“Somewhere in the world, a child dies every 14.5 seconds from drinking contaminated water,” asserts Joe Montgomery who, along with Dr. Timm Finfrock co-founded Square 1 Technologies. The duo teamed up to use their gifts (Finfrock’s in science and Montgomery’s business savvy) along with U.S. Health and Human Services’ Community Economic Development funding accessed through Lexington-based non-profit Community Ventures to manifest a market-ready, scalable, cutting-edge water treatment and purification system capable of being practically deployed in the world’s largest cities as well as remote villages in third world countries. CED funding is made available to qualifying businesses for the purpose of bettering traditionally underserved communities and providing economic opportunity to those who live there.
Working previously as an engineer for Raytheon, Dr. Finfrock collaborated with a team to develop MRI technology. Years later, the scientist has continued his study of the manipulation of molecular structures, eventually determining how to use the same to create an on-demand hydrogen energy source which Square 1 is now using to purify water. While that is perhaps an over-simplification of a complex process, it is clear from Montgomery’s passionate explanation that the team at Square 1 believe whole-heartedly that their innovative solution will be a “game-changer” in the quest to relieve suffering and sickness around the world.
The innovative software-automated system is inexpensive to build, maintain and operate. Water will be monitored and assessed from the U.S., and routine maintenance of the units can be easily accomplished by someone on site with a minimum of training.
Dr. Finfrock’s friendship with Dr. Danny Thomas, a Christian minister serving as a U.N. Ambassador for drinking water issues and founder of Water For The World was the impetus behind the scientist’s quest to provide accessible, inexpensive drinking water to those who need it most. Montgomery, a real estate entrepreneur turned technology business developer was introduced to Finfrock and became a Square 1 partner, focusing his time and talents on raising needed capital. Montgomery approached Community Ventures for a loan and spoke with Shirie Hawkins, President of Community Ventures’ Everything Equity.
“We need a significant amount of money to do what we need to do, which is to greatly expand our production capacity,” noted Montgomery. “Every system we have right now is sold.”
“It’s a huge problem. There are currently 1.8 billion people—25% of the world’s population—that don’t have access to clean drinking water,” explained Montgomery. “We have had high level African officials visit, and they told us the drinking water situation has had a huge impact on their economies. Children get sick and can’t go to school. Businesses are under-staffed because their workers are sick.”
“Community Ventures is excited to be working with Square 1 as they tackle this crucial problem,” said Hawkins. “The importance of clean, safe drinking water cannot be overstated, not only abroad but also here at home as a response to disasters like the recent flooding in Eastern Kentucky.”
To learn more about how Community Ventures can help your business, visit www.cvky.org or contact Shirie Hawkins at firstname.lastname@example.org.