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Imagine H2O
Accelerator

The Accelerator is the leading development program for early-stage entrepreneurs around the world.

Meet the 2024 Accelerator Cohort

Why participate?

The Imagine H2O Accelerator equips early-stage water startups with the resources they need to develop their solutions, commercialize their technologies, and enter new markets

With an exclusive focus on water and a zero-equity model, we provide comprehensive support that reflects the sector’s unique opportunities and challenges. We leverage our deep sector expertise and expansive global ecosystem of investors, partners, and advisors, giving startups the tools and insight to grow and scale effectively.


2024 Cohort

Our portfolio
CANN Forecast

CANN Forecast

Sewer backups are responsible for over 50% of flood claims and are a priority concern for 860 US municipalities. As climate change leads to more extreme rain events, this number is expected to increase rapidly.

CANN Forecast utilizes artificial intelligence and real-time data analytics to predict sewer wastewater levels based on past floods, providing early warnings for potential flooding risks and helping cities to safeguard people, buildings, and the environment.

With CANN, cities can protect millions of liters of water from contamination and save in damages and operational costs. When tested in operational mode, their technology proved to be superior to leading market hydraulic models in accurately predicting wastewater flow during significant flooding events.

Cohort

2024

Programs participated

Accelerator

Capta Hydro

Capta Hydro

75% of global freshwater withdrawals come from surface water, fueling agriculture, industry, and municipalities. Many surface water distribution networks operate between 35% and 90% efficiency, presenting a critical opportunity to boost water security, especially in stressed basins.

Capta Hydro’s specialized hardware and software solutions empower infrastructure managers with better tools to capture, analyze, and manage surface water data – leading to improved water distribution management and millions of cubic meters of water reclaimed.

By enhancing basin-wide water security, Capta Hydro helps cities and companies to reach their water stewardship and replenishment goals, improve ecosystem flows and increase availability of drinking water. 

Cohort

2024

Programs participated

Accelerator

CREW Carbon

CREW Carbon

Wastewater utilities account for 2-5% of global GHG emissions, and this number is set to double by 2040. Despite this significant environmental impact, efforts to mitigate emissions during the wastewater treatment process remain insufficient. In the US alone, over 16,000 wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) process 34 billion gallons per day, including industrial wastewater, resulting in substantial CO2 emissions.

CREW Carbon’s patented hardware and sensor technology speeds up naturally-occurring weathering reactions to remove CO2 and other greenhouse gasses produced in the wastewater treatment process, generating permanent and measurable carbon removal credits.

Integrating CREW’s approach enhances WWTPs’ biological treatment while drastically reducing carbon footprints. CREW’s method removes thousands of tons of CO2 per site per year, yielding valuable carbon removal credits valued at hundreds of dollars per ton for esteemed buyers such as Stripe, Microsoft, and JP Morgan.

Cohort

2024

Programs participated

Accelerator

FTD solutions

FTD solutions

Cohort

2024

Programs participated

Accelerator

OceanWell

OceanWell

By 2050, water scarcity driven by population growth and climate change will impact over half the world’s population. Desalination is necessary to meet demand, but traditional methods are both costly and harmful to the environment.

OceanWell’s modular subsea water farm technology harnesses hydrostatic ocean pressure at depths exceeding 400m to naturally power a reverse osmosis process, producing fresh water with improved energy efficiency, no onshore plants, and a benign brine outfall.

OceanWell drastically improves every step of the desalination process, reducing the cost of water for communities and customers and providing reliable fresh water irrespective of weather patterns altered by climate change. In the next decade, OceanWell aims to contribute at least 1 million acre-feet (AF) of affordable, abundant, and environmentally sustainable fresh water to the global supply.

Cohort

2024

Programs participated

Accelerator

Open Hydro

Open Hydro

Water utilities are struggling to achieve their net-zero targets due to undisclosed emissions from reservoirs, which are estimated to produce 1B tonnes of emissions every year. Despite this significant ecological impact, the lack of accurate emission monitoring technologies hampers the implementation of reduction strategies.

