Today we launch our 2017 Water Data Challenge. Building on our 2016 success, 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 enter IH2O’s 8th accelerator class, 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.
Here’s what Ash Madgavkar, CEO of Ceres Imaging and 2016 IH2O Data Challenge Winner had this to say: “Imagine H2O’s recognition and support has been critical to our company’s ability to quickly scale. 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.”
There’s more. For those of you close to us, you know we’ve been building something exciting. IH2O is 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 55M residents and companies accounting for $80B in revenue in agricultural, industry and manufacturing. Visit the Beta Partners page to view a full list of members. It’s seriously exciting.
We’re very happy with where we’re going. 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. We’ll be focusing especially closely on uncovering and supporting business that deal with drinking water, thanks to a recently-signed partnership with the Pisces Foundation.
Everyone who applies receives feedback. An independent panel of technology experts, venture capitalists and business leaders will comment on all applications, and select up to twelve finalists to receive cash awards, in-kind professional services and an invitation to participate in the accelerator. A huge thanks to Imagine H2O’s financial supporters who make this all possible at zero cost to the companies selected, including Wells Fargo (Headline Sponsor), Tetra Tech, Suez North America, Morrison Foerster and the Pisces Foundation. Now if you’re eligible, read our advice to applicant companies from last year, and apply here. We look forward to hearing from you.