The Capital Region is home to large corporations that have been here for years, all the way to the smallest startups. In this week's edition of the Capital Region Business Beat, Time Warner Cable News Reporter Jon Dougherty introduces to one of those startups that's run by two young entrepreneurs who are using light to help save lives.
TROY, N.Y. - They're two of the Capital Region's youngest business leaders. Colleen Costello and James Peterson are Co-Founders of VitalVio, a lighting company based in Troy.
But the lights VitalVio makes are just any lights, they are bacteria killers. They're regular white lights that kill bacteria on surfaces and in the air.
VitalVio's goal is to transform the healthcare industry with safer lighting for hospitals.
"It's a light that is capable of not only lighting the space to a proper level for diagnostic and medical performance, but also causing disinfection action inside the room everyday," said Peterson said.
Through color mixing, VitalVio has essentially created a new spectrum of light which tests show kills 99.99 percent of MRSA, E. Coli and other bacteria.
"By putting our units in, you will see a significant reduction in your hospital acquired infections, the cost you use associated with them, the energy you use associated with them, and the deaths associated with them," said Peterson.
Peterson said 5 percent of patients who are admitted to hospitals around the country will get a hospital-acquired infection. The New York State Department of Health said 12,523 hospital-acquired infection's were reported in 2012 from hospitals in the state.
VitalVio's lights have not yet hit the open market but are scheduled to be installed in two hospitals in March of 2014; the Albany VA and Mount Sinai in New York City.
Despite the initial blitz in hospitals, VitalVio said the lights can be used elsewhere as well.
"We also see this applicable for a lot of bacteria-sensitive environments," Costello said. "You can think of public bathrooms, gyms, and there's a lot of different markets we can see this applicable to."
Costello, 23, and Peterson, 24, graduated from RPI in 2012 and started VitalVio shortly after, doing most work in their kitchen.
Costello said there's a lot of learning on the job.
"There are ups and downs that come with it and things will go wrong, especially in a hardware company," she said.
VitalVio has several investors under their belts and it's about to mass produce their product.
"If we can save one patient's life over the course of the year, and we anticipate significantly more, that's really going to be something that we can be proud of," said Costello.
For more information go to vitalvio.com .