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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

18-Year Old Entrepreneur Develops App That Helps Detect Contaminated Water in Poor Countries

Sharon Lin, founder of the White Water app
Sharon Lin, a software engineer and a student at MIT, was the winner of this year's #BuiltByGirls contest. She was one of just 5 finalists who had been selected from among 450 applicants to pitch their startup ideas. Her winning idea was an app called White Water that detects whether water supplies are contaminated with harmful bacteria.
She won the grand prize of $10K for her idea, and decided to name her company after the app itself.

Problem solving leads to a winning idea

Sharon has family in China, so she is well aware of water-related disease outbreaks that can occur in small villages. She wanted to help. The idea first came to her when she was a senior in high school. She sought help from university professors at MIT and eventually came up with her app idea. After entering and winning in the #BuiltByGirls contest, she plans to use the money to scale her product for market.

Running a business as a college student

In the meantime, Sharon balances college classes with working on White Water, which keeps her extremely busy. She is optimistic that her innovative app will play a big role in her introduction into the tech world. The young entrepreneur from Corona, Queens, has also been named a White House Champion of Change, NYC Poet Youth Laureate, and a 2017 Young Innovator to Watch by CE Week.

She still has a lot of work to do on White Water, but so far others have been very impressed with her work. She feels there is a lot of interest in developing software that solves problems in developing countries. She is driven by the idea of having a product that will help people in developing countries, but others feel it could also reshape the tech industry and maybe even change the world!

For more details about Sharon Lin, visit her official web site at or follow her on Twitter at

Watch Sharon's interview below:

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