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Ellicott City start-up 'rethinks' bottled water

Ellicott City start-up 'rethinks' bottled water

The first time Matt Swanson and Chris O’Donovan, both 30, dipped their toes into entrepreneurship, they failed.

In 2010, the founders of Ellicott City-based Rethink Water envisioned creating a flavorless, vitamin-enhanced, no-calorie water. They spent six months researching the concept and developing a business plan. But after sharing the idea with a flavor developer, they discovered that the beverage would quickly spoil and have a short shelf life.

So they went back to the drawing board. For several years, they researched water quality, packaging and demand.

“We kept seeing how plastic was so bad for the environment,” says Swanson, who grew up in Highland.