The reinvigorated program pairs ideas with investment. Did you know that Uponor North America has a division called Uponor Innovations (UI), where highly motivated entrepreneurs can submit innovative ideas and turn them into protected, substantive, viable products or technology? What started seven years ago as a central resource site for entrepreneurs, startups, business owners, management Read more
The reinvigorated program pairs ideas with investment.
Did you know that Uponor North America has a division called Uponor Innovations (UI), where highly motivated entrepreneurs can submit innovative ideas and turn them into protected, substantive, viable products or technology? What started seven years ago as a central resource site for entrepreneurs, startups, business owners, management teams and investors to submit an idea that improves the way people design and construct the human environments, this accelerated think tank of innovative ideas is gaining momentum once again.
According the website (www.uponorinnovations.com), Uponor Innovation’s interests include acquisitions, equity participation and licensing. The approach is to pursue involvement where UI can best leverage mutual success through existing Uponor assets and resources. “Someone may have a good idea, but lack the resources to gain any traction or success,” says Bill Gray, president of Uponor North America. “That’s where Uponor can help. We have a successful and established infrastructure to help introduce ideas, products, processes and technology to our industry.”
A pipeline of ideas, the core concept that initiated the discussion behind Uponor Innovations was that “no one company has all of the good ideas,” says Carl Moe, Business Analyst at Uponor Innovations LLC. “We have the global expertise and employees in technical, marketing and product design areas where we can become a resource for idea generators.”
The force behind UI is that an idea will offer viability and acceptance, which, in turn, will contribute value to society. “We want to invest in an opportunity where the entrepreneur has a good idea and is already in a position to bring it to market—and we can help them. The strategy is for UI to invest more than just money. We have to see a way for Uponor to help leverage or help grow what we perceive to be a very good idea,” says Moe.
Piggybacking off the idea of growing and nurturing a very good idea,“Unlike a venture capitalist, we don’t have to ‘own’ your company. We can own it, but it isn’t a required part of our model. We want to invest in an opportunity where the entrepreneur has a good idea and is already in a position to bring it to market—and we can help them,” says Moe.
Gray believes that building an innovative culture internally and externally is a great opportunity to build products and create new processes and technologies that help its customers differentiate and grow their businesses. “We are looking for products and innovations that align with our sustainability goals and our vision of becoming a ‘recognized leader in sustainable building solutions,’” says Gray.
One recent success story was Uponor’s investment in Upstream Technologies. According to the Minnesota Department of Transportation, the Upstream Technologies SAFL Baffle—developed out of the University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering’s St. Anthony Falls Laboratory—has saved Minnesota taxpayers $8.5 million over the past few years and projects additional savings to the state of $26.4 million over the next 10 years. The product is a proven, cost-effective method to help municipalities, developers, watershed districts and transportation departments improve sediment capture in urban runoff before it goes into storm sewers and eventually ends up in lakes, rivers and oceans. Uponor subsequently supported launch of the Upstream’s new Modified Philip Dunne (MPD) Infiltrometer, which provides an innovative solution for quickly and efficiently measuring the rate of water infiltration into soil.
Another great example was the joint venture between Uponor and Belkin International to create Phyn in May 2016. Phyn’s mission is to help consumers reduce their water usage and contribute to the global water shortage problem, protect their homes and save money. “There was interest in it at Uponor because it pertains to water management, so the decision was to see if Belkin had interest to take on a partner. I reached out to the exec team at Belkin and introduced Uponor,” says Moe.
Currently, with multiple projects in the pipeline and in various stages of development, Uponor Innovations is an approach to pursue involvement through existing Uponor assets and resources, the UI infrastructure includes staff, funding, manufacturing, marketing, sales, technical support and a national distribution network.
Do you have an idea that would inspire the industry with fresh, innovative and sustainable solutions, and enrich people’s way of life? Uponor Innovations may be worth a look and worthy of consideration. “There is a wide network of really creative entrepreneurial people out there, for whom we would like to widen our front-door welcome mat to Uponor,” says Moe.
As showcased in the Uponor booth at the 2020 NAHB International Builder’s Show (IBS), Phyn, the leader in intelligent water solutions backed by Uponor and Belkin International, showcases its commitment to innovation in sustainable and water efficient construction products and technology with the introduction of Phyn Plus Pro Edition. Created for and sold exclusively to Read more
As showcased in the Uponor booth at the 2020 NAHB International Builder’s Show (IBS), Phyn, the leader in intelligent water solutions backed by Uponor and Belkin International, showcases its commitment to innovation in sustainable and water efficient construction products and technology with the introduction of Phyn Plus Pro Edition.
Created for and sold exclusively to professional channels including home builders and the residential construction community, Phyn Plus Pro Edition shares all of the best-in-class capabilities of the award-winning consumer Phyn Plus Smart Water Assistant + Shutoff product, the most accurate and comprehensive whole-home smart water monitoring solution on the market.
The Phyn Plus Pro Edition is enhanced with features that are optimized for installation at scale, including an ethernet port, a direct scan QR code for quick setup, and a unique rough-in “blank” to hold the place of the device until the finish plumbing stages of construction.
The adoption of smart home technology in standard new-home construction is growing at a rapid pace as more consumers want to stay connected to their homes for added security, convenience and comfort. 81% of home buyers are more likely to purchase a home with smart technology already installed. Not only does Phyn’s smart technology add to the overall value of a home, but also creates a more eco-friendly residence that supports the overwhelming majority of people looking to live more sustainably.
“In working with home builders we discovered that they have unique needs that the existing solutions on the market have not yet met,” said Ryan Kim, CEO of Phyn. “With the Pro Edition, we listened and took the opportunity to incorporate both their business as well as operational needs to develop an extension of our best-in-class Phyn Plus product that makes it easy for them to integrate into the existing life cycle of a new home build.”
Installed on a single location on the main water line, Phyn Plus Pro Edition is an innovative smart home device that protects and monitors a home’s entire plumbing system. The device analyzes microscopic changes in water pressure — 240 times every second — to fingerprint each water fixture and give homeowners unprecedented insight into their water consumption. From the smallest drip leak to frozen pipes, Phyn ensures homes are water tight and can automatically shut off the main water in the event of a catastrophic leak to mitigate damage.
With a sleek, durable, and compact design that is built for quick installation, the Phyn Plus Pro Edition features an integrated power supply that is built into the device. Additionally, the Pro Edition includes an ethernet port for the device to be hardwired to the home’s network instead of having to only rely on the homeowner’s WiFi. This is key in situations where the device may be installed in a part of the property where the WiFi signal may not adequately reach.
Professional channels will be able to purchase the Phyn Plus Pro Edition for $499 starting in Q3 of 2020. The device joins Phyn’s growing lineup of award-winning products, which includes the recently announced Phyn XL 1.5” and the Phyn XL 2” created for larger homes, new construction and light commercial properties with supply lines up to 2”. Phyn’s robust product suite now offers a full range of leak detection and water monitoring solutions for every type of residence, ranging from the DIY installed Phyn Smart Water Assistant to the professionally- installed Phyn Plus, Phyn XL1.5” and Phyn XL 2”.
Builders and professional installers may contact Phyn at Phyn.com for more information about the Phyn Plus Pro Edition.