AirCare: Do you know what you are breathing?
AirCare is a mobile app that tracks air quality and helps us find out what we are breathing, and Gorjan is the young man who developed it. This is the story about their startup adventure.
Do you know what you are breathing? A young man, Gorjan Jovanovski, asked the same question a few years ago and decided to find out by making a mobile app that would track air quality. That application changed his life and brought him to the exciting world of startups.
Gorjan Jovanovski was a successful young engineer. He lived a comfortable life, working as a team leader in the tech giant Booking.com in its Amsterdam office. But, Gorjan was not the kind of person who is satisfied with a 9 to 5 job so he started a side project: an application that tracks air quality and provides its findings in a report. He called it "My Air," or in the original "Moj vozduh."
With air pollution becoming a significant issue in the Western Balkan countries in recent years, Gorjan's application quickly gained popularity. In the fall of 2019, it became so popular that Gorjan decided that it was time to turn his side project into a full-time business. He quit his position in Amsterdam and travelled back to Skopje to begin his startup adventure.
As a first step on a new journey in his life Gorjan decided to rename the application, and AirCare, as we now know it, was born.
One of the first things Gorjan did after returning home was to engage with the local startup community. The Seavus acceleration program which started in February 2020 was an excellent opportunity to meet actors and peers in the Macedonian entrepreneurial ecosystem.
On top of these new connections with local mentors and startup supporters, Gorjan also had a chance to work with the Swiss EP team and experts. As a part of the Seavus acceleration program's second cohort Gorjan was put in contact with Neil Cocker, Roland Simon, Rita Katona, and Fil Guijarro. He found the mentoring sessions with Neil and Roland to be most beneficial for his future work and development:
I am a technical person—I can code an app well. I can take care of the servers, of APIs, data gathering, and even pitching—with my experience, but it takes a lot more than that to create a business. I got amazing knowledge from Seavus and Swiss EP experts on topics from marketing, to market research, business strategies, pricing and customer acquisition. All of this has greatly helped me expand my own skills as a business owner and apply those skills to boost AirCare’s success even further!
Gorjan Jovanovski, founder of AirCare
In the second half of 2020, AirCare participated in the Western Balkans Angel Academy Investment Readiness program that Efino ran and which was powered by Swiss EP. There Gorjan learned what it takes for a startup to become investment ready, and he knew that his team was not there yet.
Our main business was more B2C oriented, and we made enough revenue to keep the company going without an issue. But, after realizing that with the pollution data we had, we would hit big in the B2B market, AirCare started to pivot. We kept our original mission, to help the world know what they create, but also started to explore how we can digitally transform companies via air pollution big data. And since this was still unproven territory, we have to put more work and refinement into it, before we are ready to seek investment and partnerships.
Gorjan Jovanovski, founder of AirCare
Gorjan's startup adventure just got started and, by the end of 2020, AirCare reached a few significant acknowledgments and milestones:
- Gorjan was declared the best European Young Innovator at the World Summit Awards in 2020.
- Also at the World Summit Awards, the AirCare app was named one of the global winners in the Environment and Global Energy category.
- The application has over 500000 downloads.
- AirCare is available in 40+ countries where it monitors the air quality on over 12000 measuring stations.
If we were to ask you again, "Do you know what you are breathing?", now you can answer "I do," thanks to Gorjan and AirCare.