Indiegogo & Arrow Awards WaterBot $75,000 to Help Improve Water Quality Nationwide

On Wednesday, Indiegogo and Arrow announced it has awarded Chris Richter of WaterBot $75,000 to help improve water quality nationwide. While sharing details about Richter’s progress, the duo revealed:

Since his father started the water treatment business in 1982, Chris has worked alongside of him for the better part of 40 years. Chris could not have anticipated that his frustration with water regulation and management in 2016 would soon turn him into an IoT product entrepreneur who is raising funds on Indiegogo and partnering with Arrow Electronics.

“After working on a project for the Water Quality Association of Wisconsin Board, Chris realized that his team was making best estimates about the measurements of contaminants in the water because there was no accurate way to get live updates on the quality of the water supply. He found it ridiculous that in 2016, there was no connected way to have water readings that were continuous, accurate, precise and proactive, especially when dealing with potentially large amounts of heavy metals in the water. It wasn’t until after a meeting where someone brought in a legal pad filled with handwritten data and illegible notes, that Chris realized there had to be an alternative.”

Richter, along with his father, started working on WaterBot and connected it to the water supply. He received an alert a few months later that revealed the water had been compromised by a nearby construction site and debris in the water jumped to 40% within a matter of minutes. Without the WaterBot, the team wouldn’t have figured out the issue early on. The team decided to turn to crowdfunding to find out if consumers would be interested in the water quality device. Richter stated:

Our decision came down to one thing, a really optimistic, hopeful dream, and that one thing was Arrow. I know a whole heck about water, but hardware is not my expertise. And the inclusion of a major hardware vendor, that was absolutely one of the big decisions to go Indiegogo verse anything else.”

Along with launching their crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo, which secured nearly $21,000, Richter and his team enrolled and were certified in the Arrow Certification Program. He shared his thoughts on the support that Arrow provided:

Just when you’re pounding your head against the wall after dealing with this for so long, and you start to wonder why you started this project all of a sudden you’ll catch an unsolicited email, from somebody asking how they can help. And it can’t be understated how important that is.”

In regards to the $75,000 that Arrow has awarded him and his team, Richter added:

“These funds are dramatically altering the scale that we are delivering on. This is going to allow us to go even bigger and better to market in terms of quantity of devices.”

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