Round III of the BREW Now Open!

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MILWAUKEE, WI  – The BREW, a first-of-its-kind place-based global seed accelerator for water technology startups led by The Water Council, is launching Round III of the program. The application process opened March 1 at 8 a.m. (CST) and accepts applications from around the world through March 31 at 11:59 p.m. (CST). Up to eight winners will be selected by June 23 to participate in Round III beginning in September.

The BREW was created by The Water Council and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), a demonstration of Milwaukee and Wisconsin’s reputation as a global epicenter for water-related research and industry.

The BREW accelerator program debuted in 2013 and is managed by The Water Council. Startups with commercialization potential will receive up to $50,000 in investments in exchange for a small percent of equity. Past winners of The BREW include businesses focused on water quality and quantity, from sensors and laboratories to software and hydro-power. This year we strongly encourage startups with agriculture water solutions to apply. During the 12-month accelerator program, winning entrepreneurs receive:

  • A suite in the Global Water Center for 12 months
  • Business model and operations training through The Water Council and University of Wisconsin-Whitewater (UWW) Institute for Water Business
  • Access to faculty and students from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) School for Freshwater Sciences and Marquette University
  • Access to the Global Water Center’s Flow Lab
  • Mentorship from dozens of area water technology experts, plus direct access to BREW Preferred Partners, including: WIPFLI, Michael Best & Friedrich LLP, University of Wisconsin-Madison Law & Entrepreneurship Clinic, and Global Water Center Executive in Residence
  • Attendance to conferences and pitch sessions with The Water Council
  • Access to investment capital funding sources
  • Access to Pilot Project funding
  • One-year membership to The Water Council providing access to the water technology network

The focus of The BREW is to unleash unique water technology startups, expand Milwaukee’s Global Water Hub by accelerating results, inspire action to create further opportunity in the water industry, and disrupt the status quo.

The Water Council and a separate panel of global expert judges rank entries using multiple criteria including commercialization potential. Grants will fund startup costs, which could include lab supplies, research and product development expenses, and professional services.

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Participants in Round II graduate at the Water Summit on June 24 at The Pfister in Milwaukee. Batch II graduates include: Cadens LLC, Hydro-Lite, Pellucid Water, pHinding Solutions, WatrHub, and Wellntel.

“Through the efforts of The Water Council and its many partners, Milwaukee has truly become a world leader in water technology and has developed a strong reputation for innovation in this growing sector,” said Reed Hall, secretary and CEO of WEDC, the state’s lead economic development organization. “The BREW provides emerging water technology companies with unparalleled support and services in a dynamic environment that we believe will lead to even more innovation in this increasingly important industry.”

“The Global Water Center has become a magnet, attracting over 14 startups in the water space who want to be close to the resources and energy,” said Dean Amhaus, president and CEO of The Water Council. “Coupled with the number of large global businesses and academic presence, this provides a multi-faceted ecosystem for entrepreneurs to collaborate and grow their business.”

Application Process for Round III

March 1 at 8 a.m. (CST) – March 31 at 11:59 pm (CST) at www.thebrew-mke.com

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5 Water Council Members Advance in Wisconsin Governor’s Biz Plan Contest

The Water Council is excited to announce four of its BREW Batch II participants and one new member will be advancing in the 2015 Wisconsin Governor’s Biz Plan Contest. Out of 238 total applicants 54 companies were chosen to move forward to Phase 3. The top dozen contestants will give live presentations at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison during the annual Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference in June. About $2 million in cash and in-kind prizes have been awarded since the conception of the contest in 2004, and more than 2,900 entries have been received.startup-593343_1920

This is the second year Water Council Members have had a presence in the Wisconsin Governor’s Biz Plan Contest. Last year two BREW start-ups made it into the final round. This year’s advancing companies include:

pHinding Solutions, Milwaukee
Hydro-lite, Milwaukee
Cadens LLC, Sullivan
Pellucid Water, Milwaukee
Nutrient Recovery and Upcycling LLC, Madison

The Water Council wishes these companies the best of luck and success in their coming ventures.

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February 2015 Q1 Member Meeting Recap

February 18 marked the first Quarterly Member Meeting of 2015! Thank you to Bradley Corporation for the exceptional hospitality and aiding in one of the most successful Water Council membership meetings to date.2015_q1meeting2

Around the Washfountin
At one point in every Midwesterner’s life, they come across a circular Bradley Washfountin. Founded in Milwaukee close to 100 years ago, this thriving company is yet another example of the industrial backbone working to make this region great. Bradley Corporation’s offer to accommodate The Water Council’s Member Meeting presented a unique opportunity for members to get an up close look at their beautifully designed facilities and fresh products. Their truly thoughtful accommodations created an atmosphere rich with collaborative possibilities.