Powered by AI and satellite data, Open Hydro aids utilities in achieving their net-zero targets by monitoring the impact of nature-based solutions on reservoir emissions. This technology establishes a direct correlation between improvements and emissions reduction, thereby driving tangible advancements in sustainability efforts.

By bridging the gap between water quality and emissions, Open Hydro helps utilities enhance water resource quality, cut costs linked to emissions, and uplift communities reliant on freshwater resources. With the capacity to impact over 60,000 reservoirs worldwide, Open Hydro empowers accurate measurement and reduction of over 1Gt of emissions annually. 

Cohort

2024

Programs participated

Accelerator

SampleServe

SampleServe

Handwritten, paper-based environmental sample collections are outdated and inefficient, but represent over 99% of the 150-million samples collected annually.

SampleServe’s digital platform streamlines workflows for all stakeholders – from field technicians to corporate environmental managers – yielding substantial time and cost savings. Through optimized scheduling, chain-of-custody, data management, and reporting, their platform ties all users and data into a central database, allowing for the generation of actionable reports in seconds.

SampleServe’s technology saves users an average of 40% to 60% in project management time and expenses while minimizing manual labor and error margins. The efficiencies created in their sampling system are crucial to identifying and addressing environmental hazards that could affect public health. 

Cohort

2024

Programs participated

Accelerator

Subeca

Subeca

Small and mid-sized utilities provide clean water to about 45% of the United States, but more than 47,000 of them are unable to access advanced technology due to cost constraints, complexity, and availability of resources, thus limiting their options to improve operational efficiencies and extend the life of aging assets.

Subeca’s simple-to-use IoT solution provides real-time monitoring and data analytics capabilities, empowering utilities to collect and analyze data from diverse sources, thereby improving water consumption management, operational management, and regulatory compliance.

Subeca helps utilities and water companies achieve 30-70% cost savings and enables over 500B gallons of non-revenue water savings annually in the United States. Their easy-to-deploy solution and business model is currently being deployed and assessed by 18 utilities in 9 states.

 

Cohort

2024

Programs participated

Accelerator

WASE

WASE

80% of wastewater is untreated as it enters our environment, with food and beverage manufacturers, in particular, generating high volumes of wastewater with high organic content. Treating this wastewater and safely discharging or reusing it can be time-consuming and energy intensive.

WASE’s patent-pending electro-methanogenic reactor technology treats wastewater and sludge on-site and generates energy-dense biogas as a byproduct.

WASE is pioneering the future of Waste-to-Energy starting with mid-sized food and beverage manufacturers. At the Hepworth Brewery, which generates volumes of wastewater similar to industrial manufacturers, WASE is treating 17m3/day of wastewater and generating over >500MWh/yr of renewable energy to power the brewery. The initiative is estimated to save 100 tonnes of CO2e annually through multiple benefits.

Cohort

2024

Programs participated

Accelerator

Wonderkid

Wonderkid

Safe water and sanitation remain inaccessible to 61% of Africa’s population, with 56% of water utilities relying on analogous water and wastewater management methods.

Wonderkid facilitates access to improved water and sanitation services for millions of Africans by connecting them with service providers and empowering the providers with innovative, affordable, digital tools for data-driven decision-making.

Wonderkid’s solution improves operational efficiency and reduces non-revenue water to increase customer satisfaction by 25%. They are currently partnering with 30 utilities in 4 countries to achieve 20% average revenue growth, empowering over 9,000,000 users

Cohort

2024

Programs participated

Accelerator

Our Track Record

The Accelerator is making waves

See what we’ve accomplished over the years.

15
years
115
startups supported
80%
startup survival rate
$1B+
raised in early-stage funding
50+
tech adopters
100+
sector experts in mentor network
75
sector experts in evaluation committees
Benefits

Development, access, and global visibility

The Imagine H2O Accelerator opens essential doors for early-stage water startups. With thirteen years of experience and a deep network of industry experts, customers, and investors, we provide a proven path to market for emerging technologies.

ecoSPEARS tech
Startup Development
  • Connect with our network of 85+ mentors.
  • Attend virtual training sessions led by industry experts.
  • Receive personalized startup support.
Ecosystem Access
  • Access our global network of 81 tech adopters.
  • Secure funding through our pilot awards and our investor network.
  • Engage our portfolio of alumni startups.
Industry Visibility
  • Present at premiere industry events.
  • Leverage our online audience of 30K+ followers.
  • Gain credibility through IH2O’s stamp of approval. 
Eligibility

Is the Imagine H2O Accelerator right for you?

