a city of innovation. Innovation is not just confined to technology; it’s combined with many different industries, fast-food restaurants, hotels, hospitals, and healthcare facilities. They all need to innovate. I think the opportunity for Atlanta, has all the raw ingredients I feel to be able to do that, but I think maybe there’s an opportunity to really grasp the Nestle Law Innovation and make sure that Atlanta stands up and is counted on what it offers to companies that wish to innovate irrespective of which industry center they come from.
Fabiola Fleuranvil 00:36
You’re tuning in to the Atlanta CEO Podcast, presented by Blueprint Creative Group. Today’s guest is Nathan Branch, the CEO of UV Medical. Hey Nathan, how are you?
Nathan Branch 00:45
Yes, good morning. Very well, thank you. How do you find yourself today?
Fabiola Fleuranvil 00:48
Pretty good, and you’re based out of Alpharetta. How long have you been in Metro Atlanta?
Nathan Branch 00:52
Listeners can probably tell from my accent that I’m not really from Georgia. I’m not from the US originally, but I’ve relocated to the States, six or seven years ago now. We just relocated from Manhattan, New York out to Alpharetta, just north of Atlanta in March last year, so relatively new to the area.
Fabiola Fleuranvil 01:10
Wow. Did your relocation coincide with closing?
Nathan Branch 01:16
Very much. I mean, we left Manhattan in March last year and as I’m sure your listeners know, that was kind of at the peak of some of the challenges that they faced it in New York City with outbreaks of COVID in care homes. We were really right at the peak of that kind of first wave, so it was a challenging move with removers, etc., as I’m sure you can imagine.
Fabiola Fleuranvil 01:38
Tell us about UV Medical, because you provide ultraviolet light technology, which has become essential since the pandemic.
Nathan Branch 01:45
Yes. I guess we are a business particularly for this age. UV medical was formed in 2020, and we’ve fast become the go-to provider of UVC infection prevention technology across the US. To give your listeners a bit of background, UVC is ultraviolet light that has been used in healthcare for over 50 years. What it does is it breaks down the DNA of viruses and bacteria, and essentially prevents them from reproducing. It’s very effective with managing risks of infection from the pandemic and just small doses of UVC will kill COVID on surfaces and in the air.
Fabiola Fleuranvil 02:21
One of the things that we’ve seen since the pandemic is the regional shift that a lot of companies are making from markets like New York and even the West coast, San Francisco, moving down south, particularly in the Southeast. We’re seeing a lot of relocations in Florida, in Metro Atlanta. You coming from Northeast, what is the business climate like for you in comparison? And where do you see the largest growth potential in Metro Atlanta? Because now you’re bringing this fresh lens to the region.
Nathan Branch 02:50
Yes, We’re in quite a unique position to kind of observe all the post COVID outlook for both Georgia, Atlanta and across a number of industries. We help businesses from many industries, getting people back to work safely and getting customers through the doors. We work with schools, restaurants, commercial property, like office operators, hotels, even airlines. For me, dealing with major businesses on a day-to-day basis who are challenged with the, how do we prepare our workplace for the safe return of employees and customers? I think the key word for me in 2021 is confidence. What I mean by that is, confidence amongst employees, customers, and also the local community. People need to feel safe, and companies need to not only take steps to lower risk for employees in the workplace, but I think what we’re seeing is effective, it’s when those companies use those initiatives as a platform to promote themselves and differentiate themselves against their competition.
I think from where we sit, we believe that companies that do a good job in installing confidence, are going to be those that thrive in 2021. Just to give you by means of an example, in the hotel industry, research has shown that guests are willing to pay more for their hotel room if they just know that extensive disinfection practices took place there. I think we’re in a world where, until a vaccine is developed, that has a hundred percent efficacy and is adopted by a hundred percent of the population, COVID is here to stay. I think business needs to evolve to be effective with what is sadly going to become, I believe an ever present danger.
Fabiola Fleuranvil 04:43
Let’s shift a bit. Let’s talk about industry development, particularly within healthcare tech, and all the innovation that’s probably going to be coming out since the pandemic, whether they were already in production and now being commercialized at a greater scale and being accelerated. Atlanta has really been growing as a startup hub, a tech hub, and there’s a lot of investments locally to really build up the capacity, homegrown and even, incoming companies like yours. As an outsider, where do you see the region standing in terms of being able to attract more within that health tech sector and even the different technologies and innovation that may come out of this season?
