Imagine H2O Names Winners of Consumer Innovations Prize
SAN FRANCISCO, March 19, 2013 -- Imagine H2O, a global organization that spurs water solutions by advancing entrepreneurship and innovation, today announced the winners of its fourth annual business plan competition focused on Consumer Innovation. Awards were given to companies solving a range of critical water challenges, including leak prevention, stormwater drainage, landscaping water efficiency and bottom-of-the-pyramid water distribution.
The winners of Imagine H2O's international competition, revealed at a gala event at the Autodesk Gallery, included Leak Defense Alert for the pre-revenue track, with Dlo Haiti and Innogation named runners up in the same category. PaveDrain won the competition's early revenue track.
"These companies provide solutions that will make a difference in an individual's everyday water use," said Gary Kremen, a Silicon Valley angel investor, water district official and Imagine H2O judge. "Once again, Imagine H2O has identified promising early-stage water startups and will offer the winners with a path-to-market opportunity." Kremen is the first investor and board member at WaterSmart Software; a company identified by Imagine H2O's inaugural competition in 2009. Imagine H2O has attracted leading innovators like Kremen, who founded match.com and Clean Power Finance, to support the world's need for water innovation.
Imagine H2O focused this year's competition on Consumer Innovation as a way to catalyze and support entrepreneurial solutions related to a variety of water opportunities including point-of-use filtration, residential efficiency, onsite reuse and recycling, outdoor irrigation, monitoring and other residential or personal solutions. The consumer water innovations sector also represents a large opportunity to bottom-of-the-pyramid companies focusing solutions on issues in water quality and scarcity in developing countries. According to Scott Bryan, the Chief Operating Officer at Imagine H2O, "Consumer demand for products ensuring safety and improved efficiency will expand as water resources become more scarce. As a result, we are optimistic about the opportunity for promising entrepreneurs to deliver innovative products and services into the consumer market."
The competition's winners will join Imagine H2O's Accelerator Program where they will receive market insight, connections and business resources. "In the near future, we at Leak Defense Alert hope that every home will have our system, and we look forward to working with Imagine H2O to realize this dream," stated Scott Pallais, the CEO of Leak Defense Alert. Doug Buch, the founder of PaveDrain said, "We're really excited by our product and believe that the Imagine H2O Accelerator Program will facilitate key connections to scale our business."
The winners were chosen from a competitive selection of finalists by Imagine H2O's judging panel, a group of leading experts and investors in the water sector. The business plan competition's winners were selected based on their commercial viability and promise. This year's prize attracted over 70 startups from 12 countries led by serial entrepreneurs, experienced executives and graduate students. Several private foundations and corporate sponsors; including Headline Sponsor, Wells Fargo, support Imagine H2O's competition and business accelerator.