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#UpwardLabsSpotlight | CleanAir.AI (Alvi)

Not-so-fun-fact: you don't have to be in a dense urban area to breathe highly polluted air.

CleanAir.AI has found that areas we often take for granted as standard in air quality - i.e. our homes and offices - are rampant with harmful micro-particulate that common filters are simply not equipped to capture.

Michael Petgrave and his team at CleanAir.AI launched their latest product, a smart HVAC monitor called Alvi, to provide homeowners and commercial property managers with the clean air we all deserve.

Learn more about CleanAir.AI's mission and its powerful technology via the latest #UpwardLabsSpotlight PropTech feature.


UPWARD: Give us Alvi’s elevator pitch.

Michael Petgrave: Alvi is a smart HVAC filter that will remove viruses, lower building energy consumption, and monitor for your filters performance & air quality events in real time.

What drives you and your team to accomplish your mission:

MP: [CleanAir.AI CEO and Co-founder] Devin and I are lifelong friends. This is our second venture together after a successful dripless fuel nozzle invention attracted the attention of a major manufacturer when we were 21. Devin had a serious asthma attack when he was very young. The steroids he was prescribed caused a lot of challenges for him, so he developed this mentality of helping people who couldn’t really help themselves. I also suffered from chronic bronchitis, so when we were honing in on our collective purpose to help others as well as focus on a sustainability solution, we aligned with the issue of indoor air quality. In 2016, everything in the home was becoming smart - yet no one was thinking of one of the most out-of-sight-out-of-mind areas of the home: the furnace room. We took a deeper dive into this area of the home to find that traditional filters do not capture any of the particles that harm us - literally none of them. And thus, Alvi (see: alveoli), was born.

U: Why Upward Labs? 

MP: There is nothing else like Upward Labs out there. First, the structure is just so well done - it isn’t all about learning. Upward recognizes that we have businesses to run, so we’re not overloaded with classes, etc. Second, corporate partners are actually invested. You get to interface with the executive team, not just the innovation manager who is looking for new tech for the sake of new tech. We’ve experienced incubator-style programs in Silicon Valley, which was undoubtedly a cool experience, but the corporate buy-in just wasn’t there. Upward Labs delivers on their promise of meaningful dialogue with key partners every month versus the traditional ways of accelerator-thinking in which you simply make a pitch and hope that it leads to something.

U: U: Tell us about your upcoming pilots. 

MP: We’re piloting with Lexington in the gym, tenant spaces, and common area at the Windsor Station Apartments. We’re also working with Shelbourne at 20 Church Street and 100 Pearl Street. 

At 20 Church, we’re using Alvi to reduce microparticulate like dust. At 100 Pearl, we’re running Alvi for a specific unit that experiences odors from the restaurant below. The goal is to reduce (or completely eliminate) the carbon-based compounds that cause odors. A few of Upward’s big industry partners also want to have a larger discussion about implementing Alvi as part of new policy initiatives. 

U: What is the key takeaway for potential clients, partners, and users of your product? 

MP: What we breathe matters. Even in the midst of a global pandemic, people still don’t understand the importance of the air we breathe. Living in the first world, we think of air quality as standard. But the truth is, even in this “first world,” the air we’re breathing is highly polluted. The filters in your home or business right now are not helping. We want to change the way people interact with the air around them.

Living in the first world, we think of air quality as standard. But the truth is, even in this "first world," the air we're breathing is highly polluted. The filters in your home or business right now are not helping. - Michael Petgrave, CMO & Co-founder, CleanAir.AI

U: Tell us about you.

MP: I am doing all of CleanAir.AI’s business development, sales & marketing, which includes design work, social media, internal documents, delivering all presentations, and traveling the world for funding. I enjoy cultivating spiritual awareness and mindfulness. I do this through a lot of meditation, silence, and reading. 

Curious about how Alvi could change the air you breathe? Learn more here.


About Upward Labs

As we all know, the air that we think is clean is loped an ideal ecosystem to fast-track AgeTech and PropTech startups in the U.S. market. The program matches each startup with decision-makers from leading Fortune 100 and 500 companies in the healthcare and real estate industries. The startups and their corporate advisors work together for six months to first identify the use cases that prove the greatest commercial potential, and then test them in the Labs' numerous sandbox buildings and facilities. As the pilots deliver data and results, each Lab and its advisors work with the startups to refine their product and offering, thus enabling rapid growth and commercial traction. Learn more at


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