It’s so crazy it just might work.
A Newmarket entrepreneur has launched a Kickstarter campaign to help him bottle and sell Irish rainwater.
Paul O’Flynn’s Atlantic Rain brand will produce drinking water ‘captured directly from the sky in the west of Ireland after its journey across the Atlantic Ocean.’
Does it sound absolutely bonkers? Sure.
Does it have the potential to be a million dollar winner?
We think it just might.
Paul, whose background is in design, branding and advertising, points out that there are seven companies currently bottling rainwater globally, yet nobody has attempted it in Europe, despite our plentiful supply of precipitation.
To help him test Irish rainwater to find out exactly what it contains, Paul received an innovation grant from Enterprise Ireland.
Having relocated to North Cork from London in 1999 with his wife Maria and son Matthew, Paul’s dream is to use the funding to purchase two large stainless steel storage tanks and a water filtration system, then set up a small pilot plant here in Cork to develop the business further.
So how did he come up with it?
“The idea of Atlantic Rain started a few years back when my son had to come up with an idea for a Young Entrepreneur thing he had in transition year.” says Paul.
“We were at home trying to think of a business idea and it was pouring outside, and that is when the lightbulb went on. His project didn’t go forward, but I thought it was such a good idea, I ran with it.
Using my experience in branding, I was able to visualise the idea. I’ve slowly been building it to where it stands today, ready to take the next step, producing sample bottled rainwater.”
“Establishing our pilot plant will resolve some of the issues around bottled rainwater.” he explains.
“As this is a completely new product in Europe, one of the main issues is that bottled water is a highly regulated product. HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) need to be established. No one is producing bottled rainwater in Europe, so we will need to create these guidelines through our pilot plant.”
To help entice backers to pledge money to the fund, Paul has created a collection of branded rain gear including a rain coat, hat and umbrella, as well as a series of his own, weather-themed paintings.
Potential backers can also pay €2k to have a local musician record a personalised version of their favourite song about rain.
To watch a short video on the project (don’t miss the bloopers reel at the end) and back the project, click here.