The three IH2O programs serve distinct groups of entrepreneurs. The Accelerator is intended for early-stage water startups around the world. Please reach out if you have any questions about eligibility criteria.

Explore Our Portfolio
Zilper Team
Incorporated in the last 7 years
Less than $5M in annual revenue
Less than $10M of equity investment
What Our Alumni Say
Three things in life are guaranteed: death, taxes, and the fact that the Imagine H2O Accelerator is a must for water startups.
Suhayl Zulfiquar CEO & Co-Founder, Datatecnics
What Our Alumni Say
ImagineH2O was everything we’d hoped for and more. We chose their program over other accelerators and couldn’t be happier with our choice. Their unique, market-specific perspective is incredibly valuable and has absolutely changed the trajectory of our company for the better!
Tyler Henke CEO & Co-Founder, Ziptility
What Our Alumni Say
You can’t afford to miss this opportunity. Over less than a year, you will make more connections to mentors, industry influencers and customers than you would otherwise in five years.
Emily Mathison Product Sales and Marketing Manager, Waterworth
What Our Alumni Say
Without a doubt, being a part of the IH2O network will bring us strategic funding, additional clients and open market segments not possible without participating in the cohort. IH2O has been a pivotal milestone to scaling our business.
Megan Glover CEO & Co-Founder, 120Water
What Our Alumni Say
The content, mentors, and speakers in the IH2O program are a necessity for any water tech startup. Being a part of the program is by far one of the best decisions I have made as a founder.
Martin Gross CEO & Co-Founder, GWT

Case Study

Removing nitrogen and phosphorus from wastewater using natural processes

Cohort

Imagine H2O Accelerator 2020, Urban Water Challenge IV

Focus Area

Wastewater Treatment

Dairy farms are not generally known for their sustainability, but that could change with the help of Gross-Wen Technologies. With the 2021 Accelerator Top Deployment Award, GWT will deploy a pilot project at one of the nation’s largest dairy operations to sustainably and cost-effectively recover nutrients from the wastewater—and reduce the farm’s carbon footprint. At scale, the project will produce 270 tons of dried algae, avoid 5,000 metric tons of CO2, and increase farm revenue by ~$1M every year.

Over the course of their time in the Accelerator program, GWT presented their technology to key IH2O partners such as Xylem, SUEZ, and Kurita; they also engaged with 19+ mentors in our network. In addition, when the GWT team was looking for an independent board member, we introduced them to five industry experts to consider for the role. After an extensive process, GWT selected one of our referrals and is actively discussing potential collaborations with the others.

Throughout the year, GWT gained transformational insights and connections as they expanded their customer pipeline, explored project finance, planned for strategic partnerships, and identified new market opportunities.

The Imagine H2O network and programming have been incredibly valuable to GWT as we continue to grow and refine our business model. Although we have learned several industry-specific lessons the hard way over the past several years, we would be a full year further along if we had gone through this program when we launched in 2017.
Martin Gross CEO & Co-Founder, GWT

