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Entrepreneur Obtains Venture Capital with Help from the SBDC

ssSuperior Water Technologies obtained $200,000 in VC funding to support R&D, hiring and business growth.

Superior Water Technologies Inc. has been designing and servicing water disinfection facilities and systems for municipal and private clients since 2003. After a dip in sales during the recession, the company got back on track and doubled its sales every year for three years since 2012.

Challenges
As a small business competing with global corporations for customers, Superior Water Technologies frequently struggled with cash flow. In 2014, company founder Mark Malmquist turned to two investors who had previously lent the company operating capital. “We were talking to them about borrowing more,” Malmquist recalls. “They liked our business model, and suggested rather than just borrowing from them, they’d like to [invest venture capital] and become partners.” To make a decision on how best to grow the company, Malmquist visited the Small Business Development Center hosted by the University of La Verne.

Best Advice
Business Advisor Malcolm Geffen, who had a previous consulting relationship with Malmquist and had guided Superior Water Technologies through the 2008 recession, helped Malmquist position the company to promote the opportunity to investors, review the investment proposal, and structure a $200,000 investment that aligned with his long-term growth strategy.

Client Impact
Superior Water Technologies obtained $200,000 in funding from its new shareholders, which the company is investing in strengthening its management team and growing its customer base. The company is on track to double revenues in 2015.
Although Superior Water Technologies operates now with six employees, it projects expanding to twenty employees over the next two years and over forty within the next five years.
National expansion is next, and Malmquist believes the business ultimately has global potential. “We’ll pace growth so we do it intelligently—and Malcolm, of course, is participating on an ongoing basis to help us do it properly.”

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