Bart Verweijen, founder of Waterly will be present at F&A Next. Bart aspired to make drinking-water more attractive and stimulate a healthy lifestyle for people at the office. StartLife helped him to introduce “fruity water”; a natural and healthy alternative for coffee and sweetened beverages. Now, Bart’s water is slowly entering the market.
A few years ago Bart planned a journey through Rajasthan, India. Rajasthan is one of the driest places on earth. Bart saw people suffering from the drought on a daily-basis. Then, he realized that Dutch people take clean drinking-water for granted. In the Netherlands there is plenty of fresh and healthy water available but, we hardly ever choose to drink it. We grab a coffee or sweetened beverages, but hardly plain water.
After his journey, Bart started to work for Dopper, well-known for its trendy water bottles. Dopper strives to reduce plastic waste and increase the availability of drinking-water worldwide. As managing director, Bart began to understand why and when Europeans drink water. After two successful years, Bart struck out on his own and founded Waterly. His mission was to stimulate a healthy lifestyle in developed countries whilst making clean drinking-water available in developing countries.
Of course, Bart understood how difficult this mission was going to be, because he didn’t want to invent another artificial flavoured water. They already flooded the market. So he combined water with fresh fruit and herb juices. Unfortunately, he didn’t know how to transport his water and keep it fresh. Water with juice stays fresh for only a few hours! Finally, Bart found a solution. In collaboration with a food appliance manufacturer and a product designer he developed a dispenser that gives out fresh fruity water at any time. The machine keeps the water fresh for two weeks. Now, a prototype of the dispenser will be tested at Papendal, the National Sports Center of the Netherlands.
‘I wish all pitch candidates a lot of success. By participating in pitching events, for example at F&A Next, you will quickly learn how to present the right information to get the funding you need’.