Business Students Help Drive AguaClara’s growth

by Jenna Hobocan, MBA ‘12 (12/1/10)

Jenna Hobocan, MBA ‘12

Johnson students are collaborating with a team of Cornell engineers to apply their business skills to a clean water project called AguaClara.

Recognizing the importance of increasing worldwide access to clean drinking water and sanitation, a team of Johnson students is collaborating with a team of Cornell engineers to apply their business skills to this effort through a project called AguaClara.  The Johnson team – made up of Megan Kerr, Michael Pu, Yong Xiang, and Jenna Hobocan – has combined industry experience, from internet business and computer science to marketing and business development. We hope to use these skills, in addition to our resources at the Johnson School, to assist AguaClara in advancing their message and scaling their efforts.

This semester the team is working on a website development project for AguaClara to help the organization best tell its story as it forms partnerships within Cornell and the nonprofit world. The Johnson School team is excited to partner with Professor Weber-Shirk and AguaClara in order to be a part of and learn from their work in this space, while also sharing our business skills in a way that will help accelerate their goals.

AguaClara’s innovations and approach can revolutionize the water supply sector. Professor Weber-Shirk is enthusiastic for AguaClara’s next steps, “AguaClara’s technologies have undercut the costs of the conventional approach while making a design that is easy to operate and maintain and that does not require electricity. The AguaClara technology is less complex to maintain than a hand pump and focuses on simplicity and elegance to make our designs easy for the operator to maintain.  The water and sanitation space has been stagnant for the past 50 years. In fact, the water treatment technologies have actually gotten worse with lower reliability. We are dramatically reversing that trend. Our technologies and dissemination model has the potential to grow virally. The next decade should prove to be an amazing journey.”   

The Water Affinity Group at Johnson is excited to be a part of their journey.