Startup Zappogen Is Bringing Coronavirus-Killing Disinfectants to a Business Near You

By Elijah Labby Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Dr. Jack Shevel has founded some of the United States’s most valuable healthcare companies. Now, he is turning his attention to the coronavirus.

For Shevel, the pandemic was personal. Less than a year before, he was hospitalized with an autoimmune disease. He took steroids and immunosuppressants but would be susceptible to possible infections in the future. So when the coronavirus pandemic first came to America, Shevel began searching for ways to keep himself and his family safe.

Out of that search came Zappogen, which sells cold fog sprayers and other devices that have proved attractive to businesses like gyms that need routine sanitization at a low price.

The venture has seen incredible success in the months following the pandemic’s entrance into the United States. For its first year, Zappogen projects earnings of well over $10 million.

Headquartered in Rancho Santa Fe, California, the company services local businesses like Welk Resorts, Dave’s Hot Chicken, and Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club.

Zappogen is adding new disinfectants to its line of products, even receiving a go-ahead from the United States Environmental Protection Agency for its SpectraKill RTU wipes, which are proven to kill SARS-Cov-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

Shevel believes that assurances of cleanliness will be vital to an eventual return to normal. He’s offering advice to individuals like himself that could be harmed by the virus, as well as those concerned about transmitting it to others, about what to look for when visiting open places of business.

“Start by asking your hotel if they’ve had any positive cases among staff or guests, and review the COVID-19 updates on their website,” he told Travel and Leisure. “Request their sanitization and disinfection policies: Are temperature checks mandatory for everyone coming in and out? How frequently are employees tested?”

Across the country, in Philadelphia, another disinfectant company called Germ Hero has much the same mission: to make common spaces cleaner and give the people that occupy them more confidence in that cleanliness. Germ Hero CEO Eric Zhivalyuk and co-founder Ilija Cankovic both left high-level jobs to create a way to help with the spread of the pandemic.

“I became passionate about being able to make a difference,” Zhivalyuk told The Philadelphia Citizen.

He hopes that Germ Hero will enable small businesses, many of which have been crippled by fears surrounding the virus, the ability to assure patrons of their cleanliness.

“We take video, we take photos, and we hand that over to [business owners] and tell them ‘You can share this. Put a link on your site, put it in your blog or your Facebook, and let the world know you’re a Germ Hero-verified business,’” he said.

The Future of Coronavirus-Era Business

Although some experts warn of a holiday spike in coronavirus cases, many business owners say that their companies will be unable to remain open if restrictions on their operations continue. This has led to sometimes high-profile confrontations between officials who believe that safety outweighs potential damages to business and business owners who believe the opposite.

Still, technology seems to be rising to meet the need for anti-coronavirus measures in the workplace. According to The American Genius, contactless thermostats can check the temperatures of up to 1,500 people in an hour and have “an error margin of less than one-tenth of a degree Fahrenheit.” Furthermore, contact tracing volunteers, contact tracing apps, social distancing measures, and increased production of masks are all aimed at creating a work environment in which workers are less exposed to the virus.

Heightened attention from the media and the public has surrounded increased coronavirus transmission this holiday season, and businesses should take increased measures to reduce this possibility. Luckily, the American market has shifted markedly since early March and April when toilet paper and other necessities were scarce, and fear around the virus was at a high. Zappogen and Germ Hero are two of the market’s most relevant and accessible safety measures against the workplace spread of COVID-19, and businesses in their respective markets would do well to research their offerings. Their employees and consumers will no doubt thank them.

About the Author

Headshot for author Elijah Labby

Elijah Labby is a graduate of the National Journalism Center. He has previously written for Broadband Breakfast, a technology and internet policy website.

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