Canadian Startup Aims To Connect North American Water Utilities Providers
On a continent with thousands of ample sources of fresh water, there is a continuing need for water utilities commissions that regulate these sources and guarantee efficient delivery of clean drinking water to the residents of their specific districts. The North American continent is vast, and many may not realize that many water utilities districts churn out just as much hard data as they do clean drinking water.

Harnessing Disjointed Data Collections

A duo of talented engineers recently started the Toronto-based company, WatrHub Inc., with the goal of revolutionizing the North American water industry by incorporating innovative technologies that promote “a water-sustainable future for all.”

Sunit Mohindroo and Ahmed Badruddin are the pair behind the development of the company that now includes “data geeks, water researchers and developers in Toronto and Milwaukee.” According to Mohindroo, “What we’re trying to do is gather a large pool of data that is very fragmented, very non-standardized, and run analytics on it that are actionable.”

Progress And Recognition

To date, the company has incorporated data from tens of thousands of North American utilities districts into their growing database. A continent-wide database can be very useful to startups looking to break into the water industry, as well as current vendors and utilities companies looking to increase market knowledge pertaining to potential clients.

Last year, WatrHub Inc. was recognized as Runners-up in the Emerging Companies Category at the Annual Imagine H2O Water Competition. The competition is “a path-to-market program for data-driven solutions to water resource challenges.” The success that WatrHub Inc. has had in the program over the last two years has significantly increased their ability to reach North American markets.

A Data Mining Revolution

The idea of water utilities collecting data is nothing new. In fact, it has been taking place for years, largely because most public-sector utilities are responsible for publishing budgets and performance reports mandated by environmental legislation, such as the Clean Water Act. These reports require data-heavy analysis, but our ability to collect and organize this data into useful databases has increased in recent years.

The main challenge is standardizing data collected in a variety of formats by many different utilities companies. This is precisely what the 10-person team at WatrHub Inc. set out to do by devising “the tools and processes to scrape, import, scan and make sense of volumes of paperwork, using natural-language processing to ferret out the data and store it in a format they can use to compare apples to apples.”

Facilitating Watery Connections

There are an increasing number of companies with stakes in the water industry, including food and beverage distributors, power plant operators, equipment suppliers, and startups focused on innovative water treatment technologies. WatrHub Inc. wants to use their growing database to help these stakeholders better understand the water utility space. “We can play matchmaker,” says Mohindroo, “Even day to day, week to week, we have new customers coming out of the woodwork saying, can you do this?”

What Does The Future Hold?

While the water industry boasts quite an appealing target market, which is comprised of every living thing on this planet, water might be a small stepping-stone for WatrHub Inc. In theory, the technology and processes used to mine millions of documents from water utilities could easily be replicated in many unrelated sectors.


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Posted by: DSR
Friday, January 1, 2016
Tag: Business Start Ups
Business Start Ups
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