Meet our judges

Aaron Zell
Equity Group Investments

Adam Tank
Transcend H2O

Andrew Collier
Veolia

Andrew Leach
Veolia

Barry Hofer
Blue World Insight

Barry Liner
Water Environment Federation

Biju George
Ampcus Inc

Brady Steinbach
Sudoc

Brett Clark
Veolia

Bri Nakamura
Xylem Innovation Labs

Christopher Adams
RBC Capital Markets

Christine Boyle
Burnt Island Ventures

Chris Morrison
MorrisonWater

Christy Kennedy
Woodard & Curran

Clayton MacDougald
Emerald Ventures

Clifford Chan
East Bay Municipal Utility District

Corey Williams
SmartCover

Damian Georgino
Thales Water

Dan Kroll
Hach

Daniel Benitez
VL Water Quality LLC a Veralto Company

David Miller
GEI Consultants

David Rose
Thales Water

David Stanton
cleanwater1

Dirk Brusis
SKion Water

Dominik Elsaesser
Elsass Consulting LLC

Eric Tracy
Ferguson Waterworks

Henrik Laursen
AMI Global

Ifetayo Venner
Arcadis

Iryna Ryzhankova
DuPont Water Solutions

Jack Seagrist
Flodesk

Jessica Schloss
Veolia

Jill Hudkins
Tetra Tech

Jiten Mangliani
Aqualateral

Joe Zuback
Global Water Advisors

John Grant
Lemnos Advisory

Lynn Broaddus
Broadview Collective

Mark Lambert
WaterMark 

Marshall Thompson
Veolia

Matt Rea
The Nature Conservancy

Matthew Shackelford
Touchdown Ventures

Max Storto
Xylem

Michael Flynn
NASA

Michael Warady
Sylmar Group & EAI Water

Mike Lodge
Realise Impact

Nicole Neeman Brady
Renewable Resources Group

Nikita Shirish-Bhalerao
Veolia

Owen Cadwalader
Travertine

Paul Gagliardo
Gagliaqua

Paul O’Callaghan
Blue Tech Research

Peter Williams
Pivot Projects

Pierre Côté
COTE Membrane Separation

Ralph Exton
Grundfos

Reinhard Huebner
SKion Water

Robb Barnitt
DropCountr

Sabeeha Islam
Munich Re Ventures

Sandeep Sathyamoorthy
Stantec

Sandrine Dubuc
Veolia

Sarp Sekeroglu
Kimley-Horn

Shogo Hosoda
Kubota

Steve Kloos
Burnt Island Ventures

Takasuke Nezaki
Kurita

Travis Wagner
Trinnex

Vinod Jose
Amane Advisors

Vinod Ramachandran
Apstech Environmental Limited

Will Sarni
Water Foundry Ventures

Our alumni span the globe

As a virtual program, we welcome startups from around the world
We help startups grow and scale in their home markets, and bridge their solutions into new regions
Our Portfolio

Leading the water sector forward

Our entrepreneurs are revolutionizing how water is used, reused, treated, and accessed.

See our portfolio

Natel Energy

Natel Energy

Low head, small-scale hydropower

Video still for Imagine H2O Accelerator

Cohort

Accelerator 2015

Space Age Labs

Space Age Labs

Wireless technology for monitoring & maintaining water assets

Video still for Imagine H2O Accelerator

Cohort

IH2O Asia 2019

Hydroquo+

Hydroquo+

High-frequency, continuous water quality testing and analysis platform, integrating advanced monitoring hardware and an online dashboard designed and recently piloted in collaboration with utilities.

 

Video still for Imagine H2O Accelerator

Cohort

IH2O Asia 2021

Programs participated

IH2O Asia

Ziptility

Ziptility

Infrastructure management app for water operators

 

Video still for Imagine H2O Accelerator

Cohort

Accelerator 2020

Case Study

Christine Boyle leveraged Imagine H2O to take her startup from idea to exit

Cohort

Imagine H2O Accelerator 2015

Focus Area

Digital Water

Valor Water’s leadership recognized that utilities were struggling to meet conservation goals while maintaining their financial viability. In response, the company created a proactive, data-driven approach to lowering apparent water loss, reducing unnecessary meter replacement, and optimizing revenue.

Imagine H2O played a critical role in honing Valor Water’s business model and go-to-market strategy. In fact, CEO Christine Boyle met her first two investors within minutes of Water Innovation Week in 2015! These investors became her earliest and most enduring supporters; one of them later joined the Valor Water board. Another Imagine H2O judge joined the team as an advisor. At the time, the company was still a few months away from a product launch; Imagine H2O’s recognition served as a powerful third-party validation, helping Valor Water secure critical investment.