Entrants can submit their online entry through Nov. 15, 2015
A national competition was recently launched to reward new ideas and approaches for improving sustainability and resiliency efforts in the water and clean tech industries. Sponsored by Veolia, The Water Council and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., the new program is called "Pow! emPowering Opportunities in Water" and offers cash prizes, mentoring opportunities, funding for tuition/training expenses and offices for one year.
The "Pow!" program offers an opportunity for innovators and social entrepreneurs to fast-track their water-related ideas while connecting them to water industry influencers and experts who can directly support their company's services, products or ideas.
Up to three winners who address one of four challenges will be chosen to enter the program. The four areas include: smart-data technologies, resilience and sustainable water management, watershed management and disruptive water innovation.
"From financial rewards to true collaboration with experts and universities, 'Pow!' represents an opportunity to make a difference and contribute to global improvements in how we manage water," said Laurent Auguste, Veolia's Senior executive vice president of Innovation and Markets. "We're looking for entrepreneurs and innovators who embrace the energy and ideas behind such a vision and opportunity."
To attract ideas, a variety of prizes and support are being offered to each winner including:
- $25,000 cash prize from Veolia;
- $15,000 cash prize from The Water Council and Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.;
- $10,000 tuition to The BREW (Business. Research. Entrepreneurship. In Wisconsin.), The Water Council's business accelerator that includes water technology experts and mentors;
- Access to faculty from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School for Freshwater Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, and Marquette University;
- Business model and operations training through The Water Council;
- Twelve months of free office space in Veolia's suite at the Global Water Center in Milwaukee, along with access to the Global Water Center's Flow Lab;
- Exchanges and mentoring with Veolia experts, along with exposure to actual field challenges; and
- Leveraging Veolia's network to potentially deploy solutions in other geographies.
Applying entrepreneurs, innovators and companies must have a water-related innovation that can serve as the basis for a viable new business. Participants will need to relocate key staff to the Global Water Center in Milwaukee during the program's one-year duration.
Pow! is the first corporate water technology accelerator part of The Water Council's BREW Corporate, an expansion to the existing BREW accelerator program.
Entrants can submit their online entry through Nov. 15, 2015. There is no fee to enter the competition. A judging panel will select up to three startups, with winners being announced in December 2015.
Once winners are selected, a mentoring group will be established to provide collaboration and support. Selected startups will begin the program in January 2016 and be hosted by Veolia at the Global Water Center in Milwaukee.