Local Startup Raises $627K For Smart Water Bottle
Hidrate Inc., a local tech startup, soaked up vastly more supporter funding than its five-member crew—all recent University of Minnesota graduates— were hoping to draw.
The company topped its initial $35,000 goal within 24 hours of launching the Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign on June 1, and went on to harvest more than $627,000 in pledges from 8,015 backers on Kickstarter.
The concept for Hidrate began when Nadya Nguyen, the company’s CEO, felt sluggish after exerting herself all day, ultimately realizing that she had not once taken a sip of water. As a health conscious individual, an “eureka” moment struck Nyguyen: this issue likely wasn’t one she faced alone.
In the video on Hidrate’s Kickstarter page, Nguyen explained: “We are tracking everything about our body right now: our exercise, our sleep, our diet,” she says. “But there’s no easy way for us to track the most essential thing to our body: water.”
With technology bleeding into every facet of our day-to-day activities, Nguyen and her team developed a new way to facilitate water consumption. Utilizing Hidrate’s branded “smart water bottle,” the user can track recommended daily water intake determined by their gender, age, weight and height. Other factors such as the user’s location (above or below sea level), surrounding temperature and workout routines all play a part in guiding the user to each day’s H2O amount.
Everything is paired via Bluetooth to the Hidrate smartphone app to track progress. Other fitness apps and wearable devises, like Fitbit, can be synced as well. Reminders to keep drinking may flash on the phone’s screen, but the bottle can also flicker an alerting light to take a sip.To settle on a final bottle design, the Hidrate team used 3D printers to print heaps of models, eventually narrowing it down to two final shapes through a series of polls. The winner was determined though a “squint test”— whichever bottle stood out best among its main competitors.
Hidrate’s Kickstarter campaign closed on Monday. The company plans to start delivering water bottles and open an online store by the end of the year.