Mayor Barrett flow labVeolia, The Water Council and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) have launched a national competition to support entrepreneurship and economic development while fostering sustainability efforts in the water sector.

Headquartered in Paris, Veolia is a multinational company that is a leading provider of water services and technologies and sustainable waste solutions.

The competition, which will provide a special opportunity for innovators and social entrepreneurs to fast-track water-related ideas that can improve sustainability and resiliency efforts in the field of water, will be housed at Milwaukee’s Global Water Center, which was developed by The Water Council and WEDC working in partnership.

The competition was announced in Paris during the Wisconsin Governor’s Trade Mission to Western Europe in April.

“It’s great news that a major international water company, Veolia, selected Milwaukee to house its entrepreneurship program, and this further validates that southeastern Wisconsin is the nation’s home of water technology commercialization and entrepreneurship,” said Governor Scott Walker. “In recent years, Milwaukee has seen a dramatic increase in the number of startups attracted to the Global Water Center, and we are pleased to develop this program with a global leader in optimized resource management.”

Veolia and The Water Council will issue a nationwide challenge to entrepreneurs and startup companies revolving around specific areas of interest. Startups that have the highest likelihood of solving the challenge will be chosen to enter the two-year program, to be called “POW! emPowering Opportunities in Water.” Submission guidelines and further details about the “POW!” program will be announced soon.

“This program provides a great opportunity for emerging water technology companies to take the next step by partnering with The Water Council and the technical experts at Veolia,” said Reed Hall, secretary and CEO of WEDC. “WEDC is very pleased to be part of this partnership.”

“We are thrilled to be working with Veolia on a major entrepreneurship project,” said Dean Amhaus, president and CEO of The Water Council, who signed a memorandum of understanding with Laurent Auguste, Veolia’s senior executive vice president of innovation and markets, in April in Paris. “Milwaukee is truly the home of water technology and water entrepreneurship in the U.S., as seen by the increasing number of startups that have been attracted to the Global Water Center since its opening.”

(July 2015)