Utah Innovation Fund Awards Eden Technologies $250,000
The Utah Innovation Fund, the new state-based venture capital firm headquartered in the UofU's Thomas S. Monson Center in downtown Salt Lake City, awarded $250,000 to Eden Technologies for their Reverse Osmosis Centrifuge (ROC) technology that improves the efficiency of brackish and ocean water desalination, producing clean, drinkable water using the same energy as current methods.
This is the first investment made by the year-old Utah Innovation Fund, which is dedicated to investing in innovative solutions by high-impact startups statewide. The Fund believes Eden Tech’s ROC technology shows great promise for Utah’s growing need for fresh, clean, drinkable water.
Other potential customers seem to agree. Eden has been having ongoing discussions about its ROC technology with the Navajo Nation and entities in Saudi Arabia and plan to commence testing soon.
“As one of the driest states in the US, it is exciting to see innovative companies in Utah taking a leadership role in tackling water scarcity head-on and producing solutions that will augment water supplies in the West and globally,” says Dr. Jeremy Pearson of the San Rafael Energy Research Center. “Ultimately, it’s technologies like this that can supply all the water needed for Utah’s agriculture and population growth and has great potential to help replenish the Great Salt Lake.”
Manz was motivated to create solutions to increase fresh water from his experience growing up in parched Las Vegas.
"I witnessed the urgency of addressing our planet's water crisis,” said Hunter Manz, Eden Tech CEO and former Utah Tech University student. “I realized the untapped potential in brackish and undrinkable underground water and refined my ideas at Utah Tech University, which led to the development of the ROC. The investment from the Utah Innovation Fund is crucial and gets us closer to a future where accessible, clean water is a reality for all.”
Inspired by how ice skaters can increase or decrease their spinning velocity with the placement of their arms, Manz applied that concept to develop Eden Tech’s ROC. The technology produces 30-40% additional drinking water with less waste and can be retrofitted into existing desalination plants as well as incorporated into new builds.
“We invested in Eden Technologies because their technology addresses a critical need – especially in drier climates where populations continue to grow," said Gabi Tellez of the Utah Innovation Fund. "They’re aligned with our mission of investing in our future and solving problems in innovative ways that benefit us all.”
Envisioning a novel solution to the problem of current high cost and inefficiency of industrial desalination plants, Manz founded Eden Technologies Inc., along with Co-founder, Zachary Manweiler, in April, 2020. TechBuzz covered Eden Tech in a profile article in March 2022 upon the launch of the startup's website and the announcement of its $750K seed investment from undisclosed Utah investors.
Previously, Manz and Manweiler raised a $100,000 pre-seed round in 2021 from local investors who saw only schematics for a prototype and not the real thing. With those funds Manz and Manweiler created their first working model of a reverse osmosis centrifuge—a smaller proof of concept than the intended final size and configuration they intend to commercialize for industrial scale desalination plants.