2015_q1meeting4As members arrived, they had the option of attending the Q1 Talent & Education meeting, participating in a facility tour or networking. Insightful guides provided in-depth knowledge into Bradley history, current products, and facility operations. Each showroom displayed unique commodities equipped with their own stories of process and distribution. Known primarily for their high-end, long lasting, commercialized units, Bradly pushes the standard forward. From their ergonomic single piece sinks made from moldable quartz called Evero, to leading the way in taking lead out of manufactured pipe valves, this company is not only interested in the efficacy of their product, but making sure they provide the best possible experience for each and every costumer.

Bradley Corp. – Making water work for you.
Once the tour concluded, members settled into their seats and the Q1 member meeting commenced. First up, Christopher Mullet, Vice President of Sales at Bradley Corporation led the audience through the unique weaving of history and innovation which formed the organization.2015_q1meeting3a

In 1920, Harry Bradly of Allen-Bradley, had a problem: his workers were taking too long on breaks. After some investigation, he discovered the workers would have to wait in long lines to wash their hands. To solve this inefficacy, he created a circular wash-bin producing water from the center and a step peddle at the bottom to turn the water on and off. This communal wash area allowed for multiple people to wash their hands at once and also conserved water. Uninterested in marketing the invention, Harry Bradley passed it off to a couple of his employees who saw potential to turn it into the company known today.

Currently, five manufacturing plants are stationed around the country with their main headquarters located in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin. Bradley’s contemporary products now meld cutting edge technology with durability, user accommodation, and water conservation. Within their plants alone, Bradley reclaims 375,000 gallons of water annually.2015_q1meeting

KEYNOTE: Wisconsin Partnership for the Great Lakes – Major Policy Effort!
Southeastern Wisconsin is home to many veterans of the water industry, but with the increased productivity of Water Council Members and the growing interest in freshwater, the area is experiencing a fresh water renaissance. The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation reported in 2014 Wisconsin saw an increase of 7.4% in water technology related exports.

It is estimated that in the next 20 years, the drinking water infrastructure alone will require a $7.1 billion investment. Ted Kanavas and Rob Marchant of Michael Best Strategies briefed the members on a major policy effort their firm is leading in Madison.  The goal of the initiative is to expand legislative and fiscal efforts to ensure that municipalities have the financial resources necessary to manage wastewater and storm water.madison-77917_1280

The Clean Water Initiative is a way to address critical water policy changes while building Milwaukee as a leader in the Freshwater Economy. To successfully achieve this vision, the development of technological solutions must be accelerated and the funding for these developments will need to be increased. Rather than strictly approaching this from a legislative perspective, Kanavas and Marchant suggest using a tiered approach to engaging the capital markets – using municipal, state, foundations and endowment and private capital to fund technology implementation throughout the state. Through some of these strategic actions, Wisconsin can achieve water quality standards while supporting its growth as a World Wide Water Hub.

Marketing Update
Meghan Jensen, Director of Marketing & Membership at The Water Council, gave useful insight into what to expect in 2015 and how members can engage. The Water Council has made great strides to expand its programming efforts and reach on all fronts. The growing marketing team is working hard in preparation for Water Summit 2015: Creating a One Water Region, WEFTEC, and other upcoming events.  Among the most exciting of these developments will be a new Water Council website, set to launch this fall!

SBA Program overview
The Water Council’s new Small Business Program Manager, Karen Frost, detailed the initial programming and framework for the U.S. Small Business Administration contract to create a Center of Excellence (CoE) for Freshwater Innovation & Small Business Development. Many new opportunities will be provided including programming and training for small and medium sized businesses in the water industry. To learn more about the CoE Click Here.

Talent and Education Committee
The Talent and Education Committee has made many advances in the past three months by reaching out to youth and connecting them with water industry leaders. In coming weeks, they will be asking for more involvement from companies to show students water is not only for recreation, it’s a career. Stay tuned for more opportunities to engage in the Tide newsletter.

The BREW Accelerator
2015_q1meeting6Elizabeth Thelen, Director of Entrepreneurship & Talent, asked BREW Batch II entrepreneurs to take the floor and provide the audience with a success story from their involvement in the program thus far. Small startup businesses are hugely important to the industry because as they grow, they attract new talent and breed innovation. Interested in furthering a water tech start up? BREW Batch III applications open Sunday, March 1st! Get ready, the pressure’s on. Click Here.

