Over 100 companies participated in this year's global competition aimed at finding innovative solutions to water infrastructure.
Imagine H2O announced 12 finalists selected to advance to its water tech Accelerator Program. These 12 startups competed in IH2O's 6th annual Business Innovations Competition to receive mentorship from industry leaders, introduction to investors and a global network of beta customers and utilities.
Winners will be announced on March 18, 2015, at IH2O's Water Gala '15 in San Francisco.
"We're optimistic about the number of entrepreneurs who seek to address the challenges associated with our crumbling water infrastructure," said IH2O COO Scott Bryan. "This year's dramatic growth in applications reflects a growing interest in water innovation and our program's effectiveness in connecting entrepreneurs to market opportunities."
The global competition, sponsored by Levi Strauss & Co., attracted entrants from 20 countries, including the United States. Smart infrastructure solutions represented over a third of the entrants. The competition also received a significant number of entrants presenting green and capital efficient solutions to improving water and wastewater infrastructure.
An estimated $20 trillion investment is needed to meet the water needs of the global population, according to a recent McKinsey report. The critical need for innovation and investment in water and wastewater infrastructure has become evident in light of recent high-profile events including the California drought and a series of recent water system failures in major cities. IH2O's proven path-to-market opportunity advances emerging businesses with scalable solutions to these growing water and wastewater infrastructure challenges.
Imagine H2O's judging panel, which includes leading industry experts from venture capital firms, water utilities, and engineering businesses, based its selection of the finalists on their market viability, value proposition, and go-to market strategy. The program's major financial supporters include Wells Fargo, Grundfos, Tetra Tech and the California Water Foundation.
Here are the 2015 finalists...
Early Stage Track
- Drinkwell (Boston, Mass.) transforms the global water crisis into entrepreneurial opportunity using a microfranchise model to establish local water businesses in arsenic and fluorideaffected areas. www.drinkwellsystems.com
- DropCountr (Redwood City, Calif.) uses data analytics, sleek design and mobile apps to communicate water usage and metrics to consumers and utility staff, helping utilities and their customers save water, money and time. www.dropcountr.com
- Infimet BV (Athens, Greece) manufactures and sells AquAszero, the only filter media capable of removing both Arsenic III and Arsenic V from drinking water equally well. www.infimet.com
- Lumense (Atlanta, Ga.) is developing a realtime, continuous sensor platform for monitoring chemicals and biologicals in water. www.lumense.com
- Valor Water (San Francisco, Calif.) provides customer sales analytics software to water utilities to address revenue risk, affordability, and supply management. www.valorwater.com
- PaverGuide (Worton, Md.) provides an alternative foundation and reservoir for permeable paving installations that holds more water in a smaller volume than traditional stone bases. www.paverguide.com
Growth Stage Track
- Aquarius Spectrum (Netanya, Israel) Features a near realtime, automatic water pipe monitoring tool for leak detection based on acoustic sensing. www.aquarius-spectrum.com
- FLOWatch (Cynwyd, Penn.) A highly configurable, fully integrated operational and asset management software for water and environmental systems operators. www.flowatch.com
- InfoSense (Charlotte, N.C.) Features the Sewer Line Rapid Assessment Tool, which acoustically inspects gravityfed sewer lines for blockage with no flow contact. www.infosenseinc.com
- Lucid Energy (Portland, Ore.) A renewable energy and smart water company. The LucidPipe inpipe hydropower system enables water infrastructure managers to improve the economics of delivering water. www.lucidenergy.com
- Natel Energy (Alameda, Calif.) www.natelenergy.com is developing a new class of hydro turbines for generating power from low pressure, large volume water systems. www.natelenergy.com
- OxyMem (Westmeath, Ireland) Uses gas permeable membranes to deliver oxygen directly to microorganisms that break down wastewater, resulting in four times the energy efficiency of competing products. www.oxymem.com
About Imagine H2O
Imagine H2O inspires and empowers people to solve water challenges and turn them into opportunities. In addition to financial support for the best ideas, the Imagine H2O Accelerator helps participating entrepreneurs turn their plans into transformational, real-world solutions. To learn more about Imagine H2O's global ecosystem for water innovation and connect with water entrepreneurs from around the world, please visit www.imagineh2o.org.