A partnership between BRANDT, a Springfield-based global agricultural company, and hellowater, a consumer beverage company, may initially seem surprising. However, it is in keeping with BRANDT’s entrepreneurial spirit and based on patented BRANDT technology. Together, these companies will launch a new beverage product in March that supports immune defense and elimination of toxins from the body.
BRANDT iHammer is a subsidiary created as a joint venture in 2014. It is dedicated to agronomic research and product development with the intent to develop new technologies that help plants use water and nutrients more efficiently and, in turn, help customers achieve agronomic results. Research conducted by iHammer led to a technology patent with implications for the human body. Because manufacturing products for human consumption is not in BRANDT’s wheelhouse, the company sought a business partner to bring the technology to market. By working with Serra Ventures, an early-stage venture capital company in Champaign, Hello Beverages emerged as the ideal partner.
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Rusty Jones of Springfield and Tom Bushkie of Chicago formed Hello Beverages in 2016 with the intent to inspire better health by creating healthy beverages. Avoiding sugar, drinking more water and consuming more fiber are consistently at the heart of healthy eating. In 2017, the duo launched hellowater, a fiber-infused beverage designed with those goals in mind. (“Goodbye sugar, hello water,” Oct. 2019).
Hellowater is a member of Innovate Springfield, and executive director Katie Davison says Jones takes advantage of any conversation, engagement opportunity or workshop that comes his way. “Hellowater’s great team, combined experience and diverse strengths in leadership made them a desirable partner,” said Davison.
This is not simply one more beverage product with additives to help boost health, but a fundamentally different product that incorporates CYTO PLUSTM technology, which creates a shield for the body’s defense system while accelerating the elimination of toxins from the body.
Dr. Arthur Nonomura, chief science officer for BRANDT iHammer, developed the technology. Nonomura has worked alongside many prominent biochemists and was a research fellow at University of California San Francisco School of Medicine, one of the world’s top medical research universities. He founded iHammer after working many years as a scientist at Dow Chemical.
Nonomura and his wife started a 2,000-acre farm, which he says became his “superstructure for discovery,” focused on understanding metabolism. His understanding of plant metabolism was the key to the connection with BRANDT, and that research led to the development of CYTO PLUSTM.