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Headquartered in Flint, Michigan, Quartz Water Source is a hub for ‘second line’ clean water solutions, including atmospheric water generation technology that creates clean water using the planet’s largest source of water: air.
Quartz Water Source began in 2019 with a mission of expanding global access to clean water. While on a business trip in Israel in 2017, Jonathan Quarles—a Flint native, angel investor and entrepreneur—was introduced to Israel’s history of water thought leadership and innovation. Jonathan immediately saw the potential for this technology in his hometown, as it could provide a recurring, scalable source of clean water.
When he returned home, Jonathan dove headfirst into understanding the true needs of Flint residents. As a result of what he learned, Jonathan launched Quartz Water Source. Soon after, he turned to the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) for resources and support.
Jonathan set up headquarters at the Flint Ferris Wheel where he was given the space and resources he needed to develop the company and its strategy. Throughout the early days of Quartz Water Source, Flint Ferris Wheel and 100K Ideas helped with market studies, research, a go-to-business roadmap and marketing materials. University of Michigan students, who worked with 100K ideas, helped support Quartz Water Source’s initial marketing efforts and are now helping with product expansion ideas. In November 2019, the Quartz Water Source team took first place in Ferris Wheel’s 10K pitch competition, receiving $10,000.
“The MEDC and Flint Ferris Wheel provided us with the resources and the means necessary to launch Quartz Water Source,” Jonathan said. “There is something to be said about the expert guidance, access to funding and marketing assistance the MEDC afforded us. They saw our potential and worked alongside us throughout the startup process.”
As with many companies in Michigan, the COVID-19 pandemic threw a wrench in Quartz Water Source’s traditional business and production—but the company was quick to pivot.
Jonathan and his team have always been passionate about partnering with local communities and began using their technology and capabilities to provide clean drinking water to those in need. By leveraging various connections and programs throughout the state, Quartz Water Source was able to tap into funding, including the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, Verizon COVID-19 Recovery Fund, Flint Restart Fund and the state’s Michigan Entrepreneur Resilience Fund. Since August, the team has donated nearly 2,000 gallons of clean water to nonprofits and both the Flint and Detroit communities.
Jonathan had a vision of providing households everywhere with safe and clean water despite the reliability of the municipal water supply. Today, the team at Quartz Water Source is working to make that vision a reality with help from the MEDC.
Every day, the MEDC is helping high-tech entrepreneurs and startups like Quartz Water Solutionstake their innovative ideas to market. For more information on MEDC and how to access capital resources, please visit https://www.michiganbusiness.org/entrepreneurship/.