Robust ecosystem supports tech hub and startup community
Water is vital for growth, both for living organisms and for a wide range of businesses. Access to fresh water is a key attribute of Wisconsin’s business climate, where companies of all sizes tap a long history of innovation to imagine and deliver sustainable water solutions that improve commercial processes and enhance lives. Home to The Water Council, the Global Water Center and one of the most powerful water technology hubs in the world, Wisconsin welcomes entrepreneurs seeking to join more than 200 companies with ties to an industry that is growing in both scale and impact. Startups looking for the right partners, mentors and connections to bring their ideas to market will find the programs and resources they need to succeed in Wisconsin.
The BREW (Business – Research – Entrepreneurship – in Wisconsin) is the world’s leading freshwater seed accelerator. Designed to advance the commercialization of innovation-driven startups in the global water industry, the BREW connects early-stage technology ventures with the resources they need to fast-track the creation and deployment of real-world solutions to freshwater challenges. Startups from around the world compete for acceptance into the program by creatively solving water-related technology challenges, and those selected for participation are connected to funding, office and research space in the Global Water Center, executive-level mentors, corporate R&D resources and business training through The Water Council.
At the end of each program, BREW participants pitch their ideas to investors, universities, government entities and corporations for potential partnerships, acquisition or funding. Upon completion of the program, participating companies can continue to collaborate with others in the industry through ongoing engagement with the BREW Alumni Network.
BREW Corporate Accelerator
BREW Corporate is an expansion of the BREW Accelerator program. It offers participants the same framework, funding and resource access as the BREW, alongside preexisting interest and committed funding from a corporate partner. BREW Corporate solicits viable technical solutions for specific real-world challenges that have been identified and outlined by the funding corporation. That entity, along with coaches and technical advisors, helps optimize each winner’s business model, speed up technology commercialization and directly support marketplace entry.
The Tech Challenge is a new global competition designed to identify cutting-edge freshwater technologies and ideas with high potential for commercialization or implementation. A series of challenges will run throughout the year, with each designed around a specific topic identified by corporate sponsors.
Every challenge is a true even playing field, open to anyone with a good idea, and candidates can apply to as many as they like. Prospective technologies can come from entrepreneurs, university students or researchers, professionals already working in water-dependent industries, the private sector, government labs or just inventive individuals.
Challenge finalists will present in person to the sponsoring organization to compete for prize money, access to corporate R&D resources and the opportunity to partner on the development, marketing, licensing or sale of the winning technology or idea.
For information on these or any other Water Council competitions, or to submit an application, visit WaterTechHub.com.
In addition to these startup-focused programs, Wisconsin offers an ecosystem of researchers, educators, and public and private sector collaborators devoted to information sharing and industry advancement. The Water Council routinely convenes global water leaders to talk about issues, challenges and strategy around water usage. Companies developing new water technologies benefit from a combination of historic industry strength and future vision in Wisconsin.
For more information, visit TheWaterCouncil.com.