Product Development, Sales and Marketing Support for a Technology Startup Company

A Case Study (download )


Premier Water, Inc


Product Development, Patent, Sales

Services Requested:


Premier Water, Inc., or PWI, had spent several years developing and demonstrating their proprietary wastewater treatment process. Operating installations in six different locations – four of them temporary – had performed satisfactorily, even extraordinarily at several sites. But company investors were anxious to grow the business and reach profitability. Wastewater Experts, Inc. was hired to analyze the company and its technologies, evaluate the full-scale operating facilities, help determine the competitiveness of these technologies in the North American Wastewater Marketplace, and develop, refine, and broaden potential patent applications.

The company had invested $1 million in a technology demonstration plant north of Las Vegas and obtained mixed results, yet found that there was little or no waste sludge production just as they had noticed at other test sites. If the process could indeed eliminate or reduce sludge, then there were potentially huge market implications. Investigation of the operating principals of the technology revealed one or two possible mechanisms to explain the low-sludge phenomenon. However a detailed review of plant operating history and performance capabilities was inconclusive: the appearance of 90% waste sludge reduction was revolutionary, yet the plant setup left too many potential sources of error to be absolutely certain of the numbers. Such a claim would have to be proven by tightly controlled parallel test configurations, operated over the long term, with concurrent analyses of all operating parameters and mineral mass balances in order to provide seamless proof.

Over the next year, Wastewater Experts:

Rewrote the technology patent claims and received patent award (assigned to the company) for greatly expanded coverage.

We ultimately proved that the technology did in fact produce excellent effluent quality, significantly improved Ultrafilter flux rates in an MBR application, and significantly reduced waste biosludge production. However we also established a clear dependent relationship between the amount of power applied per unit volume and the amount of sludge reduction. It was necessary to know this relationship at various power densities before the technology could go to the market place and designs made and performance warranties offered. Wastewater Experts defined a final series of tests to define that relationship.

At the same time,Wastewater Experts  assessed several potential market applications to identify both the optimal and the inappropriate markets for the technology. We then reduced the company’s estimated total market potential based on the fact that the technology would not be politically marketable or cost-effective at large-scale treatment facilities. The company’s investors elected to close the company.