In the 3 years since Julian Stein arrived in Queensland to pursue an MBA, the German national has been providing commercial building managers with data to manage staff occupancies.
Stein is now engaging the Queensland Government’s flagship student talent program, Launch U Trade Accelerator, tapping into the insights of fellow internationals and domestic classmates to take his innovation around the world.
Work-from-home directives began as a public health response to COVID-19, but quickly gave rise to an ongoing hybrid work movement.
Company executives are now monitoring where and when staff are activating office space, and the benefit to operational costs through smaller floorplates, sub-leasing and hot-desks.
But before the pandemic was even a thought, former international student turned entrepreneur Julian Stein recognised commercial tenants and owner-occupiers wanted to know the same, but for general operations and energy-use.
“About 7% of the world’s global emissions come from the heating and cooling of office buildings,” said Mr Stein, CEO and founder of Fiffy Solutions.
“There’s the potential for significant savings in energy consumption of up to 50% if you apply occupancy data to energy management programs.
“So, there’s tremendous benefits for businesses to gain from measuring building occupancy from both a financial and Corporate Social Responsibility perspective.”
Fiffy Solutions emerged from The University of Queensland’s Ventures iLab Accelerator and received one of the Queensland Government‘s $100,000 Ignite Grants.
It uses thermal infrared sensors instead of face recognition technology to count people in real-time. The thermal sensors are key in providing a wireless device to simplify installation and avoiding privacy issues.
Fiffy Solutions has been contracted by universities to better understand their infrastructure needs, corporations, managers of museums and public libraries.
As well as measuring building occupancy, Fiffy Solutions’ privacy features allow it to discreetly monitor the use of public amenities for maintenance scheduling.
“For instance, the system can alert maintenance teams to toilet use so they can respond to high levels of demand, maintaining the desired user experience.”
Mr Stein believes there’s a global appetite for the technology with ambitions to expand to the USA, India and Europe.
Stein is, himself, a product of Queensland’s international student community. He's now tapping into the skills of the next wave of international talent - along with their domestic peers - participating in the Launch U Trade Accelerator program to collect targeted market research to develop his export plans.
A cohort of students will deliver a report on his brief, exercising their best-practice and contemporary analytical skills. For students, it’s a great opportunity build-out the experience on their CV; for businesses, it’s a chance to kick-start an export strategy without the impost of expensive market research.
“I’m keen to find out the best way to launch, what distribution channels to pursue, where to set-up, the industries and sectors of most interest,” said Stein.
“We have clients in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. To take Fiffy Solutions forward, we need to look into overseas markets.”
Trade and Investment Queensland is still accepting registrations from businesses which want to participate in the June cohort. For more information, visit the Launch U Trade Accelerator site or contact Senior Partnerships Officer Aleesha Ware on 0436 808 550. Students interested in joining the LTA can find out more here.