WESST Client Profiles
Ring IR is developing a portable device that uses patented technology to detect harmful gases quickly and efficiently. Technology currently in use doesn’t allow for real-time, on-site testing in settings where detecting gases is crucial for safety and efficiency. This device is poised to be a game-changer in mining, oil and gas, government agencies, research institutes, and the environmental industry.
Founded by Anna and Charles Harb in 2015, the pair found themselves becoming entrepreneurs by accident. At the time, Charles was an Associate Professor doing research with the University of New South Wales at ADFA (Australian Defence Force Academy) in Canberra, Australia and Anna was working as a part-time tender writer. When the Australian Federal Police approached Charles to create tools that would help the agency find explosives, Charles wasn’t sure right away that he wanted to work on this problem. At that time, the equipment the police used had long processing times and were not very accurate. After a few years of honing his breakthrough technology, when the Australian Federal Police approached him again Charles knew the time was right to make a positive impact for the good of his country, and potentially, the world.
Anna and Charles were accepted into the WESST Enterprise Center incubation program in July of 2016. They say that WESST helped them create a strong foundation for the business side of their venture. From putting together financial statements, to learning about regulations and processes, WESST has helped them understand what it will take to secure funding, hire employees, and move towards launching their product. They have relied on WESST mentorship to help them through the challenging moments, and appreciate that WESST is fostering, encouraging, and rooting for them every step of the way.
Two main obstacles that Anna and Charles faced while developing their product and business are disbelief from colleagues and the scientific community that their solution could work, and in acquiring funding to develop their prototype.
They have been able to overcome the disbelief by working steadily on the idea, solving the problems that come up, and slowly showing people that the technology can indeed work, with prototypes, testing data, plus scientific curiosity and determination to find a solution.
They have been able to acquire funding with contracts through the Australian government to develop their ideas, and this has been key to continuing with the business and the product.
Anna and Charles say that they love the excitement that entrepreneurship brings. They started from a place of doubt, not sure if the technology would work. As they have developed the device and shown that it can work, the potential for the product and the excitement of seeing the idea come to fruition drives them forward. They love that every day is different and brings both challenges and successes.
Anna and Charles know that their device will benefit the community by making it faster and easier to detect harmful gases in industry settings, thereby avoiding accidents and improving safety. Additionally, they hope that by manufacturing locally they will be able to create jobs and develop an industry that will economically benefit the community.
Currently, in the prototype phase of their business they project launching a model for testing in the field the 2nd half of 2018.
Anna and Charles Harb
"WESST has been our constant. They are always here to help us and teach us. We never feel alone."
Anna and Charles Harb