As a PhD student at Columbia University, Marshall Cox’s New York City apartment was often overheated due to a difficult to control steam radiator. This common nuisance led him to develop an innovative product, now called the Cozy, and launch a Brooklyn-based startup called Radiator Labs.
Essentially a thermostat for your radiator, the Cozy can quickly and easily move heat from overheated apartments to cooler ones, reducing heating costs by 30-40%. According to Cox, the product is simple to install and requires no contact with plumbing or steam. For the consumer, who has access to the system via WiFi, this means instant comfort and the ability to keep windows closed in wintertime.
The Cozy has a thermally insulating decorative cover that fits over your radiator to trap the heat inside. A user can simply slide the cover over a radiator, plug it in, and sensors on the outside of the Cozy constantly measure the room temperature. Then, an integrated fan pushes the appropriate amount of heat out into the room to comfortably maintain the desired temperature.
In whole-building installations, the system use wireless radios to talk to the boiler – telling it how much heat is really required to maintain temperatures. The result is reduced energy consumption and costs for building owners and tenants.
Last year, Radiator Labs was selected from a pool of more than 150 applicants to participate in MetaProp NYC’s real estate tech accelerator. The program provides participants with access to office space, mentors and global investment capital.
On January 26, 2016 in New York City and February 3, 2016 in San Francisco, Radiator Labs participated in MetaProp NYC’s Demo Day. The event celebrated the culmination of the 22-week accelerator program and gave graduating startups a chance to showcase their products.
Just before MetaProp NYC’s Demo Day, cre.tech caught up with Cox who shared his company’s plans and their tech accelerator experience.
cre.tech: How many individual residential units have installed The Cozy and how many full-building installations?
Marshall Cox: 1,200 units will be installed by the end of January. In addition, there have been 8 full-building installations.
cre.tech:. What type of subsidies or incentives are available to building owners to install The Cozy?
Marshall Cox: There are incentives for natural gas buildings through existing utility incentives programs.
cre.tech: Where is the hardware built and what has been the most challenging aspect of manufacturing The Cozy?
Marshall Cox: The units are built completely in the United States, primarily in New Jersey and Maine. The most challenging aspect is that each unit is custom manufactured to precisely fit a particular radiator (radiators come in all shapes and sizes).
cre.tech: What was the single most valuable “take-away” from your MetaProp NYC accelerator experience?
Marshall Cox: My single largest takeaway (though it’s not over yet!) is the understanding and elucidation of the significant differences between residential and commercial real estate.
cre.tech: What advice would you give to start-ups considering participation in an accelerator program?
Marshall Cox: You get out what you put in.
cre.tech: What’s next for Radiator Labs?
Marshall Cox: Developing a V2 Cozy, optimized for more environments and installations.