The world's first water filter that costs pennies, not dollars

Folia Water is a wholesale technology manufacturer of paper filters: our business model is to sell large volumes of our Folia Filters™ to international consumer goods distributors who have the expertise and know-how to handle local distribution.  Folia aims to partner with commercial, entrepreneurial, and social enterprise distribution partners capable of handling marketing and localization including product positioning, messaging, supply chain, and last mile distribution.

Folia Water's target consumers are the 3 billion people in countries throughout the world who make between $2 and $10/day.  These low-income people collectively spend $20 billion on water, typically overpaying for bottled water or soda.  Folia Filters™ are designed to be affordable for low-income consumers around the world, providing these consumers with the agency to afford their own safe water. 

Our vision is for our Folia Filters™ to be sold as a staple in retail stores throughout low and middle income countries.

Founders

Teri Dankovich, Ph.D.

 

Chief Technology Officer

Teri has a B.S. in Textiles and Fiber Science from Cornell University, an M.S. in Agricultural and Environmental Chemistry from University of California in Davis, a Ph.D. in Chemistry from McGill University, and completed postdoctoral research at the Center for Global Health at University of Virginia and Civil and Environmental Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. Her doctoral and postdoctoral work has been the invention, laboratory, and field testing of Folia Filters. She created Folia Water to bring her invention out of the lab to those who are in need of clean water.

Jonathan Levine, Ph.D.

Chief Executive Officer

Jonathan has a Ph.D. in Earth and Environmental Engineering from Columbia University. He worked on African water supply for the U.N. Millennium Villages Project for his masters research. His 16 academic publications address global environmental problems, including disposing of billions of tons of carbon dioxide pollution, deep sea oil spills, and the clathrate gun hypothesis. He and Teri formed Folia Water to build a social enterprise able to reach 1 billion people with their inventions. 

Team

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Philip Kang, MBA

 

Director of Market development

Philip previously worked as a management consultant at Nomura where he advised Asian startups and multinational corporations on business model development, and expansion and cross-border business strategies. At Nomura he started and led a new industry-specific team, growing it to an 8 person team with $5 million in revenue under his leadership. He left Nomura to get his MBA from Columbia Business School with the aim of either starting or joining a social enterprise.

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Kira Lee, MBA

 

Director of Operations & Customer success

Kira has extensive experience in IT, Operations, and Customer Success. She started her career doing special projects and IT systems implementations for Société Générale and BNP Paribas. After an MBA at Cambridge University, she worked at LaModa.ru, a Rocket Internet-backed Russian fashion/clothing startup. She led and scaled a team of 20 people to a 300+ customer service operation spread across multiple countries. She led both day-to-day operations as well as implementation of development initiatives and new IT tools. 

Advisors

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PRAMOD JOHN

Pramod John is CEO of VIVIO Health, a company reinventing the therapeutic use and supply chain for the specialty drug space. He was formerly CEO of Oration, a venture-funded startup in healthcare transaction processing. Prior to this, he was VP of Strategy & Innovation at McKesson, the world’s largest healthcare services company.  Earlier, he founded two tech companies; one is now owned by Dell and the other by VMware.

With significant entrepreneurial and F500 business leadership experience, Pramod has a track record of strategic and operational success in both large scale and startup environments.  After launching his career in Silicon Valley technology, Pramod migrated to healthcare, an industry suffering from legacy systems and archaic transactional processes both of which contribute to gross inefficiencies.  Combining his technology background with more than a decade of healthcare experience, Pramod has a great deal of experience in understanding and optimizing businesses that range from very low margin distribution businesses to high margin software companies.

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JUSTIN NEWTON

Justin is an early Internet pioneer and technology startup veteran. His last four companies: AboveNet, NetZero/United Online, Demand Media and Blackline Systems have all exited with $1 Billion + IPOs. He was responsible for architecting each company’s platform for global scale and preparing their data systems for Sarbox compliance. He founded The Internet Service Provider’s Consortium (the first trade association for ISPs) and was their Public Policy Director.

Justin is currently the founder and CEO of Netki. Netki’s products allow companies to make blockchain applications easy to use and able to meet regulatory/compliance requirements. Justin currently serves on the Industry/Law Enforcement Portal Working Group of the Blockchain Alliance and the State Legislative Working Group of the Chamber of Digital Commerce. He is also on the Board of Directors of Adra Match Software.

TIM OLSON

Tim is a serial software entrepreneur with a penchant for data analytics and big backends. He is currently the CEO of ZeroPond. 

Scientific innovation

Years in the making

Theresa Dankovich, PhD, invented germ-killing nano-silver coated paper filters as the focus of her doctoral work in Chemistry at McGill University in Montreal, Canada between 2008 and 2012. Her invention uses non-toxic reagents and renewable materials. She showed at the lab-scale that nano-silver paper filters were highly effective at eliminating bacteria.

From the lab into the world

For her post-doctoral research at University of Virginia in 2013, she successfully field tested the filters in rural Limpopo, South Africa. Since 2014, Dr. Dankovich and her partners have field tested her filters in Ghana, Honduras, Bangladesh, Kenya, China, and Haiti, showing repeatedly that they can purify many types of polluted water, including well water, streams, rivers, ponds, springs, and even gray water.

The next challenge was to create culturally appropriate filter holders for international markets that would ensure correct and consistent use of the filters. Working with a variety of international partners, Dr. Dankovich and Dr. Jonathan Levine (Folia Water's cofounder and CEO) field-tested various filter holder designs and collected feedback from potential customers in Bangladesh, Honduras, and South Africa.

From technology to product

In 2016 Folia Water tested a variety of product designs, performed extensive customer testing, and scaled to industrial production. Folia can now manufacture its Folia Filters™ at industrial scale. The Keystone Funnel™ was developed as a filter holder that fits with nearly any household water container: cups, buckets, two-liter soda bottles, larger bottles or jugs, jerry cans, or kolshis. 

Folia Water is a wholesale technology manufacturer of paper filters: our business model is to sell large volumes of our Folia Filters to international consumer goods distributors who have the expertise and know-how to handle local distribution.  

Social Enterprise

The BASE OF THE PYRAMID

Folia Water's target market are the 3 billion people in countries throughout the world who make between $2 and $10/day.  These low-income people collectively spend $20 billion on water, typically overpaying for bottled water or soda.  Our vision is for our Folia Filters™ to be sold as a staple in retail stores in low and middle income countries throughout the world.  Folia Filters™ are designed to be affordable for low-income consumers around the world, providing these consumers with the agency to afford their own safe water. 


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FOLIA WATER'S SOCIAL MISSION

Folia Water is a social enterprise and a Pennsylvania Benefit Corporation. As such, we operate according to a triple bottom line: People, Planet, & Profit

 

People: 

  • Provide safe water to billions in the developing world at a price they can easily afford. 
  • Create jobs and opportunities in the developing world for micro-entrepreneur retailers as well as local and regional suppliers, manufacturers, and distribution partners. 

Planet:

  • Prevent the environmental impacts associated with current methods of purifying water (burning wood for boiling water, or using harmful chemicals such as chlorine).
  • Ensure that all Folia Filters use ethically-sourced wood pulp and are biodegradable and recyclable at end-of-life. 
  • Locally source materials when possible to minimize carbon footprint. 

Profit:

  • Sustainable scalable solutions require financial sustainability.
  • Our aim is for Folia Filters to be sold in stores throughout low and middle income countries, which requires that Folia Water and our products are profitable to our investors, our distributors, and their downstream retailers.