Imagine H20 is a national non-profit whose mission is to inspire and empower people to solve water problems. I wrote about their water innovation competition for startups last October, and this week they awarded prizes to some of the most groundbreaking, watershed inventions and business plans in the water world. Top Projects include Fruition Sciences technology for vineyards, Rainwater HOG space-efficient rainwater storage and WaterSmart water conservation technology for water utilities.
“There are alternate sources of energy – but there are no alternate sources of clean water. Increased water efficiency is the only solution. We will run out of clean water long before we run out of oil.” — Ralph Petroff, Contest Judge and Magna Vista Group CEO
What started with an idea by team of entrepreneurs from Harvard Business School to connect, support and reward water innovators is now a reality- the awards come with funding and a variety of professional business services to help the plans turn into successful businesses. Here are the Top 3 Business Plans:
WINNER: Fruition Sciences
This company offers a technology-enabled information solution for winemakers and vineyard managers who want to produce top quality, sustainably (optimized irrigation and management practices) farmed wines.
RUNNER UP: Rainwater HOG
It’s a modular vessel designed by Sally Dominguez which stores the most volume of water possible in the smallest footprint- the vertical tanks sit flush with a house or fence and create enough water pressure for irrigation or showering.
RUNNER UP: WaterSmart
This technology partners with water utilities to optimize water conservation programs, more quickly and cost-effectively meet their water efficiency objectives and help their customers save water, save money and get rewarded for their actions.
You can read about other inspiring projects that were finalists on their Current Prizes list.
“Awareness has been an obstacle to moving the water market forward. Be it public awareness of the looming water crisis, investors trying to ferret out potential business solutions, or would-be entrepreneurs networking with the vital players who can be of support. The Prize is intended to become a magnet for water entrepreneurship and give the finalists extraordinary exposure to the investment and business community.” — Tamin Pechet, Chairman and Executive Director of Imagine H2O
Imagine H2O is an incubator for waters startups in its own right- they provide business plan coaching, mentoring from water experts and business CEOs, team-building and networking, introductions to financiers, strategic partners, beta customers, and help securing lab space and office space for water-related startups.