UWC logos_03.png

Founding Challenge Partners

Bluewater Official WHITE.png
V3 Logo 11th Hour.png
Overview Challenge Banner 2.png

A Global Innovation Deployment Platform for Decentralized Solutions to Urban Water Challenges


Imagine H2O’s Urban Water Challenge 2019 empowers promising water technology startups and end-users to validate and deploy innovative solutions to advance progress towards urban water resilience. This second annual global innovation competition will provide up to $250,000 in awards, marketing and visibility opportunities as well as investor and customer access. Winning solutions will be showcased at World Water Week in Stockholm. Learn more about the Challenge below.


Evaluation Committee

The Challenge is supported by a diverse group of industry experts to evaluate and select the winning solutions:

Anders Jacobson (President, Bluewater Group)

Anette Wittwer Dib (Strategic Relations Manager, Grupo Rotoplas)

Jamie Dean (Program Director, The Schmidt Family Foundation)

Jennifer Sara (Senior Director, Water Global Practice, World Bank)

Kunal Shah (Vice President, Global Market Development, Anaergia)

Michelle Carnevale (Program Manager, 11th Hour Racing)

Neil Jeffery (CEO, Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor)

Paul Gagliardo (Independent / Formerly American Water)

Ranjiv Khush (Executive Director, Aquaya Institute)

Xin Gao (Head of Innovation Hub, Grundfos)

Additional judges will be confirmed shortly.



Challenge Solutions Banner.png

Challenge Themes

The Challenge will support novel technology businesses with innovative business models that help cities meet their growing water needs, adapt infrastructure to reach underserved populations and build long-term climate resilience. By providing the pilot funding and visibility to jumpstart innovation projects in settings where financial or policy barriers hinder market adoption, the Challenge will position winning startups for success and inspire wider adoption globally.

Website Images-01.png

Alternative Supply

Distributed Access & Delivery

Testing & Monitoring

Website Images-02.png

Treatment & Nutrient Recovery

Green Infrastructure

Stormwater & Flood Management

Website Images-03.png

Emerging Contaminants

Testing & Monitoring

Coastal & River Revitalization



A Challenge Co-Designed by End-Users

Partners: Submit your problem statements for consideration. Imagine H2O is sourcing problem statements globally to further inform the design of the Challenge themes. By tying end-user needs with solutions supported through the Challenge, Imagine H2O aims to ensure the Challenge reflects the real needs of cities and communities as well as accelerate the path to deployment of the winning projects. Businesses, utilities, multilateral organizations and NGOs are invited to submit a problem statement for consideration via the survey here



Program Benefits Banner Challenge.png

Program Benefits

Website Images-04.png

Scale-Up Track: $50k-$100k Deployment Awards for up to 3 Startups

Discovery Track: $25k Market Validation Award for 1 Startup

Travel Stipends for awardees to attend World Water Week

Website Images-05.png

Awards Ceremony and Innovation Showcase at World Water Week

Dedicated Marketing Campaign

Website Images-06.png

Access to Global Mentors and Advisors

Access to Imagine H2O Customer and Investor Network



SIWI-WWW_307_150318 copyWHITE.png

Challenge winners will be recognized at an awards ceremony and dedicated sessions during World Water Week 2019

Stockholm Banner Chalenge.png