Clean Energy Tech

Founder Spotlight: Tracy L. Jackson, Founder of WIP International Services

See all of our Clean Energy Tech cohort companies pitch their startups LIVE in Houston!

by Lara Adekeye

Our Spring 2023 Clean Energy Tech Accelerator is in full swing, and we’re excited about our upcoming Demo Day, a celebration and showcase of the founders’ completion of our accelerator program!

Next up in our Founder Spotlight series is Tracy L. Jackson, founder of WIP International Services. We sat down with Tracy to discuss her commitment to humanitarianism, and key takeaways from DivInc's Clean Energy Tech accelerator program, in collaboration with Chevron & Microsoft. Read highlights from our conversation below, or watch the full interview on youtube

Tracy, tell us about WIP International Services and what problem it solves for customers.

WIP International Services solves the problem of global thirst with our atmospheric water generators and our humanitarian and commercial solutions.

I was in the oil and gas services sector for over 31 and a half years. I retired officially in August of 2021, but founded my company towards the beginning months of the pandemic and had followed along a path that I had set in motion about seven years before that, with atmospheric water generators being the backbone of my company’s focus.

The atmospheric water generator isn’t my technology or IP, but it is a miraculous technology that we use as the focus to generate water. How it works is that the atmospheric water generators act very much like your air conditioning system. It extracts the humidity from the air, but in our case, we capture it, we apply a patented ozone process, which purifies the water instantly and then we apply for potable water minerals to make it pH balanced and delicious tasting. 

Your company provides a wide array of humanitarian and commercial solutions through this technology. To give the readers a better sense, what are some of the different environments the machine can be used in?

In an average relative humidity of 40% or higher, it operates efficiently and optimally. The smallest units give 7 to 12 gallons of water a day. So, a family of six could easily have enough pure water to drink from that, all you do is plug it into your electrical socket. On the industrial size, we have two larger models, one that makes 100 gallons of water a day with 50 gallons of storage and another that is more of a modular unit that you can scale up to make as much water as you need. 

Then the most important part of it is the humanitarian aspect of it. I'll give you an example of how it's used in that capacity. There's a village in Malawi, Africa, where we sent our first small unit about a year ago. Malawi has an average relative humidity that exceeds 70% to 80% year round, except for two months of the year where it's down as low as 20%. But in those months that machine can produce an unlimited amount of water, in a place where women and young girls have to walk a few miles to get water from sometimes unreliable water sources. In this particular village they have a fully run solar operated hospital there so it's easy for them to plug into the solar facilities there which can be used to run the machines, or you can also use any renewable energy source to run these atmospheric water generators and have an unlimited source of drinking water. 

For another example, we have a customer in Mexico who is building a Smart Apartment Building and they wanted a renewable, sustainable source of water. The solution we're proposing is to put two of the largest generators on top of the roof and plumb it in with the fresh new plumbing. So just imagine being in Mexico, living in a building where you can just turn on the tap and drink the water and not have a concern regarding taste or health. 

It can also produce distilled water. So if you have a function for which you want to use it for cleaning hospital equipment, or bottles in a beverage facility, any purpose that you can think of where you require an abundance of clean water, these machines will generate it for you. So this would be, and is in some cases where it's been adopted, a life changing resource to have.

We’d love to hear how your founder journey led you to find and get connected with DivInc.

I love that story! The whole Ion District is a haven of connection and opportunity. So in this case, WIP had been accepted as a member of Greentown Labs in December 2022 and two or three weeks after I became a member, I was told about the DivInc cohort and that I should apply for it. So I went ahead and applied and, lo and behold, I was accepted. And I remember one of the things that I put on my application was, “I don't know what I don't know.” I wanted to participate so that I could be the best possible business owner that I could be in this sector. I knew that I needed additional tools, and that's what I'm getting out of the experiences, a lot of very beneficial tools to run my business.

Being a part of the accelerator program, have you experienced any “aha moments” throughout the workshops and with your fellow cohort members?

For me, the aha moments have come from the foundational pieces of information that I'm learning that will prevent me from really burning my fingers, because I'm still early in the journey. So the approach to hiring people, raising funds, what are the do's or don'ts, and how can I cut out a few steps that maybe would have been like going up a mountain when it should just be a little molehill. Those are the kind of aha moments that make me glad that I started the journey here, with this resource of the DivInc cohort, to enable me to really be more focused about how I approach different aspects of my business.

I enjoy working with all our cohort members and I think at the heart of all of our offerings, everyone has this level of humanitarianism first, and not humanitarian in a sense of charity, but in a sense of what can we do to make the world a better place for everyone else and for our children and grandchildren going forward. 

We’re excited for Demo Day! Are there any great updates to share with us as a glimpse into what we can expect to hear more about at Demo Day?

In the last couple of weeks, we have signed a major LOI, we've signed a major term sheet with a company out of Mexico. So things are building to a critical mass and way beyond our expectations for an opportunity to put atmospheric water generators in places in Mexico that will have humanitarian and a commercial impact. They're indigenous people in the Chiapas area of Mexico who have no power, and so we're proposing solutions for them to have their universities be water hubs for the communities. So that's a little bit of a glimpse into what we're working on right now.

We've got three companies in Mexico, three companies in Nigeria, and a relationship with a company developing in Kenya. So we're looking forward to sharing the story, touching on those highlights and hopefully, illuminating the realization that there is an easy solution out there for the places that require water the most. 

DivInc's Clean Energy Tech Demo Day, in collaboration with Chevron and Microsoft, is coming up on June 29th at The Ion Houston. At Demo Day you will be able to meet all of our Clean Energy Accelerator cohort members and watch them pitch live. Join us in-person or stream virtually on YouTube!