Fueled by a revelation that 60 per cent of dental offices seemed unaware of water contamination and its risks, Ela and George Botos launched ExactBlue Technologies to create water-testing solutions that can help prevent health crises.
“While testing water in dental offices, George discovered that they were treating it without testing,” Ela said. “He stumbled upon a technology at the University of Waterloo, repurposed it for water testing, and worked to unlock its potential.”
Cambridge-based ExactBlue Technologies, founded in 2015, specializes in rapid water testing for microbial contamination.
“When we say 'rapid,' we mean 15 minutes – a significant contrast to lab testing, which takes a few days up to a week," Ela said.
Launching in the dental sector, the company has evolved its platform to offer both visual and quantitative tests. A key feature is the integration of a reader with a mobile app, providing users with step-by-step guidance and results.
"Our focus is at the intersection of health care and the environment, through our environmental testing, all geared towards improving human health,” George said. “As a product-based company, our versatile platform spans multiple industries. While our roots are in dental, our growth has led us into diverse sectors."
ExactBlue Technologies has adopted a strategy that involves gathering immediate customer feedback on platforms like Amazon before making larger B2B launches.
"We have always had a consumer-first approach,” Ela said. “This strategy proved effective – launch, gather consumer input, iterate and then hit the market. It has been key to refining and successfully introducing several products.”
In the near term, the company plans to expand internationally and develop applications beyond dental and health care.
“We aim to target diverse sectors such as agriculture, water-treatment facilities, utilities and environmental monitoring, including cooling towers,” George said. “Our focus is on expanding applications."
Looking further ahead, the company envisions the use of their technology in air monitoring and surface testing.
“With the increasing challenges posed by diseases, such as the initial uncertainty with COVID-19 and the rising risk of pandemics due to global warming, our versatile solutions are easily transferable and align with the evolving needs of the future," George said.
How Fierce Founders helped
Ela said Communitech’s Fierce Founders Intensive Track program has had a transformative impact on the company that she and George co-founded..
“Fierce Founders has been a game-changer for ExactBlue Technologies,” she said. “Before joining the program, our progress was steady, but being part of it was like night and day.”
The program provided a dedicated growth coach for strategic connections, mentoring and shaping business strategy.
“Our strategy coach conducted weekly meetings, keeping us focused and connected with strategists and coaches in sales and marketing,” Ela said. “His hands-on approach included extensive mentoring and strategic guidance for the business."
Fierce Founders provided support in revamping the ExactBlue website, optimizing content for marketing and expanding sales to the U.S.
“The program offered crucial support and strategic insights, leading to successful growth,” she said. “The coach's involvement went beyond regular meetings, extending to networking opportunities whenever needed. Overall, Fierce Founders has played a pivotal role in catapulting ExactBlue Technologies to a new level of success.”
The Communitech Fierce Founders Bootcamp, Uplift and Intensive Track programs are made possible thanks to the support of the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, the Business Development Bank (BDC), Google for Startups, Vidyard, the City of Kitchener and the Ontario government.