After an intense wildfire season, heatwaves and droughts, the need for Canadians to conserve water is more crucial than ever. That’s where OC alumnus Sean McFetridge comes in. He and his wife, Alisha McFetridge, co-founded RainStick Shower, a WiFi-enabled smart shower system that aims to solve water and energy waste by up to 80%. We caught up with Sean to hear more about what he’s been up to since graduating from OC in 2011.
Where is your hometown and where are you located now?
Kelowna, BC and I am relocating back to Kelowna, BC this winter.
What did you take at OC/OUC? When did you graduate? What campus did you attend?
I took Business Administration specializing in Management. I graduated in 2011 after spending three years at the Kelowna campus and one year in Berlin, Germany on a planned exchange year.
What is your current position?
CTO and Co-Founder of RainStick Shower
How does your current position relate to the program that you took at OC? Why did you choose your program at OC? Would you recommend it? Why/why not?
I selected the OC business program because of its reputation for being pragmatic and getting down to the essentials of business. I always knew that I wanted to start my own business and OC’s program allowed me to develop a foundational skillset. This business acumen has proven useful in the development of RainStick Shower from an idea, to where it is today.
What do you think has been the biggest turning point for your career success?
Meeting my wife. She is a fierce entrepreneur in her own right and operates completely differently than I do at business. Interestingly enough we met at the Okanagan College :)
Hands down would not be where we are today without our mix of personalities.
Are there any awards, achievements or activities that you would like to highlight?
Winner of the Canadian Interior Design Show Prototype Pitch Competition in 2021
Accepted into CES Eureka Park as a Startup Showcase, Las Vegas 2022
What advice would you pass on to current/future students?
You don’t need to know what you want to do when you graduate. Try as many things as possible even in random industries. Be great to people you work beside. Do as many internships as possible and don't be afraid to change careers along the way.
Lastly, don't keep your money in the bank. Invest in yourself and what you believe in especially if you are young and have lots of miles ahead.
When you’re not working, what are you doing?
I am building a startup, I am always working! Jokes :P … OK the odd time I get a chance to jump on the mountain bike and go for a trail ride which is a hobby I have always loved!
When are you planning to launch your product?
The product is intended to be available for pre-order in Canada and the United States this fall in advance of our product launch in 2022. We’ve already secured over 100 preorders.
In the longer term, we’re aiming to roll out our product to markets like Europe and the Middle East and eventually into places with water scarcity or government mandates regarding water usage.
How much funding have you received? How vital has that been to your development/roll out?
We recently secured over $1 million CAD in seed financing to support our launch. This is crucial to us and will allow us to market the product, refine and certify as well as cover our first batch production.
Can you give us the quick rundown of how the RainStick Shower works?
Just like your current shower, RainStick starts with fresh grid-supplied water. Except, instead of going down the drain, RainStick captures, circulates, and cleans the water, all in real-time to avoid waste and save energy while doubling the flow rate. This will be North America’s first commercially available circular shower.
What sparked the idea?
A lot of Canadians don’t even know that Canada has a desert – the Okanagan Valley in central BC – yet we use some of the largest amounts of water in the world. My wife and Co-Founder Alisha and I believe strongly in the mindset that if we don’t make it happen, who will?
For more information on RainStick Shower and how you can get one visit www.rainstickshower.com.
Bachelor of Business Administration
This unique four-year degree program focuses on business in the Canadian and international context. Year one of the program provides a solid foundation in general business. In subsequent years, specializations are available in Accounting, Financial Services, Hospitality and Tourism Management, Human Resources Management, Management, and Marketing. A General Studies specialization is also available to those who want to take elective courses from a variety of specialties. Business and non-business electives are also part of the program.
About the OCAA
The Okanagan College Alumni Association (OCAA) is a non-profit organization that celebrates alumni by creating connections and opportunities.
The OCAA was founded in 1988. Since then, the goal of the Association has been to connect alumni with each other and with the College, while supporting the College's mission statement of transforming lives and communities.
The OCAA offers benefits and networking opportunities to OC graduates and celebrates them by sharing their stories and recognizing their achievements through awards such as the Distinguished & Young Alumni Awards.
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