Entrepreneurship and manufacturing grads pivot to sanitizer production during COVID-19 pandemic

Updated: Sep 12, 2020

The McMaster community has quickly mobilized to contribute a multitude of solutions to help address COVID-19 and the virus that causes it, SARS-COV2. Faculty and students are busy researching every avenue possible to manage the spread and impact of the disease.

Personal protective equipment and hand sanitizer continue to be in short supply during the pandemic. To help address shortages, two alumni of W Booth School of Engineering Practice and Technology Master’s programs joined forces and launched a new company at lightning speed. Happy Patel (MEEI ’18) and Yash Modh (MEME ’18) launched a company called Clean X to manufacture hand sanitizer.

“I became friends with Yash while we were both graduate students at McMaster. When the pandemic struck, we started talking about what we could do to help,” said Patel.

Patel and Modh launched their initiative in mid-April and received approval from Health Canada within a week to begin production. Their product is based on a WHO approved formula. They quickly realized that to ramp up production capacity to 1000 litres per day, they would need more space and build new relationships with suppliers. They moved into a larger space in the new McMaster Innovation Park facility (the former Hamilton Spectator Building) and got to work. They also hired two staff to help support the business launch.

The duo began working with Greenfield Global, Botanical Planet Canada, Loba Chemie, and Canadian Liquid Processors Limited in Hamilton to produce the product and they are working with Vista Print to label their bottles. They are presently selling the Clean X hand sanitizer brand directly through their website and through wholesale channels. To date they have produced over 36,000 litres of hand sanitizer and have shipped their product as far as British Columbia.

Patel is also Chief Operating Officer of EcoP, an award-winning startup producing plantable, eco-friendly promotional items including pens, pencils and notebooks. EcoP was founded by Patel's fellow MEEI alumni while completing the program.

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