What started as a solution to ridding their backyard pond of a foul odor, algae and mosquitoes, ended in a new business venture for Newark couple Sandra and Craig Burton.
“In 2009, we brought a property that had a pond, but it had been very neglected,” Sandra said. “We did some research online and found the best way to solve the problem was aeration.” Aeration is the act of circulating air through water.
Because the Burtons both worked in the solar energy business, they were able to apply their knowledge to pond management. Craig used some solar panels he had laying around to create an aeration unit.
This contraption became the first prototype for PondHawk, a solar-powered aeration system.
In 2013, the couple patented PondHawk and started their own company, Linne Industries. The following year they sold their first unit to a golf course in Virginia.
According to Sandra, who serves as CEO of Linne Industries, PondHawk’s main demographic has been golf courses and homeowners’ associations.
“Right now, 60 percent of our sales have been in the golf course market. The other 40 percent are homeowners’ associations and venues with private ponds,” she said.
Linne Industries currently ships the aeration systems to 15 state and is hoping to grow their five-person team.
Linne Industries was one of 18 startups to attend a business workshop called the Spark Challenge earlier this month.
Sandra said the workshop prepared small businesses to cross a bridge and move on to the next level.
“The Spark Challenge helped us hone our messages to gain interest and support from investors,” she said.
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