What Is Torch?
We've worked at Microsoft. We've taught at UC Berkeley. We've led startups worth $300 million
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Torch is the most important project of our lifetimes.
Chief Executive Officer
Torch isn’t the first sensor product for Michael. While CEO of hand-tracking sensor technology Leap Motion, Michael led the startup to become valued at $300 million – with 100+ employees. Michael’s entrepreneurship expertise has been recognized in Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business and Forbes’ 30 Under 30 – Technology list. For half a decade, Michael has faced the challenge of building a hardware device for fire detection. By tapping into his leadership, fundraising and recruiting expertise, Michael has been a keystone element in Torch's business.
Chief Operating Officer
Vasya developed the groundbreaking concept of using multiple sensors to detect fires early – while still in high school. This idea won him first place at Intel’s International Science and Engineering Fair. An asteroid was named in his honor. As a Cum Laude graduate of UC Berkeley and the University of Pennsylvania, Vasya holds degrees in Computer Science and Economics. He's worked at some of the world’s biggest tech companies, including Microsoft and Visa. Vasya continues to utilize his foundational experience in product management and operations at Torch.
Chief Technical Officer
Anton has 30 years of research experience at UC Berkeley and the University of Leicester, with 250+ scholarly publications to his name. He passionately follows the latest developments in microelectronics and sensor technology, utilizing them in Torch's novel engineering solutions. Anton’s expertise in physics and instrumentation helped develop Torch's crucial balance: a standalone low-cost design paired with the highest accuracy of detection.
As a Bay Area resident, Vasya witnessed the horrific 2017 Napa Valley fires burn entire communities down to the ground. For weeks, hazy smoke lingered in the sky. Vasya was struck with the realization: ~“Why isn’t there a mainstream solution to detect outdoor fires quickly and accurately?”~
This is when Torch’s revolutionary concept was born: ~Using multiple sensors in one solar-powered device – to recognize outdoor fires early~. Vasya demonstrated this concept at Intel’s International Science Fair, winning the top award. Judges passionately encouraged Vasya to turn his project into a real fire detection product which could help mitigate the fire crisis.
On the other side of the San Francisco Bay Area, Michael observed similarly chilling scenes: 2 weeks of pitch black darkness in daytime San Francisco. Horrific air pollution for months. ~An atmosphere he describes as “almost post-apocalyptic”~.
Soon, the Torch founding team came together: a ~University of Pennsylvania student, a PhD physicist, and a successful entrepreneur~ – combining talents and expertise to develop a crucial solution.
The team continues to grow but the focus remains the same: ~create an early-stage outdoor fire detection solution that is affordable to all~. We are conscious that outdoor fires have left a damaging mark on the health of citizens and on the environment. That’s why Torch Sensors empower users to detect fires early and prevent disaster at the start.
We won’t stop until Torch covers every piece of fire-prone land.
Let’s finally reduce the dangerous impact of outdoor fires on the climate
Torch’s mission is clear: Create the first distributed approach to outdoor fire detection – at an affordable price.