EnterpriseWorks startup Ascent Integrated Tech has closed a $400,000 seed funding round from multiple investors, the company announced.
Multiple strategic partners joined the seed round including Champaign-based Fox Ventures; Illinois Ventures, the venture capital arm of the University of Illinois; MHUB, Dipalo Ventures, and the Darley Company, one of the largest global fire equipment distributors.
“Ascent is building human performance technology to augment operators in hazardous environments with actionable insights that improve safety and productivity,” Paul Coulston, Ascent’s CEO. “Hazardous respirators are worn by firefighters, industrial operators, and avionic mechanics. These respirators can cost up to $10,000 per unit but may have less sensor technology than a $100 smartwatch.”
Ascent has active pilots with over 17 major metropolitan fire departments to test its product in simulated structural fires.
“Our approach is agnostic to the respirator, industry, and OEM, and its technology integrates into existing solutions and brands that these operators know and trust,” Coulston said. “Our technology enables reliable communication, interchangeable and wireless components, optical, environmental, and biometric sensors, and can monitor the locations and movements of the operators. All this is done without changing the fundamental functionality, gasket, or respiration function of the equipment.”
Ascent has proposals pending with various defense agencies to better protect avionic and marine mechanics. The company is in the beginning stages of regulatory approval.
This summer, Ascent will be working at EnterpriseWorks and will start the mHUB Industrial IoT accelerator cohort.