Applications for Imagine H2O’s 2020 Accelerator, the top entrepreneurial development program for founders in the water sector, are now open. Last year, 255 companies applied from 46 countries, showcasing an extraordinary diversity of opportunities, insights and technical ability, making the judging panel’s job of picking just 13 companies very challenging indeed. 2019 has demonstrated the […]
Apply Today to the Urban Water Challenge 2019
Imagine H2O and Founding Partners 11th Hour Racing and Bluewater launch the application to its second annual global innovation competition
May 22, 2019 — Imagine H2O, the water innovation accelerator, launched the Urban Water Challenge 2019 today. In partnership with 11th Hour Racing and Bluewater, the Challenge equips promising entrepreneurs with the resources to scale solutions for urban water resilience. Since the inaugural competition in 2018, 11th Hour Racing and Bluewater have committed $1.5 million in pilot funding awards and investment opportunities for the program’s winning water technology startups globally.
While Cape Town may have narrowly averted Day Zero, 2019 has already marked new crises for other major cities around the world from water shortages in Metro Manila to flooding and sea-level rise in Miami. Climate change, population growth and rural-urban migration are intensifying vulnerabilities to scarcity, contamination and ecosystem health. Fast-growing cities must embrace innovation to tackle these challenges and ensure the sustainability and safety of water resources for their growing populations. The Challenge aims to showcase what is possible by empowering startups at the front-lines of the global urban water crisis.
Since 2009, Imagine H2O’s flagship accelerator program has supported over 100 water entrepreneurs with mentorship, insight and industry visibility. The Challenge advances the organization’s mission as a path-to-market by unlocking pilot funding to jumpstart ambitious innovation projects in settings where policy or financial barriers often hinder market adoption. In 2019, 11th Hour Racing and Bluewater will provide up to $250,000 in deployment funding to global startups. Winners will be showcased at World Water Week 2019 in Stockholm.
2019 Challenge Themes
The Challenge will focus on smart, decentralized solutions that create opportunities to augment supply, provide on-site pollution control and improve off-grid access to urban communities through affordable, capital efficient alternatives. Solutions will be sourced across three themes:
Drinking Water (e.g. alternative supply; distributed access; testing and monitoring)
Water Reuse & Recycling (e.g. modular treatment and nutrient recovery; green infrastructure; stormwater and flood management)
Ecosystem Health (e.g. emerging contaminants; testing and monitoring; coastal and river revitalization)
The Challenge’s primary Scale-Up Track will provide up to three (3) startups with $50k-$100k awards to fund or co-fund high-impact pilot projects in urban communities. Additional resources and recognition will be provided to up to three (3) earlier-stage, breakthrough technology businesses through the Challenge’s Discovery Track. Key benefits include:
Deployment Funding: Deployment awards from $25k to $100k for startups to validate or scale their solutions in urban or peri-urban communities
Marketing & Visibility: Travel support to attend and showcase at World Water Week in Stockholm
Startup Support & Acceleration: Access to Imagine H2O staff, mentors and customer network
Register your solution today at applynow.imagineh2o.org. Once your registration is approved, you will receive access to the Full Application due on June 22, 2019.
Learn more about the Challenge here.
11th Hour Racing establishes strategic partnerships within the sailing and maritime communities to promote collaborative, systemic change benefiting the health of our ocean (www.11thhourracing.org)
Bluewater innovates, manufactures and commercializes globally a complete range of premium reverse osmosis water purifiers for residential, business and public use (www.bluewatergroup.com)