SAN FRANCISCO, CA, Jan. 8, 2015 -- Today, Imagine H2O (IH2O), an accelerator for water technology, selected 12 finalists who will advance to its water technology Accelerator Program. The dozen startups competed in IH2O's 6th annual Business Innovations Competition to receive mentorship from industry leaders and an introduction to investors and a global network of beta customers and utilities. These companies join IH2O's portfolio of water startups, which represents over $1 in every $10 of early-stage water financing.
An estimated $20-trillion investment is needed to meet the water needs of the global population, according to a recent McKinsey report. The critical need for innovation and investment in water and wastewater infrastructure has become evident in light of recent high-profile events including the California drought and a series of recent water system failures in major cities (see "Accelerating the Opportunity for Innovation"). IH2O's proven path-to-market opportunity advances emerging businesses with scalable solutions to these growing water and wastewater infrastructure challenges.
"We're optimistic about the number of entrepreneurs who seek to address the challenges associated with our crumbling water infrastructure," said IH2O COO Scott Bryan. "This year's dramatic growth in applications reflects a growing interest in water innovation and our program's effectiveness in connecting entrepreneurs to market opportunities."
The global competition attracted entrants from 20 countries, including the United States, and smart infrastructure solutions represented over a third of the entrants. The competition also received a significant number of entrants presenting green and capital-efficient solutions to improving water and wastewater infrastructure. Competition winners and finalists will be honored at Water Gala'15 on Wednesday, March 18, 2015, sponsored by Levi Strauss & Co. in San Francisco, Calif.
"Our team is very excited about many of the ideas not selected as a finalist and look forward to engaging with these teams in future programs," IH2O Director of Strategy Brian Matthay said. "Over half of participating companies were founded in the last 18 months, indicating growth in Imagine H2O's water innovation ecosystem. We look forward to seeing these companies evolve and welcoming them into future Accelerator Programs."
Imagine H2O's judging panel, which includes leading industry experts from venture capital firms, water utilities and engineering businesses, based its selection of the finalists on their market viability, value proposition and go-to market strategy. The program's major financial supporters include Wells Fargo (Headline Sponsor) (see "Wells Fargo invests in Imagine H2O"), Grundfos, Tetra Tech, and the California Water Foundation. Visit www.imagineh2o.org for a complete list of the 12 finalists.
About Imagine H2O
Imagine H2O inspires and empowers people to solve water challenges and turn them into opportunities. In addition to financial support for the best ideas, the Imagine H2O Accelerator helps participating entrepreneurs turn their plans into transformational, real-world solutions. For more information, visit www.imagineh2o.org.