Applications open for the organization’s zero-equity accelerator and pilot funding programs With countless wildfires in the west and hurricanes in the east, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to remain hopeful about the climate crisis. Imagine H2O, a non-profit water accelerator, is working with startups to change the narrative. Imagine H2O believes that innovation and entrepreneurship can […]
Imagine H2O is the go-to partner for entrepreneurs building transformative solutions for the future of water
We believe that water is solvable. By doing everything we can to help our entrepreneurs and their ideas succeed, we make innovation more accessible to those who need it—and transform how water is used, treated and accessed. Our programs work together to make this happen. From our startup bootcamps to industry networks to pilot funding, we provide tailored support across the startup lifecycle to develop and scale innovative water solutions.
We identify the most promising startups.
In an effort to accelerate urgent progress towards SDG 6—universal access to water and sanitation—we seek solutions that transform water access, efficiency, safety and resilience. Drawing from an annual pool of 400 unique applications, a committee of over 100 industry leaders helps us select the cohorts to participate in our programs each year. Our support for innovation extends beyond those top startups: applicants who aren’t accepted in a given year may receive feedback and hands-on guidance to reapply.
We partner with them to develop and build their solutions.
Our entrepreneurs receive the insights they need to grow their companies and break into new markets. Introductions to a growing network of tech adopters and investors opens critical doors for each of them. And year-round, global showcase events create a platform to identify new pain points and partners. All of this support—and more—is highly specialized to reflect the diverse needs, technologies, and geographies of each of our startups every year.
We scale impact by funding pilots and extending long-term support to alumni.
Water’s slow technology adoption cycle means that startups may struggle to prove their solution’s impact. In order to jumpstart pilot and demonstration projects, we go beyond mentorship and customer introductions. We fund select pilot projects every year to help end users get to “yes” faster. We back that up with in-country support and increased visibility to help entrepreneurs broadcast their success around the world. These early proof points are vital to incentivizing wider adoption.
Why We Do It
Water touches everything
We can’t afford to ignore it: water is in crisis. And, because we all depend on it, what we do today shapes the future for all of us. Our entrepreneurs address the problems around our most precious resource—water—with our most precious human resources: ingenuity, commitment, and action.
Explore our impact
- Water technology plays a critical role in improving public and ecosystem health. Our entrepreneurs provide new solutions for reducing pollution and environmental degradation.
Tackling climate change
- New water technologies can help increase resilience to climate stressors, such as floods and droughts. They also can help reduce water-related climate emissions.
- New technologies can help stretch water resources by increasing efficiency or enabling water reuse. This allows communities to expand without needing to tap new water sources, increases resilience to droughts, and saves money for utilities and residents.
- New technologies can advance equity by helping get clean water to communities currently living without it. They also can improve the quality and reduce the cost of water services for historically underserved populations.
What’s At Stake
We’re at a tipping point
When it comes to the global water crisis, the time to act is now.
people will suffer from water scarcity by 2050
of people live without access to safe drinking water
of all wastewater enters our environment untreated
increase in populations exposed to flooding in the past decade
Where we work
We’re the go-to partner for identifying, developing, piloting, and scaling water innovations
Imagine H2O develops and sustains a global ecosystem that equips startups with the partners, resources, and insights they need to succeed. While we offer different programs, all Imagine H2O startups receive the following:
Gain access to dedicated mentors and training sessions, exclusively focused on the water sector.
Receive direct introductions to a global network of 80+ Tech Adopters, 200+ investors, and 170+ alumni founders.
Showcase your solution at major global industry events and benefit from Imagine H2O’s seal of approval.
Secure financial or non-financial support for pilot projects.
We support startups throughout their entrepreneurial journey
Our programs support entrepreneurs at different stages and geographic regions. See which one is the best for you.
Imagine H2O Accelerator
The Imagine H2O Accelerator equips early-stage water entrepreneurs with the resources they need to develop their solutions, commercialize their technologies, and enter new markets.
No matter what role you play in the water sector, you should be part of Imagine H2O’s ecosystem. I have been involved with their programming for years, and am amazed by the quality of people I continue to meet and learn from. The organization is surrounded by heavy hitters from throughout the industry, which speaks volumes about their mission and global impact.
Nicole Neeman Brady Principal, Renewable Resources Group
People say growing a water technology startup is very hard. They should say that growing one without IH2O is hard, because this team gives you tools to make it happen.
Greg Newbloom CEO & Founder, Membrion
Imagine H2O changes the game for early stage startups with their access to top water industry mentors, engaged & ‘forward-thinking’ potential customers, and investors. If you’re a startup in water, you have to apply to their programs.
Adam Tank Director, Software Solutions, Transcend Water
Monitoring wastewater infrastructure with AI-based surveillance robots
Imagine H2O Asia Cohort 2, Urban Water Challenge Cohort III
Stormwater and Flood Control
Fluid Robotics is tackling water pollution and improving wastewater infrastructure health in cities by helping them intercept, divert and treat raw sewage. In 2020, they joined both Imagine H2O Asia and the Urban Water Challenge.
Through Imagine H2O Asia’s relationship with PUB, Fluid Robotics secured a pilot project with one of PUB’s implementation partners, Lian Shing Construction Co. The project uses Fluid Robotics’ machine learning and computer vision solution to automate pipeline defect identification from sewer CCTV videos. By standardizing inspections, Fluid Robotics aims to reduce the cost of sewer performance assessments by 50% and increase productivity by 2x, improving Lian Shing’s ability to address critical issues immediately.
With the Urban Water Challenge, Fluid Robotics is helping the city of Pune, India divert and treat raw sewage from the Mula-mutha river. They have surveyed, located, and started monitoring 64 major discharge points for water flow and quality. With UWC funding, Fluid Robotics secured an additional $54K in local government funding to increase their scope to 106 discharge locations.
In response to COVID-19, Fluid Robotics expanded its wastewater surveillance capabilities in order to detect the presence of infectious diseases through several other partnerships.