While California remained thirsty, innovators, entrepreneurs and judges from ag-industry corporate leaders gathered in San Fransisco, CA, to share their water-saving ideas.
At its 5th Annual Business Innovations Competition, the global nonprofit organization, Imagine H2O, announced this year’s winners. The competition was split into two categories: companies in early-stage and growth-stage phases. The early-stage first place prize was given to the aerial crop monitoring startup, TerrAvion, which just launched in early February. TerrAvion uses Cessna-172s to provide aerial imagery for small farmers. California Safe Soil, a startup recovering water and nutrients from food waste through a process that is 720 times more efficient than composting, won first place for the growth-stage track.
“From an industry perspective, it’s exciting to see numerous entrepreneurs and startups around the world addressing this critical need for new technology for reducing water use in food production,” said Imagine H2O Judge Chris Morrison, Assistant Vice President of Global Water Technology Partnerships at Ecolab. “Large and small beverage and food firms are now looking for improved devices, chemistry, and programs to reduce water waste.”
Those within the competition included 70 entrepreneurs from 11 different countries, and Imagine H2O’s judging panel included industry experts from companies such as Google Ventures, America Water, and True North Venture Partners. Judging commercial viability, customer value proposition, go-to market strategy, and financial plan, the panel decided which startups would be awarded a total of $200,000 in cash, in-kind services, and access to customers in the food and ag sector through Imagine H2O.
“With uncertainty comes great potential for disruptive technologies and business models,” said Imagine H2O COO Scott Bryan. “The recent droughts in major food-producing regions like California poses an opportunity to entrepreneurs, businesses, and policymakers alike to take bold action toward securing a sustainable water future.”
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One in every 10 dollars into water technology comes from Imagine H2O, making them a leader in water-tech development.
FEATURED PHOTO: Nam Nguyen/Flickr