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Renovo: The BIZ Helps Startup Connect with Essential Resources

Functioning in its sweet spot, the BIZ has recently partnered with Renovo Water of Minneapolis, Minnesota to help the startup company connect with qualified community and state resources needed to grow its business.

Renovo Water, a company recently spawned from University of Minnesota, uses an innovative product to remove contaminants in municipal drinking water systems. Its proprietary technology might sound like gibberish to the average water consumer, but it could be the key to delivering the quality of big city water to rural communities without the prohibitive costs associated with huge water treatment facilities.

Focusing on Small Communities

Marc Salmon, chairman of Renovo Water, explains that the company's focus is really for smaller communities across the world. "Current water cleansing technologies involve significant capital expenditures, heavy maintenance, large amounts of energy, waste disposal issues as well as chemical additions to the water," Salmon said. "Our system solves these issues while also being green and flexible. No hazardous material has to be generated, which makes this a very environmentally safe product. Communities won't have to change their workflow and it can be used in areas that traditional water quality systems have been unable to reach.

"In terms of impacting the community, we're excited about how this new technology will allow rural areas to have the high level of water quality usually only enjoyed by larger cities," Salmon continued. "We're not totally sure about how many jobs may be created by manufacturing. We're still looking into those details.

"Mike Colwell has been a great resource in terms of connecting us with crucial departments and relationships within Iowa. He helped us work with the state (DNR) and the Iowa Department of Economic Development. He was great helping us address overall business plan details. Mike's a good marketing guy as well. He asked us critical questions, which got us thinking about connecting with other partnerships we had not yet thought of."

Plans are underway to locate the business in Iowa. Piloting of the new system will begin early this spring in Osceola along with pursing Environmental Protection Agency certification. If the system performs as expected in the pilot, Renovo Water will start selling the product in Iowa next year.

Square One DSM, an initiative of the Greater Des Moines Partnership, is formerly known as Business Innovation Zone (BIZ).