Impact Entrepreneur Interview: Rich Razgaitis, CEO of FloWater

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My book, The Fast Forward Mindset, provides a framework on how to fast forward your impact on the world around you. In the epilogue, I share one area I am applying the framework in my own life, which is to reduce and eliminate single-use plastics. 

That focus led me to FloWater, a company that has helped reduce roughly 130 million plastic water bottles and is on pace to reduce one billion water bottles by 2022. Their focus is on building great tasting water filling stations that are not only available in retail stores, hotels and businesses, but on your kitchen countertop in the near future. They are both building a brand name, and an amazing product with their 7 water filter purification technology. 

I was lucky enough to interview their CEO, Rich Razgaitis, about their current scaling strategy, their plans for their consumer product and what type of exit strategies they would consider. There is so much to learn not only about FloWater in this interview, but the industry as a whole. 

You can either watch the interview, listen to it below, or read the summarized transcript.

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Market Size

1. How big is the water filtration market?

2. Is it hard to make water filters?

3. San Francisco airport just banned all single use bottles.   I assume they’re using water fountain stations. Obviously that would be a great opportunity for FloWater. Correct?

Scaling FloWater

4. What are some of your challenges right now?

5. How many units can you get out a month?

6. You raised $15 million from the Swedish purification company Bluewater.  Can you share a little bit about that strategy?

Launching a New Consumer Product 

7. You’re working to have FloWater for home use. Seems like a huge opportunity if you can make it very easy to hook up and cost effective and cleans rather easily. You can change a whole industry. Is that what your thinking is?

8. Is your consumer product going to hook up to the tap or are you gonna need a plumber?

9. So that it has to attach to the spigot?

10. What would be your dream costs for the consumer, for that product?

11. Is it not possible to get the cost below $200?

12. Do you feel your company is in the forefront of something big?

13. How far away do you think you are from the consumer model?

UN Sustainable Development Goals/ International Opportunities

14. The population in the world that really needs clean water is third world countries and especially Africa.  Do you have any plans to bring clean water to these places that really need it?

15. The United Nations has 17 sustainable development goals. Do you align with them at all publicly?

16. What international markets are you interested in?

Exit Strategy? 

17. You’re gonna need to raise a lot more money if you want to scale. Is that a fair assumption?

18. Isn’t the flip side of that,  just like all the oil companies are investing in solar power and car companies are investing in electric cars do you think the same is with big plastic bottle water companies?  Might one of the come to you and say, we’re believers now we see the future and want to acquire your company?