San Francisco — Imagine H2O (IH2O), a water innovation accelerator, launched its 2017 Water Data Challenge. The program will identify and engage promising startups delivering data and analytics solutions to drive smarter water resource management in industrial, municipal and agricultural markets. Winning teams will participate in IH2O's flagship business accelerator, benefiting from cash awards, mentorship, industry exposure, as well as introductions to customers and investors.
Since 2009, IH2O has transformed emerging water startups into scalable, high-impact businesses. Over 70 startups have leveraged the accelerator program to win customers and receive more than 1 in every 10 dollars of early-stage investment in the water sector.
"Imagine H2O's recognition and support have been critical to our company," says Ashwin Madgavkar, CEO of Ceres Imaging and a 2016 IH2O Winner. "In addition to customer and investor access, we've benefited from Imagine H2O's network of experts who understand the unique financial and technical aspects of building a water technology business."
IH2O is also expanding its capabilities as a path-to-market through a global network of more than 50 leading corporations and municipalities committed to deploying water innovation. The Beta Partners Program — a network of potential customers for emerging water technologies — provides startups with much-needed testing and validation opportunities to grow and scale their businesses. This exclusive channel includes utilities serving 55 million residents and companies accounting for $80 billion in revenue in agricultural, industry and manufacturing. Visit IH2O's website (www.imagineh2o.org) to view a full list of members.
The 2017 Water Data Challenge and accelerator program coincides with a growing demand for actionable data and analytical tools to inform water resource management. As water systems face increasing pressures globally, the opportunity is ripe for new solutions enabling water users across sectors to monitor and manage scarce resources more effectively.
"Data is a major opportunity for entrepreneurs to adapt successful business models and technologies from other sectors to the water industry," explains Scott Bryan, President of IH2O. "This program, supported by the IH2O's growing network of Beta Partners, highlights the organization's unique approach to solving water challenges from real-time testing in drinking water to precision irrigation."
An independent panel of technology experts, venture capitalists and business leaders will select up to 12 finalists to receive cash awards, in-kind professional services and an invitation to participate in the accelerator. Imagine H2O's financial supporters include Wells Fargo (Headline Sponsor), Tetra Tech, Suez North America, and Morrison Foerster.
Applications are due by November 7, 2016. More information about the program and the application process is available at http://www.imagineh2o.org/accelerator.