Take a break after a big success. Enjoy your big successes with people you care about. Also, be generous with your family, friends, and your community. Internal appreciation will build confidence and sharing your success with others either with time or money will help keep you grounded.
As a part of our series about cutting edge technological breakthroughs, I had the pleasure of interviewing Gregory Scott Newsome, Board Director and CFO of Dexwet Holdings Corporation, an air filtering and technology company with more than 60 patented designs that protect humans and machines.
Gregory is leading Dexwet’s 2021 expansion into the United States as the company prepares to launch an innovative, sustainable wet air filter that captures airborne particles and will change the way Americans think about the air they breathe in homes and businesses.
Born in Virginia, Gregory traveled extensively throughout North America and Europe and has been living in Colombo, Sri Lanka since 2006. He holds a BBA Degree in Finance with a focus on Derivative Securities and Investments from James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia. Gregory & his long-time business partner, Dr. Kosala Heengama, are focused on servicing underserviced foreign markets and acceleration opportunities by providing corporate strategy and financial solutions to growing SMEs who are disruptive to their industry and want to become a publicly listed company on the U.S.’s OTC Market, NASDAQ or NYSE exchanges.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I’ve had wide experience with SMEs having started, operated, acquired, sold, turned around, funded, advised, mentored, brokered, invested, and been a board director in numerous private and publicly traded companies predominately in North America, Europe & Southeastern Asia.
I am driven by natural curiosity, with an open mind and a positive perspective, and have found that the most challenging and rewarding opportunities came by answering calls for help. When I got a call from Dexwet last year, I knew I was about to embark on something very special.
In June of 2020, Clemens Sparowitz, long-term Dexwet Filters executive and current board director and COO of the U.S. holding company, asked me to help position Dexwet’s air filtering technology as a solution for this global pandemic. Dexwet already had revolutionary air filter technology and products in continuous use since 2009, so my business partner, Dr. Kosala Heengama, and I decided that the timing was ideal to refocus the company from machine health to human health.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
Two days after a discussion with a friend about an opportunity in a small island nation in the Indian Ocean, I took the ten-hour flight from London to Sri Lanka. That was back in 2000 when Sri Lanka still had their civil war.
Despite the war, I loved the warmth and hospitality of the people. It seemed that Colombo, the capital city, had little influence from the rest of the world and had almost been forgotten because of the civil conflict. Everywhere I looked I saw an opportunity. I had jetlag and did not sleep much my first two days, but I could not stop thinking about the possibilities and potential.
I visited every 6 months and decided to make it my home in 2006. The civil war ended in 2009, and it has been full of opportunities and a great place to raise a family.
Can you tell us about the Cutting edge technological breakthroughs that you are working on? How do you think that will help people?
Dexwet Air Filters Technology will have such a profound effect on human health that it will disrupt the existing air filter industry in the United States and around the globe. Dexwet engineers designed our Wet Air Filters as an affordable, eco-friendly solution to provide clean pure air that is free of dust, pollen, pollutants, and airborne pathogens like bacteria and viruses — all without the need for electricity or batteries. The secret is our patented design that uses staggered filter rods coated in oil that acts as glue to trap and bind particles.
We designed these filters to be simple to size and install on the outflow exchange where they act as a last stage of defense before the air enters each room. Dexwet’s revolutionary design is also sustainable as they only need to be cleaned about once a year and reused over and over again.
Since 2009, Dexwet’s technology has been used in machines that required air filtration without limiting airflow. Our technology is so exciting because it expands the airflow spectrum for filtration to range from convection up to sonic speed airflows. Our filters help machines operate as they were intended without the interference of dust particles, extending the life of most machines.
How do you think this might change the world?
We are excited about the positive effects Dexwet Wet Air Filters will have on human health. We want to do our part to help restore the world to pre-Coronavirus conditions by mitigating airborne pathogens using our disruptive air filter technology. More generally, we are hoping to have a profound positive effect on the air filter industry and all the possible machines that could utilize our air filtration technology. We are also looking to have a positive effect outside this world, as we believe our air filters can also be used in space.
Keeping “Black Mirror” in mind can you see any potential drawbacks about this technology that people should think more deeply about?
This is a difficult question, as it contradicts our company’s mission statement, which is “to have a positive effect.” But speaking hypothetically, and using a bit of truth faced by water filtration industry, whereby filtering salt molecules also filters out helpful minerals from water, thus making the water not safe for consumption. One could suggest that in the future scientists discover that air filters are removing beneficial particulates that are a necessary component of oxygen for the human body. I suppose it is possible, but not very probable.
Was there a “tipping point” that led you to this breakthrough? Can you tell us that story?
