RingIR launched in 2013 to commercialize the wideband optical spectrometer Charles Harb PhD developed at the University of New South Wales in Australia to detect airborne chemicals. The company is ready to begin manufacturing portable devices that identify gases on location and in real-time using patented technology that measures each molecule’s infrared spectrum to get a “fingerprint” that uniquely identifies that gas in the environment. Harb and his wife Anna manage the company, which is located at the WESST Enterprise Center business incubator at 609 Broadway Blvd. NE in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Because the RingIR tool is small and portable — about the size of two lunchboxes — and can accurately discern a gas’s molecular fingerprint in seconds, it can be used to instantly improve safety for oil and gas workers, first responders, soldiers, and workers in a wide range of industries. However, before the company could begin manufacturing, it needed to refine its approach to this wide range of markets. It also needed a simple and clear way to describe its product to a targeted group. Business advisors at the WESST Enterprise Center suggested the Harbs contact New Mexico MEP, part of the MEP National Network™.
We shortened the time to sales by more than a year, and we learned things we otherwise would have had to learn painfully. The guidance really made us understand the approach to markets.
New Mexico MEP innovation director Scott Bryant performed a business evaluation to determine beachhead markets — the places where the company could build dominant market share before expanding its reach. He also encouraged the Harbs to focus on client challenges and solutions rather than on its technology. Through a series of meetings using tools, discussions, and exercises provided by Bryant, the Harbs developed their market approach and rapidly assembled communications materials that would help them begin manufacturing and selling to a well-defined and characterized market.