Speaker encourages students to innovate with purpose

Oct 18, 2019
Speaker encourages students to innovate with purpose
Kevin Adams, chief operating officer of WaterBrick International, talks with Florida Polytechnic University students about the development and growth of his company, which produces durable, interlocking containers for water, food, and other storage needs. He was the featured guest at the University’s monthly Innovation Speaker Series.

The need for developing and recovering communities to have a safe, durable way to transport and store water without adding to a buildup of trash was the spark that led to the creation of WaterBrick International. The company produces durable, interlocking containers to store water, food, and other materials.

The company’s chief operating officer, Kevin Adams, told dozens of Florida Poly University students about how the company formed, grew, and adapted to embrace new markets. He was the featured speaker on Oct. 17 at the University’s monthly Innovation Speaker Series.

The series brings entrepreneurs, business leaders, and tech innovators to campus each month to connect with students and discuss the impact they have had on their market or community.

“Whenever you’re innovating anything, know your numbers,” Adams said. “When you do that, you’ll find out what the need is and where you can have an impact.”

He said the next critical component in finding success as an entrepreneur is partnering with others who will also benefit from the collaboration. He said WaterBrick International has partnered with organizations promoting clean water availability in developing or disaster-struck communities as well as humanitarian distribution organizations, and water filtration companies.

The company based in Winter Garden, Florida, also has embraced opportunities to partner with researchers and organizations interested in learning whether the product could be effective in uses such as radiation barrier construction, anchoring materials, preventing wildlife access to food, and insulation. The bricks can even be used in home construction.

“We started finding all sorts of reasons people would want to use WaterBricks,” Adams said.

However, he encouraged students to be wary of jumping into every partnership opportunity they come across.

“When you have a good product, you’re going to attract vultures and you need to consult people you trust,” Adams said. “Be cautious of who you work with and never make a deal when you’re desperate.” Florida Poly business analytics sophomore Maverick Hope said he found the presentation interesting.

“Having people, especially entrepreneur types talking to students, is a really great idea,” he said. “Many people from this school and the STEM area in general work for employers but they could be doing so much more. With they skills they have they could innovate so much more.”

The next installment of the Innovation Speaker Series will feature Todd Baylis, CEO and co-founder of Qgiv, an online giving platform. He will speak at 2 p.m. Nov. 21, in the Aula Magna inside the Innovation, Science, and Technology building.

Lydia Guzman
Director of Communications