Jonathan Ballesteros had been designing surgical instruments for 12 years when he decided to “do a lap,” as they call it in Australia. He soon discovered that, while he never struggled to find food, fuel, or propane, he was constantly running out of water and desperate for a hot shower. This propelled him ask himself, “How do I make the most of every drop of water?”
This mantra soon became an obsession and, after spending some time prototyping, Ballesteros developed a compact heated portable shower that uses 10 times less water than traditional solutions while also freeing up space in his van. This was a game-changer not just for himself and other outdoor enthusiasts, but potentially for people battling water scarcity around the world. Ballesteros had a mission and returned to the US to make his dream a reality.
Ballesteros was intrigued by an accelerator program in Gunnison, Colorado, geared specifically toward supporting the outdoor industry and attracting companies to the Western Slope. He was selected as one of three companies to go through the program that year and, through the process, Geyser Systems was born and Ballesteros was introduced to Colorado's extensive ecosystem working to support and scale local businesses. In addition to working with his local PTAC and receiving financial support from Region 9 and 10 banks and the Colorado Lending Source, it was through the Montrose Economic Development’s Executive Director Sandy Head that Ballesteros was first introduced to Manufacturer’s Edge, part of the MEP National Network™.
There is a very cohesive community in Colorado for business to thrive; that means the whole ecosystem. Your universities, your investors, all the different players who are critical for a company to thrive. I was really surprised at how much people work together and how is easy it is to have constructive conversations that add real operational value.
At that point, Geyser Systems was at a crossroads. The business was growing, and they knew they needed to systemize different parts of the organization. While they were well acquainted with how that translated to the manufacturing floor, they needed some assistance applying it to other aspects of the company. The team from Manufacturer’s Edge suggested that Ballesteros and his team complete a business health assessment (BHA), which consists of a 47-question survey completed anonymously by various stakeholders throughout the organization followed by a 90-minute exploration of the results and next steps. Geyser was able to gain an outside perspective, especially in terms of where to invest time and money moving forward in order to achieve the greatest impact.
Today, Geyser Systems is scaling rapidly in both breadth and depth. Not only are they extremely competitive in the remote camping and overlanding markets, but they are also bringing their technology to firefighters, remote villages in Mexico, and much more.