Sunday, November 22, 2009

Driptech Honored as Tech Award Laureate

11/22/09 - San Jose, CA
Driptech was recognized this week at the Tech Awards as a 2009 Laureate in the Economic Development category. This prestigious honor is bestowed upon top organizations using "technology for the benefit of humanity."

Laureates are selected yearly from hundreds of nominations by a team of expert judges, evaluating submissions based on their current social impact and potential to scale.

"This is a tremendous achievement to be selected at such an early stage," said Peter Frykman, founder and CEO of Driptech. "It demonstrates the growing awareness of the water issues facing small scale farmers in developing countries."

In addition to the Gala dinner and awards ceremony, Laureates were invited to present their beneficial technologies at an exclusive showcase before the event. Many of the over 1,500 guests had the opportunity to meet the Laureates in person and get a closer look at their innovative solutions.

Driptech was no exception. Peter and his team provided a miniature demonstration garden complete with functional drip irrigation. "The goal is to show just how simple our product is for small farmers to use," said Frykman. "We've had a number of people today try to buy systems for their backyard gardens."

These home gardeners will have to wait, says Frykman, who points out that Driptech is producing at maximum capacity for its Chinese customers. "This is why we're currently raising scale our manufacturing."

Peter Frykman explains the Driptech system to Tech Museum President Peter Friess

For more of Driptech's photos of the event please visit our album here:

Monday, November 16, 2009

Driptech featured in Businessweek

This has been a pretty exciting couple of weeks at Driptech. Businessweek has been doing a story on us for their special report on "The Most Intriguing New Businesses." I never knew how much effort went into producing this type of feature. Besides the actual interviews and fact-checks by phone and email I also had two photo sessions in San Francisco studios with a great photographer, Timothy Archibald. These were pretty fun although we put in a lot of hours.

It all paid off when I saw the result. I was in New York City on my way to speak at Net Impact in Ithaca when I heard that the story would finally run. Early last Friday I stopped by the newstand by my hotel and picked up a copy of the Nov. 23rd Businessweek. On the cover it said "Special Report: The Most Intriguing Startups." I checked the table of contents and flipped to page 46. I couldn't believe it! I was the main photo feature of the article.

I suddenly started laughing loudly, which scared off a woman nearby. This got the attention of the guys running the newstand, who I showed the 2-page spread. They were just as excited as I was and were happy to take a photo with me:

They wouldn't let me pay for the copy and as soon as I left they grabbed another to start reading about the crazy guy who came to their stand:

Besides the embarrassingly large size of my photo, the funniest thing about the whole process is the actual photo that was chosen. Tim must have taken hundreds, if not thousands, of photos of me over the course of two sessions. But right at the end of the second shoot when we finished I rolled up the sleeves of my shirt. We took just a few more photos like that before we called it a day. Those were the photos that the editor ended up picking from for the magazine. If only we had known beforehand!

Anyway, I'm very pleased with the article and hope that everyone can pick up a copy this week. I think that the writer, Venessa Wong, did a great job of telling our story. The publicity has already sparked a flurry of emails from readers around the world who want to be involved in various ways. It's always good to be reminded of how exciting our low-cost drip irrigation is to people who need it.

You can check out the article online here where we are also featured in the video discussion by the editor, but I recommend that you also pick it up in person.