John Coburn

John Coburn


John has over 40 years’ experience of leading, operating and investing in water and wastewater companies. He works with fellow water entrepreneurs to develop sector-leading technology, products and services that make a difference in the world. He works with our partner companies to provide a knowledge base, industry partnerships, and investment capital to enterprises poised for growth. John is an expert on business operations, helping businesses rapidly scale their operations for long-term success.

John was one of the earliest employees of ZENON Environmental, and as President and Chief Operating Officer, he helped grow the company from start-up to over $146M in revenue, with a market capitalization of $700M. Upon leaving ZENON he was awarded the “Architect of ZENON Award” to recognize his efforts in building the company into a world leader in water treatment. ZENON was acquired by GE in 2006 for $640M USD.

John’s water expertise began during the first 10 years of his career with Environment Canada, where he held various technical and senior management roles. He published over 20 scientific research papers and journal articles related to water treatment and its impact on the environment. To honour his service and commitment to excellence during his tenure at Environment Canada, he was awarded the prestigious “Government of Canada Merit Award”.

John is currently a Director of FilterBoxx Water & Environmental Corp., and Natural Systems Utilities, LLC. He is also an advisor to the University of Waterloo’s Water Institute.

John holds a B.Sc. with Honours in Chemistry from the University of Waterloo, and a C.Dir. (Chartered Director) from the McMaster University DeGroote School of Business, Director’s College program.

John is an avid fisherman who guards his annual trip to Haida Gwaii in northern British Columbia with everything he has. It is five days with absolutely no contact with the outside world. It makes his partners crazy, but they love the amazing salmon he brings them later!