International Water Company

Founded in 2010 by three partners and outside investors, International Water Company (IWC) of York, invented, manufactures and sells water purification units powered by conventional electricity, solar or wind power. The unites are specifically designed for developing countries where clear, reliable water is key to the population health, reducing mortality and morbidity rates and for stable agricultural production. Therefore, these units can be maintained by rather routine training with parts generally available in developing countries. While competitor units require costly filters, IWC filters are periodically backwashed with filters replaced on regular schedules over a period of years. The result is that the units have a lower operating cost and produce lower costs per unit of water than competitors produce. IWC machines can produce both potable drinking water and water suitable from ground and brackish water for agriculture and industry at the same time.

The Kutztown University SBDC initially met the IWC partners at the York Business Fair in June 2013 to assist the client in accessing overseas markets, provide guidance in planning and offer research assistance on target markets and financing. The company had already spent several years on research and product development. They had undertaken some US Army research contracts and they had several prospects in China, Mexico and South America.

The SBDC has assisted IWC in a number of areas over the past several years. Initially the SBDC provided some intern research and printed materials on various overseas markets followed by networking the client with the Market Access Program grant program and overseas trade representatives from the PA Office of International Business Development. The SBDC also enlisted the company in the Elizabethtown College Collaborative Industry Program where senior undergraduate students research specific markets and standards for the client. In addition, the SBDC introduced IWC to Eximbank and SBA export programs and assisted them with their grand opening celebration two years ago. Perhaps the most valued service of the SBDC has been the role of trusted advisor to the client, acting as an objective source of information, planning and financing information to the client on a regular basis. The SBDC's government consulting services have also been utilized by the client.

While export sales have been slow, the client has completed their first sale to the Government of Tanzania and has received payment for the demonstration unit. Based on having trained sales representatives in various parts of sub-Saharan Africa, IWC anticipates additional sales in several countries in this region. The company had to adapt the initial unit to filter excess fluoride from the ground water which it successful did. The SBDC will continue in our role as a trusted consultant for the company and is hopeful that IWC will achieve more impressive exports in the next 1-2 years.