Hello there! Thank you for being a part of this community. I’m Kevin Hart, the CEO & founder of TZOA. Unfortunately I am not a famous comedian, although having the same name as a celebrity has had unexpected benefits. Rather, I grew up in a suburb outside of Vancouver, BC, Canada. My parents also grew up in Canada. Our recent ancestors can be traced back to Great Britain (as confirmed by 23andme’s DNA test).
From a young age, I grew up with an insatiable desire for knowledge, autonomy, and impact, which would later progress into entrepreneurship and forming a startup. My academic and professional career started out in the trades, after taking an accelerated high school program where I worked part-time/summers, and completed my first half of electrician apprenticeship and schooling by the time I graduated. A few years later I had my Redseal Journeyman electrical ticket and was leading a wiring rough-in crew on many single-family and high-rise apartments as well as a Safeway grocery store project in South Vancouver. I worked closely with other tradesmen in HVACR, especially refrigeration, plumbing, and tin bashers.
Working on construction sites, we had weekly safety meetings and we were required to wear PPE, especially respirators due to concrete dust/airborne crystalline silica. I’ll include a few photos of me from my early 20s in full PPE drilling channels in concrete for electrical conduit. These experiences made me acutely aware of fine particulate in the air that were cancer-causing if breathed in. The initial idea for TZOA was for a PPE indicator that detects sound decibel levels and particle concentrations, and advised when to wear a mask and ear protection. That was at the very green age of 23.
I became completely obsessed with understanding technologies for detecting particles in the air and flew all the way to North Carolina to attend an EPA conference that focused on low-cost sensors. I met professionals from WeatherUnderground, visionary academics, and some hobbyists - all speaker talks and dinner discussions strengthened my resolve for the need to create a miniature, accurate, and accessible technology that detected small particles known as PM2.5.
The past 7 years have been quite the rollercoaster with several pivots along the way to finally land where we are today. A team of passionate employees, investors, and customers have emerged & paved the way for HAVEN to become a real solution for HVAC-based IAQ detection, insights, and automation. We look forward to helping contractors help their customers, and for all to breathe better. Clean air is a right that should be accessible to everyone. I am incredulous and so grateful for the support we have received from contractors and customers. Thank you for being awesome.
In my spare time I tend to go through phases of trying new hobbies. I’ve been paid professionally for photographs and for winning video game competitions. The hobbies that have stuck the most include reading several books a month, listening to a few podcasts a day, an ongoing interest in molecular biology, trying to track and improve sleep, and growing vegetables. My latest hobby due to COVID gym closures is indoor cycling in my apartment with a Wahoo smart trainer using the Zwift software. Look me up if you’re on that platform and want to ride!