I think there was a eureka moment for Dexwet’s late founder and inventor, Erich Petein when he was working at Xerox in the late ’90s. He was trying to find a solution he could patent and sell back to his company when he noticed fine dust from toner cartridges was causing problems with the printers. It became his mission to filter this fine particle matter and two years later he filed his first air filter technology patent in 2000. Xerox declined to purchase or license his patent, so Erich formed Dexwet Filters to change the air filter industry on his own. Tragically our founder, Erich Petein, died in 2017, but we continue to carry on his mission to revolutionize the air filter industry.
What do you need to lead this technology to widespread adoption?
Air filters have pretty much been the same since HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) was created back in the 1950s, so people have accepted that if you want a filter to catch more particles, you must sacrifice airflow.
We need people to understand that Dexwet Filters are engineered to provide the highest level of air filtration, with a minimal decrease of airflow. It is also a truly sustainable product as you don’t throw our filters away after one-time use. You simply clean it in the dishwasher (or hot water), re-apply the oil, and reuse it again, and again, and again, for the life of the machine itself.
Dexwet is confident that widespread adoption will come as more people and companies become aware of our technological advancements.
What have you been doing to publicize this idea? Have you been using any innovative marketing strategies?
This pandemic has been tragic for the world for both health and the economy, but it has prompted the global press to create public awareness about the dangers of airborne particles. With this new awareness, we are now showing how our technology could help individuals and families have pure, clean indoor air and be more comfortable in their own homes. As mentioned before, we at Dexwet Filters will do our part to help restore the world to pre-Covid conditions. We are not the full solution, but we believe that we are a key part of the overall solution, where we mitigate airborne transmissions in shared spaces by using our air filters.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
So many people….Being aware that success is greatly derived from the help that others have given you, gratitude is a result of this awareness. To single out one person, I would choose my grandfather. He would tell me stories to give an example of morality. He also took the time to explain to me the logic behind morality which became the foundation of my character.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
This is also a difficult question. I like the saying that time is awarded to things of value. I offer my time to people and try to equip them with the tools necessary so they can help themselves. Teach a man to fish vs give a man a fish.
I also believe that every individual can benefit from breathing clean, pure air that is free of particles and airborne contaminants, and sharing Dexwet with the world will help people feel more comfortable in their homes so they can live happier, healthier lives.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why. (Please share a story or example for each.)
Not sure it would have mattered, as I was very stubborn and had to experience things firsthand, but I offer this advice to others.
- Read more. Watching a video is good but reading allows me to make a movie in my mind. I retain information better when I read. I also take notes when I read as many times it triggers new thoughts and ideas to explore.
- Measure twice and cut once. Review all of your facts before action. This also means you should have a plan to review.
- Timing is more important than you think. The importance of timing is critical because if the consumer is not ready to accept your ideas, companies can do everything correctly and still fail. This directly relates to Dexwet Filters. They had invented a better product, 15 years ago, but the market was not ready to listen. I am confident that their time has come for incredible acceptance.
- Trust but verify. At the end of the day, good people may not tell you the entire truth or they may simply not understand it as well as they should. It is your responsibility to verify information as it can clarify misunderstandings before they become an issue.
- Take a break after a big success. Enjoy your big successes with people you care about. Also, be generous with your family, friends, and your community. Internal appreciation will build confidence and sharing your success with others either with time or money will help keep you grounded.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Of course, it is to have a positive effect. If individuals would focus on effecting even small positive changes, it would result in all of society moving together in a positive direction.
In my office in Sri Lanka, I overheard some of my young executives discussing politics over lunch complaining that politicians only solve problems by simply throwing money at the problem and not affecting real change. I gathered the same group before they went home for the evening and casually asked how many of them donated money to their temple. (Buddhism is the predominant religion in Sri Lanka). All raised their hands confirming. I then asked them how many donated their time to the temple to help the people who came in search of help, to which none of them confirmed. I simply said…oh I guess you solve problems by simply throwing money at it.
This event led to us implementing an internal charity program where our staff identified people who needed help. Many were short-term help because of an illness or an accident, but a difficult time nonetheless. Our Chairman put together bundles of household essentials and vouchers from local shops for them to give directly to families they identified as needing help. Direct action is important to effect a change and the more actions and time you can give the greater the positive effects.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
My favorite life lesson quote is “Anything is easy when you know how.” I believe you should always continue to learn because the more knowledge you have the more tools you have available to solve problems. Startups, distressed companies, and growing business all have many problems to overcome, and the more you can easily solve problems, the better you chance for success.
Some very well-known VCs read this column. If you had 60 seconds to make a pitch to a VC, what would you say? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂
How important is clean air for machines to operate effectively? Or how important is it for you and the people you care about to breathe clean, dust and pathogen-free air? At Dexwet Filters, it is not a question of “is it important”, but a question of degree “how important”. Our answer is simply that Dexwet Filters patented technology is the best air filter solution available.
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