From Silicon Valley to Romania, WI Water Accelerator a Diverse Mix

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magnetic stir bar, an ion selective electrode, and wireless communication technology to quickly collect and analyze lab data, according to a Wisbusiness.com article. Jones got the idea while working in a Madison Area Technical College chemistry lab, and he developed the prototype at Sector67, a Madison makerspace.

“I grew up in the time of cell phones and the Internet, and most of the equipment we were using in the lab hasn’t seen a redesign since its inception,” Jones says.

—WatrHub co-founders Sunit Mohindroo and Ahmed Badruddin previously worked for Microsoft, and Mohindroo also spent time at Apple. They felt like they could accomplish more elsewhere, Mohindroo says. “We could’ve stayed with our cushy jobs,” he says. “We wanted to have more of a social impact.”

So, the pair moved back to their hometown of Toronto and started WatrHub, a data analytics firm that matches water technology companies with potential customers, like municipal water systems and industrial plants. The company’s ultimate goal is to spur the adoption of new water treatment technology to help avoid future water crises, Mohindroo says.

Wellntel data—Wellntel’s prototype sonar device for monitoring groundwater involved a ball-peen hammer, an iPhone, and a guitar pickup, says co-founder Marian Singer. She and co-founder Nick Hayes would connect the guitar pickup to the iPhone, place it under the well cap, tap on the top of the well cap with the hammer, and use the guitar pickup to “digitally listen/record reflection data that we’d use to calculate distance to static water level,” she says. They’d check their calculations by lowering a rope with a weight tied to it into the water. “All very low-tech—but effective,” Singer recalls.

The Milwaukee-area company has since traded up for long-distance radios, high-fidelity components, powerful microchips, and the cloud. “We’ve come a long way since summer 2012,” Singer says.

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