What might come to mind when you think India is South Asia, large territoriesand a 1,2+ billion population, perhaps. But India is also one of the poorest countries in the world and faces the highest rate of waterborne deaths of children under the age of 5. More children are dying because of diarrhea than HIV, malaria and measles combined. They lack something we take for granted: clean drinking water. That is why Austrian startup Helioz (read more about them here and here) is raising money on the crowdfunding platform Indiegogo. Meeting their target goal of 100.000 euros could save 400.000 lives a year, they believe.
The social enterprise has developed WADI, a tool that measures solar power needed to purify water in a PET bottle. Once the water is safe to drink, WADI will let the user know.
The raised funds will be used to conduct a scientific health impact study in India, aiming to prove that WADI could reduce waterborne disease by at least 50%. “We could save thousands of lives in India,” founder Martin Wesian told inventures.eu, thus a successful implementation of WADI could potentially help improve India’s economic situation.
Team Helioz Photo credit: Helioz GmbHBackers can donate between 5 and 10.000 euros. Perks for each contribution include a WADI-branded glass bottle from Austrian startup Soulbottles and lottery tickets that could land you a trip to India. The campaign started on 20 August and in the one week it’s been running, it has raised close to 4.000 euros from 48 funders. Depending on the size of the donation, an Indian family will receive one or more WADIs.
Helioz’s Indiegogo campaign doesn’t follow the all-or-nothing crowdfunding strategy but allows for flexible funding. “If we don’t hit the funding goal, the raised money will be used for [other] humanitarian projects, securing access to drinking water in India.”
Wesian is optimistic, as he has already received positive feedback. “International organisations and government agencies agreed to support our study,” he said.
The team also has two investors onboard, among them AC&Friends. “They are aware of the special needs of our social enterprise and back the WADI production as well as our international marketing and sales business,” Wesian said.
If the target goal is reached, the study design will have to be approved by an ethical review committee in the Public Health Department of the Medical University Vienna. Another two partners, the Vienna-based NGO GEZA and the Indian social business Samvab will help the Helioz team during the implementation in India.
The crowdfunding campaign will end on 19 October.