Kicking off Investments in Water Innovation Week, August 25-28, 2014

Small Business ForwardThe Water Council launched ‘Investments in Water Innovation Week’ today with a special press conference to announce a new partnership with JPMorgan Chase & Co. as part of the financial powerhouse’s Small Business Forward program.

The press conference, hosted at the Global Water Center, was attended by special guests of honor, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. JPMorgan Chase has awarded The Water Council a $225,000 grant that will be used to bring together North America’s investment community and water technology entrepreneurs, matching capital with water innovation. The grant is part of a larger initiative JPMorgan Chase announced last month, Small Business Forward, which is a five-year, $30 million grant program meant to boost small business support networks that help growing enterprises in specific industries.

The Water Council will identify investment firms that are interested in exploring water technology investments, prepare water investment training information and conduct an investor conference with entrepreneurs.

“Our company recognizes the growing importance of water not only in the United States, but across the world, and we believe that many of the solutions to those issues will be derived from the small businesses that are being developed by The Water Council,” says Jim Popp, President of Chase in Wisconsin. “It was only natural for Chase to combine its support for American small businesses with America’s leading technology cluster.”

Immediately following the press event, JPMorgan Chase and The Water Council hosted a panel discussion on the ‘Advantages of Investing in Water Technology.’ Panelists included various stakeholders from the public and private sector, including entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. They each shared their own experiences in investment, divulging various challenges faced along the way and untapped resources at the state level.

Key messages of the panel included:

  • Defining who your potential investors are, what unique interests do they have, and overall, learning who they are ahead of time, conducting your research before the initial meeting so you are informed, and weed out uninterested investors.
  • Once you know who your investors are, you should determine what they need from you, what information is essential in your initial pitch, and what will be of value to them.
  • Be able to answer what problems you are solving. If it’s an unmet need, what is your position as the solution provider?
  • Get Involved. Stay Involved. The Water Council is an invaluable resource as our Member network is extensive and will be key in matching capital, resources and new water technology companies. Relationships made through The Water Council will only strengthen the entire water technology cluster in Southeastern Wisconsin and help you grow your business.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation has a variety of programs, grants and other resources for small business development through there Innovation & Entrepreneurship offices, and encourage guests to look into what resources may be most beneficial to your company’s needs.

Stay tuned for more updates! Tuesday’s event: Wisconsin Innovation Awards in Madison.

Interested in engaging with The Water Council? Sign up to be on our mailing list HERE or contact Meghan Jensen, Director of Marketing & Membership, at or by phone at (414) 988-8754.

Additional Coverage:

The Wall Street Journal
Water & Wastes Digest
Environmental Protection
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Milwaukee Business Journal
Biz Times

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About The Water Council

The Water Council, the only organization of its kind in the United States, was established in 2009 by Milwaukee-area businesses, education and government leaders. With more than 150 water technology companies in the Milwaukee area, the region’s water industry is a $10.5 billion dollar market and accounts for four percent of the world’s total water business. The non-profit organization is linking together global water technology companies, innovative water entrepreneurs, acclaimed academic research programs and, most importantly, some of the nation’s brightest and most energetic professionals. The Water Council is capturing the attention of the world and transforming the Milwaukee region into a World Water Hub for freshwater research, economic development and education. The Water Council is located in the Global Water Center at 247 W. Freshwater Way, Suite 500, Milwaukee, WI 53204.
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