A patent of a Pleven company detects fire without smoke

We are developing products that are the best in the world in this field, says Milen Kirov, owner of "DMTeh"

Using blue light the device captures the burning of alcohol and derivatives that do not emit smoke. The patent for it is held by the Pleven company "DMTeh" LTD.

"Until now we used infrared light. The advantage of blue light is the wavelength that allows three times smaller particles to be reflected and captured," explains the owner of the company Milen Kirov. He owns the rights to the only such patent in the country, which is used worldwide but not frequently.

Kirov has previously worked for 13 years as a designer in a company engaged in the field of fire detection.

"At one point the company changed its policy and we were no longer useful to it. Therefore I started working in an American company for programmers in Sofia", said Kirov. He had a good position in the reputable company and received high pay.

"I still cannot get such a salary in my company," he jokes. In the beginning many people worried if he would manage, since he received funds under EU programs that required co-financing. He decided to risk and returned to his hometown Pleven to start his own business. His project was approved by the operational program "Competitiveness and Innovation". It lasts for two years and is aimed at the purchase of equipment for research. It also covered part of the remuneration for the team - programmers and hardware specialists.

"Two years ago we were just making the developments, then we had to produce. Our company deals with fire detection equipment, we make sensors, stations and other innovative products in this field," said Kirov.

He easily found a team - his former colleagues who left the first company. "Their strength is in fire detection, they are the best in the field. The people who can do this work were gathered once again. The team is very good and professional, it gave us a chance to succeed," the owner of the company proudly explained.

When he applied with his project he did not expect to be approved. Driven by ambition and the fact that he had already created an innovative device, he acted boldly.

"I applied enthusiastically, I had no consultants, prepared the project on my own and to my surprise, I was approved for funding. Then I stopped working for the US company for automotive electronics,” the inventor recalls.

Meanwhile, another procedure in the same program was opened and Kirov applied again. He was approved, although he lacks any solid business history and financial results. The result is impressive - the innovation that he produces enters a phase of product implementation.
At this second phase I needed more operating capital to perform the implementation program. We had to buy machinery and instrumentation equipment and other necessary assets. When working under programmes you first buy the asset, then it is verified by the governing body and the aid is provided.

"In this second phase I applied to microfinance institution JOBS to BDB for an investment loan, in order to be able to buy some of the assets that were part of the second programme. This is how I structured the payment - first there was an advance payment of 50% and then the rest," Kirov explained. With a loan of about BGN 60 thousand granted by Jobs, he completed the necessary cycle in order to implement the project under OP "Competitiveness".

The first development project is for BGN 390 thousand and the second one for implementation - BGN 490 thousand. The first received a 90 percent support and the second - 70% support and 30% co-financing.

We do not have huge revenues but things are going well, we develop innovative products that are the best in the field in the world, the entrepreneur is pleased to explain. Part of the fire detection is mandatory in Bulgaria for certain public sites.

We have customers who do not come because of their obligation, but just because they want to make such a system - often after having experienced something bad, Kirov added.

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