Accelerate H2O hosts first-ever Texas Water Technology Investor Forum
Accelerate H20 announced that it hosted the first-ever Texas Water Technology Investor Forum on Tuesday, June 23, in Austin, Texas, where 135 global, national and regional water, technology and investment experts came together for the event.
SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS, July 14, 2015 -- Accelerate H20, a Texas statewide entity created to discover, promote and invest in new and existing technologies that have potential to fill demands and needs in the state's $9-billion water technology market, announced that it hosted the first-ever Texas Water Technology Investor Forum on Tuesday, June 23, in Austin, Texas, where 135 global, national and regional water, technology and investment experts came together for the event.
"Investment in new technology is desperately needed if the water industry is to tackle grand challenges ahead. We brought together global experts with Texas investors to identify opportunities and address limitations to bringing world-class innovative water technologies to key stakeholders in Texas," said Ed Archuleta, chairman of AccelerateH2O and former president of the El Paso Water System. "In turn, the Forum recognized that we have new technologies and the brainpower within the state that we can introduce to the rest of the world."
The Forum gathered 100 Texas investors from among family offices, venture funds, corporate venture directors, private equity, and public finance with 35 leading experts from Asia, Canada, Europe, and Israel, and throughout the U.S. Keynote speaker Tamin Pechet, chairman of ImagineH2O and founder of Banyan Water, provided remarks on comparative returns on investment across several technology areas, sectors and ventures. "Based on the data we have collected through Lux Research, ImagineH2O and other sources, the reality is that water technology is a great investment scenario for Texans and that the myth about long lead times for seeing a return on your money is not accurate," she said.
Panels on Market Intelligence, Global and National Investment Perspectives, Sector and Industry Perspectives, and Texas' Immediate Investment Scenarios suggested that the state is "a prime location for global investment in local challenges, while also connecting technologies and resources to the Fortune-500 companies based in our state scouting for new solutions, partners and export relationships," explained Bryan Daniel, Director of Economic Development for Governor Greg Abbott.
Daniel was joined by Texas Commissioner for Environmental Quality (TCEQ) Toby Baker and Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller in encouraging Forum participants that the State of Texas is "looking to you and your colleagues in the investment arena to work with state agencies and AccelerateH2O for encouraging and driving the most innovative ideas and strategies for meeting our current demands and long-term economic competitiveness," said Baker.
Miller added, "The drought may be over for now, but we know it will return. And in some Texas communities, we are still at pre-2011 levels. Agriculture is an example of where innovation in water reuse and conservation is wide open for investment partners. We produce a majority of the nation's commodities, and unless we encourage farmers, ranchers, food production, and all our sectors to think differently about water, then we will have abandoned our responsibility to future generations."
Announcements made during the Texas Water Technology Investor Forum included:
- Expansion of Fathom Water to Texas and the formation of Fathom Labs in collaboration with AccelerateH2O to spark a statewide "smart water" initiative
- Partnership agreement with Hutchison Kinrot -- the Singapore-Israeli investment venture firm -- with AccelerateH2O to bridge global firms, investors, innovators, and opportunities for product demonstrations and expedited market entry
- Partnership agreement with WatrHUB of Toronto Canada to develop a database and market intelligence tool on Texas' 4,600 water agencies and utilities technology procurement strategies, needs, and future plans
- State of Texas $600,000 grant from the Texas Workforce Commission to ensure that a new generation of skills and talent will be trained and certified to meet the demands from deployment of emerging technologies, engineered solutions and products
- Frost Bank commitment of $250,000 towards AccelerateH2O's statewide water innovation mission and goals:
- Launch of the Texas Water Technology Innovation Clearinghouse and Collaboratory -- a one-stop digital tool for connecting experts, communities of interest and practice, academic-government-industry collaborations, and problem-solvers in real-time
- A statewide Water Technology Innovation Showcase planned for October 2015.
About Accelerate H2O
AccelerateH2O was formed to identify the most efficient and effective pathway for technology development and deployment across Texas' residential, industrial, agricultural, and utility end-users. With over 18 university research centers, 4,600 water agencies, 5,000+ medium and large corporate campuses, and thousands of farms and ranches, Texas represents an undiscovered $9-billion water technology marketplace. Yet its first and foremost mission is to solve the most challenging problems facing Texans due to the ongoing drought and leverage opportunities sparked by the continued growth of the state economy. For more information, visit www.accelerateh2o.org.