Hydroviv is a water filtration company owned by Eric Roy. He will be pitching the company on Shark Tank, in the hopes that investors will help him get his product into homes throughout the country.
Hydroviv was founded in 2015, and specializes in making custom water filters. They are based out of Washington, D.C. Read on to learn more about Roy’s background, and how he hopes to expand the company moving forward.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Hydroviv Makes Custom Water Filters for Household & Commercial Use
Hydroviv makes custom water filters for home or commercial use. Roy and his fellow “Water Nerds” use water analysis and data from local sources to determine the specific needs of a customer. They then build a filter to meet those needs and install them. They monitor the water supply afterwards, to make sure nothing changes, when something does, they send out a replacement cartridge at no cost to the customer.
According to All Shark Tank Products, Hydroviv has several advantages over a standard water filter. Some of the most notable advantages are listed below:
- The system meets or exceeds filtration performance standards set forth by National Science Foundation Standard 53 for dissolved/particulate lead and chromium 6 removal.
Removes only the toxic chemicals like lead, arsenic and chromium 6 and leaves behind beneficial minerals like calcium, magnesium, and potassium.
- Installs easily. All connections are screw on and screw off. There is no cutting, drilling or expensive professional installation needed.
- Does not take up all the space under the kitchen sink or bathroom vanity.
The scientists at Hydroviv specialize in a number of different fields; including environmental policy, biomedical engineering, biology, chemistry, surface science and informatics. The latter is the science of using data to improve human health.
2. Roy Did Chemical Research for the Military Before Founding Hydroviv
Roy was conducting research for the U.S. military when he dreamt up Hydroviv. He discovered that consumer-grade filters would not be able to handle high lead levels, and designed custom water filters for industrial customers. It occurred to him that the same practice could be applied to neighborhoods and homes who were suffering from poor water filtration.
Roy developed the first Hydroviv filter in his studio apartment. “Our lab was the bathroom floor,” he told Colby. “You’re actually able to get much better information using our approach than you could if you just measured one sample, because water varies.” He added that D.C. was an ideal spot to base the company. “It’s full of smart people, there’s no way around it, and there’s this really growing entrepreneurial community,” he said. “It’s a really interesting time in Washington, D.C. because people are actually starting to live here, as opposed to just passing through.”
Roy’s design for Hydroviv removes lead, chromium-6, arsenic, chlorine, and a host of other chemicals and contaminants. The filters also leave behind “good” minerals like calcium, magnesium and potassium. If you want to purchase one of these filters for your home, the cost is $224.99. Replacement filters only cost $65, or $55 if you sign up for the Hydroviv subscription service.
3. The Water Crisis In Flint, Michigan Jumpstarted the Company
Roy said that the water problem in Flint, Michigan was a pivotal moment for Hydroviv. “The very early stages of that, it was complete chaos,” he told the Times Record. “There were a lot of voices there, some were credible and many were not. I’m just kind of looking at this as a chemist and I’m like, ‘This is going to go poorly.’ I think as scientists, we kind of have a moral obligation to step in and lend a credible voice when there’s stuff that we actually know about.”
Roy donated over 1,000 filters to Flint. “I was able to build some prototype cartridges, get them tested, and once they were validated, I was able to go to a contract manufacturer to actually have them produced,” he said. From there, the company took off. “The math is pretty straight forward. On average, every customer that we have refers three people,” he said. “They are also repeat customers because they need to replace the filter cartridges.”
Roy does not take a salary from Hydroviv, and instead lives off savings and outside consulting work. He invests the profits from the company into research and development for better filters. “As a business we’re 100% sustaining and I’m most proud that we’ve never missed a payroll,” he added.
4. Roy Believes His PhD Gives Him an Advantage Over His Competitors
Roy has a Bachelor’s Degree from Colby College and a PhD from the University of Maine. He talked about his education with BBC, citing it as a big advantage over his peers. “I’m a bit of an anomaly in that I have a PhD in science and I’m an entrepreneur,” he claimed. “Most scientists are not exposed to anything outside of academia while they’re in grad school because their advisers have probably only worked in academia.
“There are universities and colleges right now trying to pierce that bubble, but a lot of those programs aren’t led by entrepreneurs,” he continued. “They’re led by people who study entrepreneurs and that’s a very different thing.” Roy also said that he was a novice when it came to business, and had to learn quickly. “I botched my first patent application,” he admits. “Then I went to a patent attorney because intellectual property is a huge part of what we do, so you have to do that right.”
Roy is confident that the quality of Hydroviv products will translate to monetary success. “I definitely think this will be an eight figure business in five years,” he claimed. “If not, then we’ve done something wrong.”
5. Roy Said That His Shark Tank Pitch Was ‘Intense’ & ‘Exciting’
Roy recently talked to the Main Edge about his Shark Tank pitch. “Strategically, I would say I was probably one of the less-rehearsed entrepreneurs,” he admitted. “I went in with the attitude that I understand water quality and Hydroviv’s technology better than they do, and I know my business numbers that they always ask entrepreneurs, so I was pretty confident that I wasn’t going to walk in and look completely incompetent.”
“That said, the pitch itself was more intense than I was expecting,” he continued. “You’re standing on a carpet, with studio lighting beating down on you, about 15 feet away from five very large personalities. One thing that’s not completely apparent to the viewer is that when you walk out to the carpet, they have you stand on the carpet silently for 30 seconds so they can get some footage of the staredown.”
Despite his reservations, Roy told the Main Edge that it was a thrilling experience. “I’ve been in some pretty intense business scenarios, but this one takes the cake for sure,” he gushed. “All of that said, I’d do it again tomorrow in a heartbeat.”