As the meeting concluded, members stayed to have a frosty cold one, snack on tasty hors d’oeuvres and network with fellow Water Council members. A huge thank you to Bradly Corporation for accommodating a great Quarterly Meeting! Save the date for our Q2 Member Meeting on Wednesday, May 6th!

Click here for the full slide presentation.

Interested in making waves with The Water Council? Please contact Isaiah Perez, Member Services & Development Coordinator, at iperez@thewatercouncil.com

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Fund for Lake Michigan is now accepting Letters of Inquiry

IMG_3937The Fund for Lake Michigan is now accepting Letters of Inquiry as part of  their 2015 grant cycle. The Fund is seeking projects that improve the water quality of Lake Michigan through habitat restoration, pollutant reduction, stream restoration or improvements to coastal areas in Wisconsin. The Letters of Inquiry are due on or before February 20th, 2015. LOIs must be submitted through the Fund’s online grants management system. For information on how to apply click here for guidelines and here for how to apply online. Invitations to submit full proposals will be sent out in March. Additional information about the Fund can be found on our website at www.fundforlakemichigan.org.

Questions regarding the online grants system should be directed to Molly Tarrant at molly@arabellaadvisors.com. For questions regarding your proposal contact Casey Eggleston at casey@fundforlakemichican.org or Vicki Elkin at vicki@fundforlakemichigan.org.

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Water Summit 2015: Creating a One Water Region

Have you saved the date for Water Summit 2015? This year’s Water Summit will be held at The Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee, WI from June 23-24. The theme for 2015: Creating a One Water Region.

This year’s theme will focus on a model that connects and enhances historically independent “water silos” to create a more efficient, effective and comprehensive water system for a region, with the priority to improve water quality, knowledge-based stewardship, and water sustainability. The Water Council’s annual Water Summit strives to create a channel for water professionals from around the world to share ideas, provide unique networking opportunities, and discuss global water issues and innovative solutions to advance the future of water technology.

Mark your calendars for early bird registration, which opens in March!

Wish to learn more about what to expect at Water Summit 2015?  Make sure to attend our Quarterly Member Meeting on February 18th. Stay tuned for more info!

Stay up to date on Water Summit 2015 by visiting:  www.thewatercouncil.com/watersummit

**Please note that Quarterly Member Meetings are open to Water Council members only. Wish to become a member? Click here for more info.

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The Water Council Expands into South Central Wisconsin

The Water Council is pleased to announce its expansion into South Central Wisconsin with the opening of its Madison office. Scott Mosley, Director of Investment Strategies, will lead the Madison office.  Dean Amhaus, The Water Council’s President and CEO stated:

“ The opening of the Madison office represents the first of a series of steps expanding the presence for The Water Council.  We recognize the need to have a presence in Madison to take advantage of the city’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, engage with investors, enlist the state government, and to have access to one of the world’s leading research universities.”  

If Water Council members and interested new members wish to participate in Madison speaking events or to do a “lunch and learn” session, please feel free to reach out to Scott Mosley vat smosley@thewatercouncil.com.

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Around the Water Cooler Recap: Wisconsin Historical Society

Around the Water Cooler, which occurs on select Thursdays at the Global Water Center, is an  hour-long session that allows GWC tenants to share their mission and any current projects being worked on, and provides a platform for tenants to make an ask of other fellow tenants.
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Wisconsin Historical Society Head Quarters

Kristen Leffelman, Field Services Representative, Wisconsin Historical Society (WHS) presented during the first Around the Water Cooler of the 2015! Leffelman’s office at the Global Water Center, is the first time the WHS has had a presence in the Milwaukee area. She spoke to the three main departments of WHS: Museum and Historic Sites, Historic Preservation and Public History, and Library Archives.

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A scuba diver investigating one of the historic shipwrecks in Lake Michigan

WHS entered the Global Water Center in late fall 2014 to aid in the preservation and management of The Water Council’s records and to provide further historic backing and reference for The Water Council initiatives. Water dramatically influenced how Milwaukee and Wisconsin were shaped and WHS is currently working to showcase this history in a future exhibit at the Global Water Center, which eventually could become a traveling state exhibit.

Additionally, through meticulous documentation and research, WHS is an excellent resource for accessing state archeology, national and state registers of historic places, as well as building advice on historic homes and businesses. This generalized and categorized information can easily be accessed through their website, while more topical information can be found through various publications that can be purchased online or at one of their locations throughout the state.

