Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:20 pm
New Orleans, LA – Oftentimes, entrepreneurs lack the resources or the expertise to identify candidates to pilot a new product. Or, with testing complete, an established company may have only a loose understanding of the universe of potential customers for its new technology. Commercializing a new innovation requires insight—detailed knowledge of the audience that stands to benefit from the breakthrough. That’s where WatrHub Inc. comes in.
“We’ve worked with businesses of all size—from startups to Fortune 500 companies,” explains WatrHub chief product officer Sunit Mohindroo. When it comes to identifying and scouring the relevant sources of data to deliver actionable business information, everyone could use some help. With WatrHub, that help comes in the form of a lean team of data geeks, water researchers and developers in Toronto and Milwaukee.
After analyzing the markets a company wants to expand into and developing a firm understanding of the attributes of an ideal customer for the company’s product, WatrHub’s team deploys its software to comb through millions of pages of data, extracting critical information that will drive strategy development.
For example, WatrHub assisted a water and wastewater treatment equipment manufacturer with annual revenues of more than $1 billion accelerate product sales nationwide by helping the company classify the exact criteria of their potential targets: size of facility; age of existing equipment; non-compliance reporting, etc. WatrHub s researchers then turned their computers loose, data-mining permit documents, annual reports, capital improvement plans, EPA water compliance records and more to extract the names and details of wastewater treatment facilities that fit the company’s ideal customer profile.
WaterHub delivered to the company’s sales manager a shortlist of the facilities whose needs aligned with the company’s products. “Our deliverable included a map of the U.S. overlaid with visual clusters highlighting the regions with the greatest concentrations of facilities that would benefit from the company’s new treatment solution,” reports Mohindroo.
WatrHub’s unique business model has earned the company attention not only from businesses but also from organizations that promote water industry advancements. The company was accepted as a participant in the 2014 class of The BREW, the world’s only freshwater seed accelerator program organized in partnership by The Water Council and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.
“As a software-based company that provides support services to other companies, we’re in a somewhat unique position as a participant in The BREW,” says Mohindroo. “The other companies we’ll be interacting with are part of our core market.”
With subsidized space in Milwaukee’s Global Water Center, WatrHub also benefits from the establishment of a regional office close to its customer base, which extends from Wisconsin down to Texas. The company currently has six employees, but Mohindroo envisions a future with additional WatrHub locations on each coast and a total company headcount of 20 to 50.
“With current trends in the ‘internet of things’, the case for data-mining and analysis will only grow,” he states.
WatrHub was also a runner-up in Imagine H2O’s 2013 Business Innovations Competition. Imagine H2O is a nonprofit organization with a mission to inspire and empower people to solve water problems. As a finalist in the competition, WatrHub received a cash award, in-kind professional services and access to Imagine H2O’s accelerator program. The company also achieved market visibility in trade journals and at major events, including the 2014 Water Environment Federation Technology Exhibition and Conference taking place in New Orleans from September 27 through October 2.
WatrHub’s data-mining solution could just as well be applied to any vertical industry. Asked why he and his colleagues focus exclusively on water, Mohindroo replies, “No other resource has as much of a social impact.” He has worked at Apple and Microsoft on such market-changing products as the iPod and Xbox, but he and his co-founder—a Microsoft alumnus—yearned to do work with a more direct impact on people’s lives.
Kelly Lietz is vice president of marketing and communications at the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. He is writing for BizTimes from the WEFTEC conference in New Orleans this week.