Speaker and innovator Nick Briscoe is the driver behind the development of Hydroxypure – a water sanitisation system for swimming pools that is totally chlorine free.
Nick has extensive experience within the water treatment industry, spanning over 25 years. Nick also has a strong connection to the swimming pool industry; much of his childhood was spent around pools, as his father operated one of the country’s first pool maintenance businesses in the early 1970s. This led him to gain trade qualifications for the swimming pool industry in plumbing, gas fitting, mechanical services, hydraulic design, construction and basic electrical applications.
The development of a truly chlorine-free system was driven by Nick’s wish to enable his son, who has eczema, to be able to swim in a pool without a reaction.
Over the past three years Nick has worked with Waterco Ltd to develop and implement the cutting edge technology used in Hydroxypure for commercial use in swimming pool water treatment. The system uses combined chemical disinfection processes to improve sanitisation without creating potentially dangerous by-products. This is an important advancement in water treatment technology that will shape the future of the industry.
First you need some space to dream – you always need to be able to feel free to explore even the most outrageous ideas.
Tell us a little bit about your idea and what made you decide to take the plunge and make it happen?
While a child, my father ran a swimming pool service business from home. He was a pioneer in this area back in the 1970’s so the desire to follow in my father’s footsteps has always been strong. When my son Dalton developed eczema and was not able to swim in a chlorinated pool, the opportunity arose to spend some time to develop a system that could manage the water purification without chlorine. It also gave me a legitimate excuse to spend money and time on a project that my wife would not complain about!
Please explain your business model.
Essentially there was no business model in place for this – it simply began as a need to fix the pool so my son could swim in it.
The business planning didn’t come into action until I realised that what we had developed could be used by many other people who suffered the same problems as my son when they swam in their own pool.
Eventually I made arrangements with Waterco Ltd to develop the technology so we could achieve commercialisation. Without this arrangement, the system would never have made it to market.
What are you working on right now and what are you most excited about in the next three months?
I am currently working on further enhancements to the Hydroxypure system which will see it used in many other aspects of water treatment.
How do you make ideas happen?
First you need some space to dream – you always need to be able to feel free to explore even the most outrageous ideas. Then research and always keeping an open mind. Then test and test again.
Most ideas never work the first time – you must have the drive to keep going.
What does your typical day look like?
Each day is different depending on what the priority ends up being. Aside from priorities, field testing and experimentation goes on every day. This consists of many different sites with many different tests going on. At the end of each day an evaluation needs to be logged on outcomes. In the evenings I set aside time to think about the outcomes and continue research and implementation procedures for testing.
What challenges have you faced when starting or growing a business/organisation in Australia?
The high level of red tape, compliance issues with government organisations, and the ongoing challenge of raising capital for development are all barriers to growing a business in Australia.
What is one idea you are willing to give away for free?
All ideas are free – you just need to look beyond the limits of your conscious mind.
What role do you think business can play in affecting social change?
Business can play a role in affecting social change if the products they are selling represent a realistic and viable option for consumers that are different. Too often new products are released that claim all kinds of wonderful things that cannot be delivered. This type of behaviour has led to scepticism amongst consumers when products that claim to have a social impact fail to meet consumer expectations.
In the end it is not business that affects social change, it is consumers.
Name 3 websites you would recommend to our readers.
Name 3 Australians we should follow on Twitter.
Nikola Tesla and John F Kennedy (unfortunately are dead but they would have made the most interesting Twitter accounts)
Also, Paul Murray.
Are there opportunities for people to get involved with your idea (e.g. are you looking for funding, interns, marketing help)?
Unfortunately that opportunity has been taken up with the joint venture with myself and Waterco.
We’re aiming to build a community of Australian idea makers helping each other. If you could have one question answered about start-ups, marketing, social media, accounting, monetization, product development etc. What would it be?
How can Australian authorities reduce compliance laws to allow greater opportunity for great inventions to reach commercialisation?
What’s your favourite bar/café/restaurant?
Hard Rock Café