Case | HBS Case Collection | October 2013 (Revised January 2015)

The Slingshot: Improving Water Access

by John A. Quelch, Margaret L. Rodriguez and Carin-Isabel Knoop


In 2012, over 750 million people around the globe lacked access to safe drinking water. Dean Kamen, inventor of the Segway, sought to bring fresh water to poor and rural areas with the Slingshot, a water purification device. Kamen's challenge was to identify ways to distribute the Slingshot to areas where it was most needed. A partnership with the Coca-Cola Company helped Kamen to pilot distribution of the Slingshot in low-access regions.

Keywords: Water; public health; health care; Slingshot; Dean Kamen; DEKA; Coca-Cola; developing markets; Freestyle; Safety; Natural Environment; Pollution and Pollutants; Health; Distribution Channels; Developing Countries and Economies; Innovation and Invention; Africa; Latin America; South America; Asia;


Quelch, John A., Margaret L. Rodriguez, and Carin-Isabel Knoop. "The Slingshot: Improving Water Access." Harvard Business School Case 514-007, October 2013. (Revised January 2015.)