Nathan Branch 05:02
As an Englishman, I relocated, as I said, to Atlanta from Manhattan, and it’s been for me personally, an amazing experience. I find people here to be warm, positive, and ambitious. If you just look at the major employers, Coca Cola, Delta, UPS, Equifax; household names across a diverse range of industries. What Atlanta needs to do is to better promote what it offers to businesses across the US who are considering relocation right now. It’s not just about location or having a really effective airport hub. It’s a diverse city and region, there’s many great green spaces, and I think for me, it’s a can-do attitude amongst the employees that these companies who choose to relocate here will employ, and they will benefit from.
You only have to look at the news last week about the massive expansion in Midtown, from Google. That’s an indication of the city’s diversity and how that’s attracted to the tech sector. I don’t think its benefits are limited to just healthcare or health tech or any industry. I think if you look at the likes of Delta Airlines, the recovery of that business will be a really strong bellwether for Atlanta, given the number of local businesses that depend upon its success. I think as someone who moved into Atlanta Georgia from New York Manhattan, it needs to possibly do a slightly better job at really promoting itself and being on the front first for what it has to offer.
Fabiola Fleuranvil 06:25
With that said, do you think the Atlanta brand is still premature in terms of identifying what that is? Do you think that there’s a sense of personality that’s coming out of it? Are we leaning towards being that tech hub of the South? I know Miami is really pushing to a brand, that market as a tech hub and attracting VCs and the startup capital and from San Francisco to Miami, where do you think that we’re finding our space to where there could be that type of branding that happens for Metro Atlanta?
Nathan Branch 06:56
Yeah, I think you can use the term tech hub. I mean, one of the key words for me, I think, is innovation. There’s an opportunity for Atlanta to identify itself as a city of innovation, and innovation is not just confined to technology. It’s combined to many different industries, fast food restaurants, hotels, hospital and healthcare facilities. They all need to innovate. I think the opportunity for Atlanta; it has all the raw ingredients I feel to be able to do that. But I think maybe there’s an opportunity to really grasp the Nestle Law Innovation, and make sure that land stands up and is counted on what it offers to companies that wish to innovate, irrespective of which industry center they come.
Fabiola Fleuranvil 07:36
Very well said. What’s next for UV Medical?
Nathan Branch 07:39
Well, 2021 for us is going to be a huge year of growth. The UVC technology that we market, is trusted and used by the likes of Donald’s Marriott hotels; the VA for example, and we’ve been fortunate with some major wins with federal government agencies last year. I think one thing that’s a real kind of injection for the market we operated is, I’m sure your listeners would have read over and seen the recently signed off America rescue plan. That allocates significant funds over the next five years into things like the K-12 school network. To upgrade air quality in classrooms for us, our UVC air cleansing solutions are a perfect fit for that.
By means of an example, only last week, we submitted over $60 million worth of state government bids in Texas and California to help school districts better protect students and teachers with our UVC technology. I think for us, that same technology can protect offices, warehouses, data centers, leisure facilities; anywhere where an infection risk is an ongoing concern. I think the other thing that we’re keen to talk about is, this isn’t a popup business. UVC technology will reduce the common cold, the flu, even hay fever. What UVC and what we market, brings to businesses as it reduces sickness in the workplace, which obviously brings huge productivity gains to employers. We’re really looking forward to 2021 and we think we’re pretty future proof.
Fabiola Fleuranvil 09:05
It’s been a pleasure speaking with you, Nathan.
Nathan Branch 09:08
It’s a pleasure also. Thank you for your time. If any of your listeners want to find out a little bit more about what we do, the services that we offer that could potentially benefit them, just simply go to uvmedical.us. We look forward to sharing the kinds of services that we offer as a business.
Fabiola Fleuranvil 09:27
Thanks again for tuning into the Economic Development Podcast, presented by Blueprint Creative Group. There are more episodes featuring economic development leaders throughout the country. We thank all of the participants for sharing their perspectives. Check out all of the episodes in this series at blueprintcreativegroup.com/economicdevelopment.