SitesThe 12 primary sites WHS maintains collectively draw 300,000 visitors annually. Their primary historical museum on Madison’s Capitol Square will be closing soon for reconstruction, upgrading to a facility with larger exhibit accommodations to showcase much more of their collection. To plan your visit to this museum or to check out one of their other 11 secondary locations, click here. However, if you are looking for a sample of Wisconsin history closer to home, there is a Wisconsin History Tour on view now at the Milwaukee Central Library from January 3-29, with special events during Program Week (Jan. 20-24), including special discussions, workshops and even a History Happy Hour, all of which are free and open to the public. Learn more HERE!

Tune in to our monthly Event Announcement for additional upcoming event details. If you have events you would like us to share, please complete the Event Announcement Form and return it to Admin@thewatercouncil.com by the 1st of every month for consideration.
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Introducing Karen Frost, our new Small Business Program Manager

KF headshotWhat drew you to The Water Council?

While I am new to the Water Industry, I’m very familiar with the work of The Water Council through my former role with the Racine County Economic Development Corporation. The Water Council is certainly in a regional, national and international spotlight and is gaining momentum at an amazing rate. I knew I wanted to be a part of organization with that kind of trajectory.

What are you most looking forward to working on at The Water Council?

I am excited to put my grant and project management experience to work for the SBA Small Business program and get started executing the scope of work that was developed for small businesses in the water cluster. This will involve creating a Center of Excellence for small water technology businesses that will include business training, counseling, matchmaking and other services and programming; beginning in the Midwest region and then expanding nationally. I am greatly looking forward to working with The Water Council staff, our subcontractors and partners to implement this program!

What would you like to accomplish in your new role?

I am looking forward to developing opportunities for catalytic connections through this program; connecting water-based businesses with informational resources, partners, services and other businesses in the water cluster to facilitate connections and growth.

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Wells Fargo Awards National Clean Technology and Innovation Grant to Water Council

The Water Pod, Photo by The Water Council

The Water Pod, Photo by The Water Council

MILWAUKEE, WI (January 12, 2015) – The Water Council is honored to announce it has been chosen to receive a Wells Fargo Clean Technology and Innovation grant. The Clean Technology and Innovation program supports technology advancements for a clean energy future. The $100,000 award will fund the creation of the Water Research Pilot Project, a program supporting the progression of new water technologies from the lab to demonstration sites for practical application.

“The program follows The Water Council’s new Leadership Strategic Vision.  One of the key strategies of the Vision is to lead and showcase how The Water Council’s members can address integrated water solutions through innovation, application and demonstration,” said Dean Amhaus, Water Council president and CEO, in reference to the Water Research Pilot Project.

The Pilot Project will aid in the growth and attainment of resources necessary for small and medium sized businesses to scale up and reach full commercialization. This project will partner with researchers, entrepreneurs, and water technology companies. Research and development will be conducted at a micro level in Milwaukee before taking steps towards macro deployment across the world.

“Wells Fargo recognizes that the health of our environment is critical to fostering more sustainable communities today and for years to come,” said Ashley Grosh, head of Wells Fargo Environmental Affairs Clean Technology program. “We’re pleased to announce The Water Council as a recipient of Wells Fargo’s environmental grant program to help provide long-term solutions to the world’s greatest environmental challenges.”

The Pilot Project is a catalyst for young companies and professionals who are scalable, cost effective, and have the potential to make true social and environmental impacts. Stonehouse Water Technologies has been chosen as the first participant of the Pilot Project for the development of a compact water filtration system called Water POD. Water POD solves the problem of a lack of healthy, clean drinking water in underserved and distressed populations where water contamination is the norm.  One unit can provide water for up to 1,000 people, and is stackable, meaning more units can be added to serve larger populations. Wells Fargo’s Clean Technology and Innovation Grant will support The Water Council in growing the Pilot Project to accommodate Water POD and future participants in the program with forward thinking, innovative water solutions.

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HIRING: Director of Finance and Operations at The Water Council- Apply by Jan. 23

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The Water Council is seeking qualified applicants for a full-time Accounting & Finance Manager position. This position announcement replaces the request for applicants for an Accounting & Finance Manager which The Water Council advertised in December. The new position description includes additional operations responsibilities.

Director of Finance and Operations is responsible for the development of The Water Council’s financial management strategy and oversee the organization’s operations. The Director will be charged with developing and implementing all policies and procedures both in the finance and general operational realms as well as maintain continuous lines of communication, keeping the President & CEO informed of all critical issues. The ideal candidate will have a Bachelor’s degree in accounting with 5+ years of experience.

The work environment is casual but fast paced with multiple activities occurring at the same time. The employee needs to be able to work independently and efficiently allocate one’s own time; handling multiple demands and priorities.

CLICK HERE for the complete position description.

Applicants should submit cover letter and resume to office@thewatercouncil.com by Friday, January 23. Please include the position title in the subject line of the email.

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