Alumni create new sanitization company amid COVID-19 pandemic

By Moustafa Elhadary, Mar. 23, 2021

Founded last fall, Mistify Labs is an up and coming company creating sanitization systems to purify enclosed areas of bacteria and microbes to reduce the spread of diseases including COVID-19. Cal Poly Pomona alumnus Ashish Verma (’09 electrical engineering) founded the business to help ease the burden of sanitization for companies opening during the pandemic.

When the pandemic began back in March of last year, the need for sanitization was heightened; Verma was able to quickly come up with a concept and market a prototype to reduce the bacteria in the air with an all new sanitization system. Mistify, is now the first automated sanitization system that delivers daily disinfection, according to its website.

“Illnesses are becoming more prevalent hence the pandemic we are in currently in,” Verma said. “One of the reasons we are in this pandemic in the first place is because we are unable to manage our hygiene better.”

Mistify founders, Ali on right and Ash on left. (courtesy of Mistify)

He continued, “If and when another pandemic happens, we want to be prepared for that; we don’t want to have to shut down our entire economy again.”

Verma shared how he came up with the name for the company, stating that the premise of the product is that it uses “a very fine mist” which helps disinfect the environment, inspiring the company name.

With a background in technology and marketing, Verma created an automatic sanitization system using smart fogging technology which is able to span even the hardest to reach places. The business spread from the idea of sanitizing cars to being the key component to sanitizing partnered businesses. As mentioned on their website, Mistify can be used in small businesses, restaurants, schools and even transits.

Alumnus Aaron Martinez (’11 public relations) works as the director of marketing for Mistify Labs. He expressed the reasoning behind creating an advanced automated sanitization system.

“Our goal was to create a cost effective way to add a layer of protection in order to provide a safer and healthier indoor environment,” Martinez said.

Chief Revenue Officer of Mistify Labs Ali Hakimrabet (’11, management and human resources), is also the co-founder of the company. He expressed the increased need for sanitization during this pandemic helped him and his partner, Verma, to create this product that has found a new market.

“We saw a need for sanitization as businesses went into lockdown due to the pandemic, and as they tried to reopen they had to drastically change their process,” Hakimrabet said. “Sanitization was adding a cost and operational burden on many companies we spoke with.”

Courtesy of Mistify

One such company was the Law Offices of Bernardo De La Torre in Whittier, California. De La Torre, an attorney specializing in personal injury and workers compensation law, had four Mistify systems installed in his 3,000 square-foot office.

“Mistify gave our clients and staff a sense of comfort being sanitized on a daily basis, once or twice a day,” De La Torre said.

De La Torre expressed that during the beginning of the pandemic, he did not feel like he was taking the proper care of his office to keep it efficiently sanitized on a daily basis.

“Society in general was unhygienic and this product has assured me that everything would be clean, not just during the COVID-19 pandemic, but for different types of bacterias, added De La Torre. “And this was the most cost-effective way to sanitize the office.”

With today’s Mistify model just being a prototype, the creators continue to tweak Mistify in an effort to produce a more well-rounded final product.

“We are currently working on our next generation unit, which we have developed from the data obtained in working with our current units,” Martinez said. “We are continuously trying to make our units as efficient and effective as possible.”

Correction, Mar. 25: Previously The Poly Post reported that Mistify was an air filtration system. Mistify is a sanitization system.

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