Winning idea by

Applicant Name

First and Last Name:

Benjamin Cohen


What inspired your idea?

In 2010, my co-founder and I saw Bill Clinton speaking on BBC as part of the coverage of the aftermath of the Haiti Earthquake. We were appalled at all the suffering, but especially at the lack of access to water. People were dying from lack of access to water, and this impacted us deeply to the point of action. Water was available, but it couldn’t be delivered because the roads were impassable. Airdrops were effective, but limited in capacity. The idea of using traditional pipelines was absurd, because they take so long to install. The solution was simple. We had to reinvent pipelines.

What’s your social impact business idea?

TOHL is a sustainable pipeline company providing rapid access to water for those in need more effectively & efficiently than conventional approaches. We need water. Conventional delivery solutions fail to provide water when it matters most: disaster relief, refugee camps, drought, wildfires. TOHL is the answer. Using the world’s longest pipe segments, and a patent-pending helicopter installation technique, TOHL delivers water anywhere it’s needed at a fraction of the cost, environmental impact, and time. TOHL is faster, more cost-effective, comparatively unlimited by terrain, and more sustainable versus the status quo. Additionally TOHL is able to quickly and cost-effectively remove, reuse, and recycle pipelines if necessary. TOHL’s mobile infrastructure is the future.

What is your impact and how is it relevant to the business?

TOHL’s impact is clear: we save lives, preserve livelihoods, protect homes, and conserve resources. TOHL’s goal is to help serve 894 million people worldwide who don’t have access to clean water (WHO). TOHL has begun in Chile and is expanding into Haiti, and then other parts of the world. TOHL will also protect livelihoods & property by minimizing starvation, lost wages, and damage inflicted by drought and wildfires. TOHL will do all this with energy efficiency and minimal environmental impact. Our business is successful when we are executing projects that bring water to people who are in need. Customers include Logistics Companies, Governments, NGO's, Utility Companies, Foundations, etc.

How will you establish sustainable impact in the locations you wish to serve?

At every step of water delivery, TOHL simply uses less. Solutions like water trucks and helicopters burn through large amounts of fuel. Conventional pipelines leave a massive footprint during transportation and installation. We source, transport, and install pipelines efficiently, using fewer connections and less energy. We use solar powered pumps and water purifiers to save resources. TOHL can install over trees and mountains, rather than cutting through them. Finally, whereas conventional pipelines have lasting impact on the environment, TOHL’s pipelines can be removed, reused, and recycled if desired: for example forest fire fighting. TOHL makes pipelines sustainable.

What does success look like, including measurements and reporting on the business and your impact?

TOHL is keeping a detailed record of exactly how many people and families have received increased access to a reliable water source as defined by WHO, due to TOHL's installations globally. TOHL is also monitoring and officially recording how many fewer doctors visits the communities have and how much the GDP increases for the community after an installation. TOHL will also measure how much carbon emissions are mitigated by replacing the water tanker trucks. These trucks are used all over the world in developing countries to deliver water. TOHL also uses the B-Lab GIIRS assessment in order to officially monitor TOHL's social impact through another formal method:

What would $50,000 mean for your business? And how will it help your company better reach its goals?

TOHL has demand from various clients, yet we are having trouble communicating our solutions to our clients in a way that enables us to close deals. We are making improvements, and in fact finally closed our first sale, but incorrect positioning within our clients' markets has slowed our progress of moving from product development to sales. We are lacking a strong marketing link in our team's chain. We have a talented and experienced sales person on our team and we have 2 co-founding engineers (myself and Apoorv Sinha) who handle R&D and product development. We need to hire a qualified marketing guru who knows how to efficiently bring our solutions to market - $50,000 salary + some equity.

14 Pink-talk-bubble-tail

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Good luck. You are most welcome to come to India and make an impact.

by abhishekrathi92
11 months ago | Reply

We would be happy to. Please send us an e-mail with some details.

11 months ago | Reply

I just want to give the heartiest and most sincere congratulations to TOHL from the Momba ( team for winning the Start Something That Matters contest. You truly are working on something that matters, and have a fantastic product. We're proud to have been in the contest alongside you, and wish you nothing but the best going forward!

Steven & Heather Duque

by stevenduque
10 months ago | Reply

This is the product of the century!!!

by awetw
11 months ago | Reply

Good luck with the upcoming installation, guys! Glad to see people doing something to solve social issues without creating environmental issues as a result. Keep up the good work!

by rebekahmorris23
11 months ago | Reply

I see a great potential of this project in Africa too where lack water is a big barrier to development. Travis, lets discuss sometime on ways of replicating your idea there soon.

Good luck.

by rose.k.kiwanuka
11 months ago | Reply

Rose, please send an e-mail to us regarding this topic. We are exploring the potential of executing projects in South Sudan and Kenya. The South Sudanese government invited us out there earlier this year, we visited and are now looking at the feasibility of investing now or in the future.

11 months ago | Reply

Rose, please shoot us an email:

by travis.horsley
11 months ago | Reply

Not sure exactly what TOHL is, but I too didn't feel comfortable putting all the details of my idea on the web. From what I gather, you have a well-constructed idea that can help many people but once its started, will be self-sustaining because it will run on supply and demand. Sounds like you're right, all you need is that guy/girl who can connect your supply with the demand market. Good luck. May I suggest marketing to FEMA or attempting a collaboration with the Red Cross... you may have already had them on your list, but I wanted to throw it out there anyway.

by nicole.wdisf
11 months ago | Reply

Great cause and great work!

by aegf1127
11 months ago | Reply

Thanks a million!

by travis.horsley
11 months ago | Reply

Very worthy project!

by bernardito
11 months ago | Reply

Thanks Bernardo!

by travis.horsley
11 months ago | Reply

I helped found this company, and love seeing how far we've made it in under two years! Thanks in advance for your votes!

by travis.horsley
11 months ago | Reply

Circle-1-inactive Step1-title-idea-inactive

Submission Began
Monday, April 22

Submission Ended
Friday, May 17
at 12:00 PM PDT

Circle-2-inactive Step2-title-voting-inactive

Voting Began
Friday, May 31

Voting Ended
Friday, June 14
at 12:00 PM PDT

Circle-3 Step3-title

Winner Announced
Tuesday, July 02

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