As the country continues to navigate best practices for cleaning amid the COVID-19 pandemic, woman-owned business, Silver Defender is helping other businesses nationwide by offering stretchable films with built-in antimicrobial protection to protect the film. Silver Defender's patent-pending films cover everything from door handles, elevator buttons and handrails to credit card machines, bathroom faucets and shopping carts. Activated by light, air pressure and touch, the propriety designs contain an antimicrobial agent that protects the film from bacteria, mold, mildew and fungi. Silver ions react with and affect multiple sites in bacterial cells on the exterior of the film, keeping it clean.
"We created Silver Defender to raise the bar on clean in areas frequented by people. Now, at such a novel time in this country, a new standard of clean is needed more than ever," said Zeynep Ekemen, managing partner of Silver Defender.
In 2020, Silver Defender was the winner of the ISSA Innovation Award for Services and Technology. The Innovation Awards Program serves as the primary product and service accelerator platform for pioneers in the commercial, institutional, and residential cleaning industry. This year, the awards were more important than ever, given the effects of COVID 19. Ekemen answered our questions.
You were known that you are a talented real estate professional, would you tell us a story about what brought you to tech career?
After visiting a coffee shop in my neighborhood two years ago, a friend and I commented on the bathroom’s lack of cleanliness. I am a problem solver at heart, that’s what drives my entrepreneurial spirit. Almost immediately I envisioned a business that could help others, businesses and consumers alike, stay clean through a new kind of antimicrobial product. I began the arduous task of meeting with scientists, testing products and establishing the business and its supply chain which soon became Silver Defender.
Would you tell what is the main idea that your company is helping to address? What silver defender makes a difference in the world?
As the country continues to navigate best practices for cleaning amid the COVID-19 pandemic, we at Silver Defender hope to help bring a sense of normalcy back to everyday life. Although at the moment it is unclear if society will ever return to what used to be ‘normal,’ businesses and consumers can enjoy some peace of mind and sense of safety where Silver Defender’s effective and innovative products are used (anywhere people often touch from door handles to credit card machines). The only product of its kind to have initiated EPA pesticide registration, Silver Defender’s technology is activated by light, air pressure and touch. The proprietary designs contain an antimicrobial agent that protects the film from bacteria, mold, mildew and fungi. Silver ions react with and affect multiple sites in bacterial cells on the exterior, keeping it clean. The antimicrobial tapes, available in various sizes, can cover any surface. Ideally our products are a tool to help alleviate some of the stresses of high traffic touchpoints, making the world a little cleaner one surface at a time.
You focused on silver defender project before the pandemic. How has Covid-19 affected your business growth?
Silver Defender officially launched in 2018, but when the COVID-19 pandemic reached the country earlier this year, demand unsurprisingly skyrocketed. The adhesive films have been helping public, nonprofit and private entities across the nation including airports, public transportation, retail locations, cruise lines, schools, hotels, government buildings and more. Long Island MacArthur Airport, World Trade Center buildings and San Diego Zoo, Long Island Ducks Stadium are just a few examples of clients now using Silver Defender as part of their newfound safety measures. Most recently, we announced our expansion to Amazon through our partnership with Pharmapacks, which allows the everyday consumer to easily access Silver Defender’s products.
Would you tell us about your future plan? Society is shifting how they perceive cleanliness and safety. As a company that wants to inspire others to feel safe, I believe Silver Defender is starting a movement with our products. We’re providing solutions for cleanliness and empowering people to feel safe again when touching common items in the world around them, and hopefully with a bit less fear when doing so. We’re also putting power back in the hands of business owners. Our products allow businesses to be proactive in protecting their staff and patrons in new ways.
Where you will be seeing the company 5 years from now?
In 5 years, Silver Defender will be continuing to help the public. Our products are already sold on every continent. We were fortunate to launch our antimicrobial films right at the start of a global pandemic, when people needed it most. It’s a matter of continuing to harness that luck and success to ultimately continue helping businesses and patrons.
How is the investors' reaction at the beginning and how it is now?
We do not have investors; Silver Defender is a self-funded company.