Twelve water technology entrepreneurs from around the world were recently selected as finalists to attend the 2014 Imagine H2O (IH2O) Boot Camp, being held this year in San Francisco. Here, representatives from these innovative food and agricultural businesses will have the opportunity to meet with a network of potential investors who may be able to help them put their ideas into action.
This is one of many competitions and accelerator programs for innovative startup businesses hosted by Imagine H2O. This particular competition and boot camp was organized by Imagine H2O’s Food and Agriculture Program. To qualify as a finalist, the company had to be an emerging water business whose primary value proposition is aimed at improving water usage, treatment, supply, and/or discharge within the food and agriculture industry. These innovative businesses are committed to helping farmers and ranchers use innovative tools and technologies, along with clean energy sources, to deliver cost efficient and safe food products to American consumers. This is important work, as according to Imagine H2O, 80 percent of the world’s water is connected to food and agriculture.
The finalists for the boot camp have a wide range of new technologies and water friendly services to offer. One company recycles discarded produce from supermarkets, transforming the material into liquid fertilizers for farmers in less than 3 hours. Another firm has developed an innovative manure treatment that enables the recycling of livestock manure into clean water. Other entrepreneurs offer aerial technology to help growers concentrate their water and fertilizer input and output, as well as disease prevention strategies, down to a specific plant type.
What makes this opportunity so attractive for these entrepreneurs is the potential access to investors, as innovative water technology tends to face more challenges attracting capital when compared to other high technology enterprises. Interestingly, several of the finalists chosen to attend the Imagine H2O boot camp were non-U.S. firms. One Australian company revealed that they were interested in the U.S. as a manufacturing hub due to the quality of their labor force and products and the legal enforcement of trademarking and intellectual property. They did, however, relate that there were come concerns about the complexity of regulations in the U.S.
Imagine H2O is a nonprofit organization whose aim is to inspire and support innovators in solving the world’s water problems on a global scale.
Lee, Yvonne. “Promising Startups Recognized by Water Technology Nonprofit.” The Small Business Watchdog. 3/27/14.