National Competition Now Open and Prizes Announced to Advance Water Entrepreneurship

“Pow! emPowering Opportunities in Water” launched by Veolia, The Water Council and Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation to encourage water entrepreneurs

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A national competition was launched yesterday 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 Corporation, 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 a unique 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,” explained Laurent Auguste, Veolia’s Senior Executive Vice President 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 Corporation
  • $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
  • 12 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.

“The partnership between The Water Council and Veolia demonstrates the global impact Wisconsin’s technology innovations are having within the industry,” said Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation Deputy Secretary Tricia Braun. “We are pleased to work with Veolia on this exciting program designed to bring new water solutions to life within Wisconsin’s Global Water Center.”

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.

“The Milwaukee region is cultivating some truly impressive talent with technologies focused on water quality and quantity. Our partnership with Veolia and the POW! program is testament to the global market these entrepreneurs are capable of entering,” said Dean Amhaus, president and CEO of The Water Council.

Entrants can submit their online entry through November 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.

For official rules and to learn more about the 2015 “Pow! emPowering Opportunities in Water!” Program, visit www.veolianorthamerica.com/pow.

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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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