Imagine H2O, Milwaukee Water Council: Groups join forces to foster water entrepreneurship

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Milwaukee, WI, April 11, 2012 – Imagine H2O, a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco that helps entrepreneurs to turn water challenges into business opportunities, and the Milwaukee Water Council, a leadership group that aims to make Milwaukee the World Water Hub for water research, economic development, and education, have signed an Memorandum of Understanding to provide entrepreneurs with tools and resources to build great water businesses.

The Milwaukee Water Council’s partnership with Imagine H2O, which runs a global business plan competition and accelerator program for promising early-stage water innovations, will further extend the Council’s efforts to promote the region’s unique economic opportunity via Imagine H2O’s network of entrepreneurs and startups.

Specifically, the agreement facilitates an opportunity for local entrepreneurs looking to validate their business plans through the Imagine H2O process. The Prize attracts attention amongst investors; half of last year’s Imagine H2O prize finalists received term sheets from investors. Imagine H2O, building on the success of it’s previous collaboration with the University of Wisconsin Whitewater College of Business and Economics, will continue to support workshops on water entrepreneurship in the Milwaukee area.

“Milwaukee is already home to more than 150 established water technology companies but we realize that our future growth will be with helping the development of our start-up businesses,” said Dean Amhaus, Executive Director of the Milwaukee Water Council. “Partnering with Imagine H2O lends great momentum to our efforts to advance the region’s emerging water entrepreneurs.”

“The combination of Milwaukee’s leading academic resources and private sector support are contributing to the region’s efforts to build a globally recognized water hub” said Scott Bryan, Imagine H2O’s chief operating officer. “We’re excited to be working with the Milwaukee Water Council to support local entrepreneurs by facilitating access to our global network of water startups and sharing best practices.”

For more information visit http://www.imagineh2o.org or http://www.thewatercouncil.com

The Milwaukee Water Council

When the Milwaukee Water Council formed in 2007, it was said that the strength of Milwaukee’s collective water cluster made it a World Water Hub. Today, thanks in large part to the work of the Council, the Milwaukee region is now being mentioned alongside a handful of cities known to be world leaders in water technology. The Milwaukee Water Council has worked to make it clear that water is valuable, endeavoring to raise awareness that water is an essential asset for the community and its economic development.

By harnessing the power of an existing industry cluster (more than 150 companies), linking a rapidly expanding academic research community and convening some of the nation’s brightest and most energetic professionals, the Milwaukee Water Council is turning the Milwaukee region’s focus toward the critical role of assuring clean water on a global level. This is accomplished by consistently bringing together all parties to leverage collaboration around advancing water technology. This includes the development of a hub built around education, research and industry development as well as the creation of a 92,000 square foot one-of-a-kind research and business accelerator center. For more information, please visit: http://www.thewatercouncil.com

About Imagine H2O

Imagine H2O inspires and empowers people to solve water challenges and turn them into opportunities. We offer annual prize competitions for water innovation, including the 2009 Water Efficiency Prize, 2010 Water-Energy Nexus Prize and 2011 Wastewater Prize. In addition to cash prizes for the best ideas, Imagine H2O fosters an accelerator program to help competing entrepreneurs turn their plans into game-changing, real-world solutions. To learn more about Imagine H2O’s global ecosystem for water innovation and connect with water innovators from around the world, please visit http://www.imagineh2o.org.