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Stormseal [SMART 100, 2017]

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This SMART 100 profile and the information it contains is a duplication of content submitted by the applicant during the entry process. As a function of entry, applicants were required to declare that all details are factually correct, do not infringe on another’s intellectual property and are not unlawful, threatening, defamatory, invasive of privacy, obscene, or otherwise objectionable. Some profiles have been edited for reasons of space and clarity.

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1. THE BEGINNING

This innovation initially came to life when…

…a severe hailstorm hit Sydney in December 2007, causing insured losses of $486 million. Matthew Lennox, an insurance builder, was tasked with managing repair and reconstruction of thousands of properties. Over the next two months, in wet and windy conditions, Matthew saw insurance claims multiply fourfold, due to failing tarpaulins. This sparked the invention of Stormseal.

During 2008, Matthew developed Stormseal’s product and system with polymer expert John O’Neill. Two patents have been granted for the Stormseal film and application method. In 2016, Stormseal received a $450k Accelerating Commercialisation grant from the Australian Government. Stormseal is based in Rockdale, NSW.

2. WHAT & HOW

The purpose of this innovation is to…

…promote resilience to natural disasters. Severe storms inflict trauma and damage with increasing frequency. Stormseal covers a damaged roof or wall, providing lasting, secure weatherproofing, thereby enhancing emergency services, minimising trauma and preventing further damage and escalation of insurance costs.

It does this by…

…heat shrinking to cover a damaged structure, providing secure weather protection and requiring no further intervention until permanent repairs are made. Stormseal’s low-density but strong, polyethylene film is cut and tailored onsite. It is heat cured, increasing the strength of the film and fitting it snugly to the structure, without damaging any underlying materials.

3. PURPOSE & BENEFITS

This innovation improves on what came before because…

…Stormseal is much lighter than tarpaulins and requires no sandbags or ropes for attachment, making it easier, faster and cheaper to install. Attachment occurs at the perimeter of the damaged area, so installers spend less time on the roof, reducing risk and cost. Unlike tarps, Stormseal stays put, resisting wind, rain and hail for lasting peace of mind.

Its various benefits to the customer/end-user include…

…reducing costs and risks for emergency responders and insurance builders, while weatherproofing properties, allowing more storm victims to stay in their homes post-disaster. For insurers, Stormseal eliminates the cost of replacing failed tarpaulins, and prevents further damage and claim escalation.

4. COMPETITIVE LANDSCAPE

In the past, this problem was solved by…

…using tarpaulins. Traditionally, emergency responders and insurance builders have attempted to weatherproof damaged structures with tarps. Being bulky and heavy, tarps are difficult, time-consuming and dangerous to install, requiring ropes and sandbags. Worse, tarps frequently require replacement, because they leak, tear, blow off, or collapse under the weight of pooling rainwater, causing further trauma to residents and more property damage.

Its predecessors/competitors include…

…tarpaulins. Stormseal is unlike anything else on the market, and has many advantages over tarpaulins. Stormseal’s patented innovations are: the polymer film formulation that prevents UV damage, brittleness and tearing, and the method of installing the film using heat.

5. TARGET MARKET

It is made for…

…emergency responders, insurance companies and builders, to improve outcomes for storm victims and policy holders. To date, Stormseal has protected around 250 damaged homes.

In Australia, ‘ordinary’ storms damage around 222,500 homes annually. If Stormseal was used in all cases, total revenue would be $40million p.a.

Catastrophic events – like Cyclone Debbie in Queensland in March 2017 (damage >$1bn) – are becoming more frequent around the world. If Stormseal had replaced tarpaulins after the 2014 hailstorm that damaged 22,000 Brisbane homes, it would have generated $4million in sales.

In the construction industry, Stormseal can weatherproof incomplete structures and contain dust.
It is available for sale through…

…strategic licence agreements with Australia’s insurance groups and government agencies. Trained, accredited installers can order our product via Stormseal’s online portal. Stormseal is establishing licensing and distribution systems in Europe and the USA, commencing UK operations in June 2017.

Our marketing strategy is to…

… continue to build partnerships with insurers and their networks of contract builders, as well as emergency and disaster responders (including the SES and ADF); and complete high quality Stormseal installations, because word-of-mouth recommendations by policy holders to their insurance companies are very effective for us. We also build awareness through mainstream and trade media (print/online) and relevant conferences/exhibitions.

FINE PRINT: This SMART 100 profile and the information it contains is a duplication of content submitted by the applicant during the entry process. As a function of entry, applicants were required to declare that all details are factually correct, do not infringe on another’s intellectual property and are not unlawful, threatening, defamatory, invasive of privacy, obscene, or otherwise objectionable. Some profiles have been edited for reasons of space and clarity.

Maven Judge Vote: Stormseal – Smart 100 2017
(Please note – The form below is for judging purposes only and is restricted to the public)

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