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Partnering for Innovation: How UpLink and Imagine H2O are Collaborating to Accelerate the Growth of Water-focused Startups

While water has historically been treated as the world’s most undervalued resource, it is essential for life on Earth, our collective health, and the global economy. To improve global water security and resilience, UpLink and thematic funding partner HCL Group continue to deliver on their vision of building a thriving innovation ecosystem through the Aquapreneur Innovation Initiative.

Since its inception in 2022, the Aquapreneur Innovation Initiative has selected 20 promising water-focused innovators, or ‘aquapreneurs’ as we like to call them, offering valuable connections, global visibility and capacity building opportunities they need to flourish. Through this initiative, UpLink aims to build bridges between innovators and the experts, partners and investors who can help scale their impact and accelerate progress towards a safe water future for all. In this journey, UpLink has fostered meaningful collaborations and inspired mission-aligned partners to champion innovation and early-stage entrepreneurship in the water sector.

Now, UpLink is thrilled to announce a new strategic partnership with Imagine H2O as a core UpLink Innovation Ecosystem Partner for water. Imagine H2O is a leading water accelerator that provides start-ups with the resources, insights, and visibility necessary to launch and scale water solutions. Since 2009, Imagine H2O has supported 217 water startups and piloted 76 solutions in 23 countries. Their start-ups have gone on to raise more than $1B in early-stage investment. 

This non-financial collaboration reflects the shared commitment of UpLink, the World Economic Forum, HCL Group, and Imagine H2O to make a long-lasting innovation-driven impact on the global water agenda.

The Imagine H2O and UpLink strategic partnership will enhance support for start-ups as they scale, focusing on identifying high-impact innovations and providing specialized resources, mentorship, and funding opportunities. Alongside other water-focused Innovation Ecosystem Partners, UpLink and Imagine H2O will also facilitate connections and collaborations among aquapreneurs, industry, and utility experts, as well as partners beyond the water sector.

Authors
  • Taylor Evans, Senior Manager, Financing and Innovation, Imagine H2O
  • Anna Huber, UpLink Project Lead, Innovation Ecosystems, World Economic Forum
  • Laura Beltran, Digital Media Specialist, UpLink- World Economic Forum