This is an interview on our beloved founders of ORIHD, Kuanze Ma and Edgar Palacios, about their ideas, personal life and fun facts.
Kuanze Ma (second from left) is a vivacious workaholic with a master’s degree in law. Edgar Palacios (second from right) is a Ph.D. candidate at McCormick School of Engineering
Kuanze Ma and Edgar Palacios met in the NUvention class in the January 2016. The NUvention class at Northwestern University brings together students from various disciplines interested in entrepreneurship and innovation and gives them an opportunity to develop their ideas into business. Palacios was impressed with Ma’s idea of developing a practical solution to the pervasive air pollution problem around the world. Together, they started ORIHD in March 2017. At present, they are based out of The Garage at Northwestern developing the product prototype and meet potential investors. Additionally, they get to be mentored by brilliant entrepreneurs.
What do you think is the greatest invention of all time?
Ed: Electricity, computer and internet. Electricity is the foundation of the modern world, computer is a workhorse and the internet is a tremendous resource
Kuanze: Bulb, which lights the world and make the world more productive
Why are you doing what you are doing?
Ed: I enjoy working at ORIHD because I like to work without constraints. Developing your own ideas is not something you get to do when you work for somebody else
Kuanze: Because I suffered from air pollution and I want to come up with a solution for people who are still suffering without a way to escape from that
Which animal/insect are scared of the most and why?
Ed: Spider, too many legs. Freaks me out
Kuanze: I am scared of being bitten by bugs and snakes
What cheers you up?
Kuanze: Taking on a challenge.
What is your favorite word?
Ed: Firmamento. In Spanish, it means star studded sky
Who is your hero and why?
Ed: Albert Einstein because he stuck by his beliefs and Nikola Tesla because he believed in his ideas
Kuanze: Naruto, the anime character because he is very determined and harbors no hate for anyone
What are you good at?
Kuanze: Overcoming obstacles
What do you suck at?
Shark diving, bungee jumping, or sky diving?
Ed: Sky diving
Kuanze: Sky diving
What is something you’ve always wanted to try but have been too scared to?
Ed: BMX biking
Kuanze: I have tried everything I wanted to one way or another
What is one of the weirdest things you used to do as a teenager?
Ed: I used to dress weird
Kuanze: I think I am a weird person. So pretty much everything I did was weird.
What is your most bizarre talent?
Ed: I try to imitate the Cuban accent. Talent is questionable
Kuanze: I always have "stupid" friends around me. (laughs) This is a joke for super close and fun friends.
What’s the most beautiful place you’ve ever been?
Kuanze: My grandparent’s home
Who would you like to live like for a day?
Ed: The Dalai Lama
Kuanze: I really don’t want to be anyone else
If you could time travel, where would you go?
Ed: 1950s. I love the swing dancing and music of the era.
Kuanze: 100 years into the future because I won't be alive to see it.
What’s your favorite time of day?
Ed: Nighttime. I am a night owl. I am alert and productive.
Kuanze: Bedtime. It is the only time I can relax. It leads to another exciting and productive day.