#UpwardLabsSpotlight | Komfort IQ



As we begin to embrace the "new normal" in the slow-drip return to the office, there is one new perk we - and the earth - can all get excited about.


Komfort IQ is solving for the current one-size-fits-all approach to office temperature and subsequent energy waste for commercial office buildings. CEO and Founder, John Ko, is bringing room-by-room HVAC control and room-by-room smart occupancy detection to commercial office buildings across the United States.


Learn more about how Komfort IQ is revolutionizing the HVAC industry and property management experience via his latest interview with the Upward team.

UPWARD: Give us the Komfort IQ elevator pitch.

John Ko: We are a hardware-software solution that offers room-by-room HVAC control and room-by-room smart occupancy detection for almost any building. We are the only company on the market offering a single solutions to fix hot office and cold office issues while reducing heating and cooling costs by 50% or more by enhancing existing building management systems.


A big part of what we do involves understanding human behavior and using data to help anticipate comfortable temperatures based on behaviors, thermodynamics, and environmental factors to optimize for comfort and energy efficiency. We’re different from the other companies in proptech because of our room-by-room HVAC control and room-by-room smart occupancy detection capabilities.

Our room-by-room HVAC management is the next big thing in energy efficiency and green buildings. - John Ko, Founder & CEO, Komfort IQ

U: What drives you and your team to accomplish your mission?

JK: When I sold my last company in 2015, I knew I wanted to build a company that created a social or environmental impact. I started to think about solving for how many of us leave the heat or air conditioning on in hotel rooms (guilty as charged), and realized that my technology could be applied to commercial commercial office buildings where it can make a much bigger impact on helping the environment.


U: Why Upward Labs?

JK: I was referred by a previous member of the Upward PropTech Lab - Sanjay Poojary of Saya Life, who I met through the NetZero Accelerator in California. He explained how Upward offered a very different and “high-touch” experience with its guaranteed pilots versus a lot of the “low-touch” programs I had been a part of with varying degrees of uselessness to the scaling of my company. 


U: Tell us about your current pilots.

JK: We’ve finished a pilot that turned into a paying customer in Glendale, CA and we’re piloting in a commercial office space with Shelbourne, at 100 Pearl Street, and with Lexington at The Borden apartments. We’ve also just received a verbal commitment from one of Upward’s Fortune 500 partners, which could lead to a really significant partnership. We’re also getting our first paying customers and large-scale projects in the next few months that will help accelerate adoption of our technology.


U: What is the key takeaway for potential clients, partners, and users of your product?

JK: The key takeaway is that we are solving the largest sustainability challenge faced by commercial real estate today. The high level of interest in the market is because people understand the enormity of this problem in commercial real estate. Our room-by-room HVAC management is the next big thing in energy efficiency and green buildings. Through our pilots, we’re getting the data that proves using our equipment leads to significant savings in energy, and once we have that - paired with a 2-3 year payback period - our system is a no brainer.


U: Tell us about you.

JK: I am the CEO and Founder of Komfort IQ, and a fun fact about me is that I'm a "professional" beer league roller hockey player at home in California.


Learn more about Komfort IQ's energy efficiency solution here.


About Upward Labs

Upward Labs is a Connecticut-based venture fund that has developed an ideal ecosystem to fast-track AgeTech and PropTech startups in the U.S. market. The program matches each startup with decision-makers from leading Fortune 100 and 500 companies in the healthcare and real estate industries. The startups and their corporate advisors work together for six months to first identify the use cases that prove the greatest commercial potential, and then test them in the Labs' numerous sandbox buildings and facilities. As the pilots deliver data and results, each Lab and its advisors work with the startups to refine their product and offering, thus enabling rapid growth and commercial traction. Learn more at www.moveupward.city/startups.