Drinkable has developed the world’s first accurate, affordable, and effortless water test device for consumers. With the press of a button, users discover what’s in their water, how it could impact their health, and the simple steps they can take to ensure clean water.
The world is heading in a scary direction with water quality and access. But we firmly believe that by bolstering people’s relationships with the water they drink, we can empower everyone to be part of the solutions needed to change that.
Tell us about yourself?
The shortest way to introduce myself would be as an environmental scientist and venture capital enthusiast. Many might think that those two things are in conflict with each other, but I disagree. Having worked in both environmental and high-growth investing environments, I believe they should be married together; we have large-scale environmental problems, and we globally lack the capital to implement the large-scale solutions we’d need to implement without catastrophic failure.
Water is one of those large-scale problems – with 50 per cent of global hospitalizations coming from easily preventable waterborne illnesses. A growing population, groundwater depletion, increasing contamination, etc., will make this sector very challenging by 2040 and beyond.
We should all pick a big problem to try and solve during the time we have on this planet, and enabling people to know if/how their water is unsafe is the one I’m committed to.
If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?
This is going to take more work than you thought, but you’re doing great – keep going. Don’t work too hard (or stress that you should be working harder), exercise more, and eat your veggies!
What problem does your business solve?
For the 70-plus million people in North America who rely on well water, they are exposed to frequent contamination – about 40 per cent of wells exceed guideline levels for things like arsenic, lead, uranium, and nitrate.
The problem is that testing for those contaminants is a pain in the butt. You need to get your hands on a sample container (typically at the lab), fill out some paperwork, fill it up, drive back to the lab, pay too much money, wait two weeks, and receive results that are too technical to make use of.
Our test takes three minutes, measures the amounts of each contaminant, indicates what health implications are associated with each user’s results, and guides them to the most appropriate treatment package to fix the water if needed.
What is the inspiration behind your business?
I grew up with my mom in and out of the hospital for medical complications that were difficult to manage. It is a costly burden on families, and society at large, when key members of our community are unwell.
Consuming contaminated water costs Canadians over $2b each year, and I’m motivated to see that number come down via improved water testing and better water literacy in general.
I believe this will lead to a world where we’ll all take part in monitoring aspects of our environment just by going about our day-to-day lives and collectively act as stewards for a healthier and cleaner tomorrow.
What is your magic sauce?
A great chef never gives up his recipes! That said, there is one thing in particular that we consider to be a significant competitive advantage – our respect for investors.
Many in the scientific/entrepreneurial landscape seem to have an irrational level of disdain for investors, to the point where they aren’t very compatible with each other. Those companies rarely get the fuel they need to grow as a result, and their solutions are never meaningfully deployed.
For Drinkable, we see investors as our secondary customers. They have very specific needs to be able to invest in a high-growth company, and we’ve taken great care to ensure those requirements are met (without breaching our internal values system).
What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?
We’d like to set the standard for consumer water quality testing. Currently, there is no standard (scary thought) because there is no viable test solution for consumers. Ultimately, we’d like to be the solution that comes to people’s minds when they have concerns for their health, as it relates to their tap.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
Our next challenge will be getting the word out about our product and brand. We’re just starting to ramp things up in this area, but it’s time to let everyone know that we’re currently accepting pre-orders at www.drinkable.tech (for Canadians only!)
How can people get involved?
- If you’d like to pre-order your own device for $100, you can find us at www.drinkable.tech
- Please take our water quality survey here – www.docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeiFzziOs9bp0mYohLKgAZ-51FRhFAHPBR1ukXR94pEduccDA/viewform
- We’re looking to build up our b2c sales and marketing team and want people who have the personality and know-how to drive the sales figures we need to fuel our vision – send us a resume to [email protected]