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10 Reasons Why You Should Apply for our 2020 Accelerator

  1. It’s the best specialist water Accelerator in the world
    Look at our alumni. Look at our impact. There is nowhere better to go to grow your company. Our 2019 group estimate they developed their company 75% faster with us than their plan before they were accepted.
  2. The eyes of the investing world are on our companies
    IH2O Companies are closing in raising $500m in the last 10 years. Almost $300m of this has come in the last 2 years. We think the 2019 group will raise $30m by the end of the year. Our process selects companies that investors are willing to put money behind.
  3. We judge companies on quality of thought not how far along you are
    The 2019 Accelerator group had four companies that were in to seven figures in revenue, and six that were pre-product. We are looking for founders that can think through the whole arc of their business, from problem diagnosis to risk appraisal. We never penalize applicants for being early.
  4. We get water in a way that others can’t
    Don’t get us wrong, YC and other top tier Accelerators are amazing. But being useful to water startups means really understanding the sector. That takes being nose-up-to-the-glass, really getting to grips with why this sector is difficult, and understanding the approaches that can circumvent those difficulties. If you don’t just do water, you don’t really do water.
  5. The best alumni network out there
    If you take a look at our portfolio, it’s basically a list of the best companies to emerge in water in the last ten years. We miss some, but we don’t miss much. That network is getting stronger all the time. At WEFTEC 2019, we had 65 people from IH2O companies on the floor. We will have over twenty alumni companies at Water Innovation Week to support the 2020 founders.
  6. The best customer network out there
    Imagine H2O’s network of 70 Beta Partners provide warm introductions to high potential customers when founders need them most. One Beta Partner relationship alone has yielded three key municipal deployments for a 2019 IH2O company.
  7. The best mentor network out there
    From founders and investors, to General Managers and C-Suite executives of public companies, the IH2O mentor network has practical advice for any eventuality. While every problem is different, the depth of experience in this group is second to none. With four tailored engagements over the course of the year, IH2O companies have the opportunity to build relationships for the long-term.
  8. We’re fun. Like, actually fun
    We pride ourselves on the experience of every IH2O company. Not all of it is about clean cap tables, beachhead markets, founder discipline, funnel conversions and burn rates. The Accelerator is about building relationships with your fellow founders, and having fun with them — even if our program is remote. Our Sunday Welcome and Monday Happy Hour during Water Innovation Week are garnering a reputation. Our annual WaterGala is the best party in the industry. We also don’t take ourselves seriously. This sector is too tough to have an ego.
  9. It’s a stamp of approval in the industry
    One of the advantages of being around a long time (this will be our eleventh Accelerator group) is that if you do your job well, you pick good companies. We have iterated on our selection process so many times, and our judges do such a good job, that when we announce a group of startups, the industry takes notice. It’s there in the online numbers. It’s not proof positive that you have something under the hood, but it’s a good indication there’s something there.
  10. We look after you once you’re done
    So far in 2019 we have made over 100 introductions of alumni companies, and provided dozens of speaking opportunities at events across the world through our partners and recommendations. As we put it “Once you’re in you’re in”. As Emily Hicks, President of FREDsense, said “Imagine H2O is the gift that keeps on giving.” We take pride in that.

And for good measure, three reasons why you shouldn’t apply to Imagine H2O*

  1. Your startup is perfect and needs no help.
    Fabulous! It’s a first, but fabulous. Speed, Bonnie Boat!
  2. You don’t like getting world class help for free. Like, actually for free.
    We admire your sense of justice! We get it, you think that IH2O is a silly endeavor and it makes no sense to offer what we do without any ownership stake or fees charged to the startups. There are some days we agree with you, and we appreciate your candor.
  3. You don’t have water at the heart of your value proposition
    Yeah we can’t help with this. If you’re automating pizza, or, I dunno, building a global mobile social platform for in-home pet fitness then…..good luck to you? In fact, no. Quit — found or join a water startup. Solve real problems in the real world. Enough with the frippery. There’s work to do!