On ABC’s “Shark Tank”, a chemist’s water filter invention was inspired by the Flint water crisis. According to CNBC, Eric Roy, a PhD and chemist who pitched his customized water filters, scored a six-figure deal with Mark Cuban.
“The response to the segment has been overwhelmingly positive. The experience on the show was amazing. The ability to get feedback from the Sharks [positive and constructive] is something that we’ll take to heart as we move the company forward,” Roy told CNBC.
According to CNBC, the idea for Roy’s company, Hydroviv, and its customized water filtration system, was sparked by the water crisis in Flint, Mich. At the time, Roy was working on technology for the Department of Defense.
“I set up in my studio apartment in Washington, D.C. and just started building high-capacity lead removal filters and donating them to people in child-centric organizations in Flint,” Roy said on the show.
Hydroviv researches water quality data for each customer’s area and then builds a water filter system to match, whether that requires removal of lead or of arsenic or other myriad of things, according to CNBC. The average sale price for the filter is $190, with a filter lasting six months, Roy said. Customers can then subscribe to receive replacement cartridges for $55.
While Roy says lead and arsenic levels in drinking water are a problem in many areas of the U.S., guest judge Rohan Oza said on the show he thinks it will be hard to build enough awareness around the issue, according to CNBC.
Roy — who is seeking a $400,000 investment in exchange for 10% of his company — said he wants to use the money from the deal to hire marketing and advertising specialists.
“Your product is not a water filter. Your product is trust,” Mark Cuban said on the show, according to CNBC. “We want to get you out there. We want to get you scaring the hell out of people, and getting you on the shows and just saying, ‘I’m here to answer all of your questions.’ That’s what I used to do with technology. I never spent a nickel on advertising.”
Cuban added that he likes business that does good and offers $400,000 for 20% of the company, which Roy accepts.