Partnership seeks entrepreneurs in water

The Water Council and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. have reached an agreement to launch a national competition to support entrepreneurship and economic development while fostering sustainability efforts in the field of water in Milwaukee.

Veolia and the two organizations agreed to work together to develop a new, two-year program called “POW!  emPowering Opportunities in Water.” The joint program 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.

Under the parameters of the agreement, Veolia and The Water Council would 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 program.

The companies would then receive financial assistance to move to Milwaukee and be housed at the Global Water Center. They would become part of the center’s “water technology ecosystem.”

“It’s great news that the 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,” Gov. Scott Walker said. “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.”

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 chief executive officer of the 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, The Water Council’s president and CEO, who signed a memorandum of understanding in Paris with Laurent Auguste, Veolia’s senior executive vice president of innovation and markets. “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.”

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