Introducing the Portable Hot Shower
Jonathan Ballesteros is the inventor, founder, and CEO of Geyser Systems. He and his team design and manufacture products that address real-world problems faced by 2.3 billion people: water-scarcity and sanitation. Their flagship product is a hot, portable shower that uses less than one gallon of water and is ready to use in as little as five minutes. A young but already flourishing company, Geyser Systems obtained a Colorado Main Street loan allowing them to expand production and fulfill a large order contract with REI Co-op. Since then, they’ve continued to grow with a nation-wide presence and Jonathan already has even bigger plans for the future. Read on to be inspired by Jonathan’s story…
What inspired you to start Geyser Systems?
While living in the back of a van in Australia, I regularly encountered the problem of water running out before food or fuel, so I started designing a new way to take a hot shower. Six months and six prototypes later, I had a real solution that was totally different than what was on the market. While I recognize that this product solves a problem for people who love the outdoors, it inspires me to help people living in water stressed regions of the world. Our team is clear and aligned that our technology can redefine everyone's approach to water. We have a vision that by 2030, our products will be a solution to water scarcity.
What does forging a new path in 2021 look like for you and your business?
It's been a breakthrough year! We insightfully found a real need, solved it in a creative way, educated people about our solution, and sold enough Geyser Systems at REI to prove strong sell-through. A new path for us will be exporting to Europe and Canada. We also want to tap into other market segments. For example, we could introduce this to firefighters to clean the carcinogenic soot off their skin after a fire fight. They are five times more susceptible to cancer because of this, and Geyser Systems could be a solution.
How have you overcome the difficulties of supporting your business during COVID?
We stood by our values and put people first. I didn't decrease hours nor pay rate. We kept employees and their families safe while delivering on our contract with REI. The creative way we did that was by moving the manufacturing equipment into our employees’ garages. I used my van to move raw and assembled material between houses. It was an innovative way to meet our goals and keep people safe.
How did the loan you received from Colorado Lending Source help you?
The Colorado Main Street loan was the bridge to our first major win: delivering the purchase order to REI. We were just weeks away from completing the contract. No one would provide manufacturing or trade financing. Investors said we were too risky. Traditional banks wouldn't touch the project. I had to tell my employees that I could no longer meet payroll; we couldn't even afford toilet paper! And then, Colorado Lending Source Loan Officer, ViLinh Lu, came into our life. She turned around our loan in mind-blowing time. Our team celebrated the news and we joke to this day that we can finally afford toilet paper.