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National Competition For Sustainable Water & Cleantech Ideas Launched

Cash, mentoring, tuition and training, and office space for one year are some of the prizes for the “Pow! emPowering Opportunities in Water” national competition sponsored by Veolia, The Water Council, and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.


Disruptive water innovation, resilience and sustainable water management, smart-data technologies, and watershed management are the four focus challenge areas.

Some of the top prizes are:

  • $25,000 cash prize from Veolia
  • $15,000 cash prize from The Water Council and Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation
  • $10,000 tuition to The BREW (Business. Research. Entrepreneurship. In Wisconsin.)
  • Access to faculty from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School for Freshwater Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, and Marquette University
  • Business model and operations training through The Water Council.

“The partnership between The Water Council and Veolia demonstrates the global impact Wisconsin’s technology innovations are having within the industry. We are pleased to work with Veolia on this exciting program designed to bring new water solutions to life within Wisconsin’s Global Water Center,” explained Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation Deputy Secretary Tricia Braun.

Interested applicants should submit a water innovation idea that can become the basis for a new business. Applications are being accepted through November 15, 2015.

If accepted into the program, applicants will need to relocate to the Milwaukee area for one year. The competition is encouraging both water innovation and entrepreneurship. (There is a statewide contest not far away in Illinois that has more of a cleantech focus, but a similar goal in nurturing young entrepreneurs.) It should be noted that startup companies are also job creators, so they can have a positive impact on their local communities that goes beyond the products or services they provide.

There is no fee to participate in the competition and the winners will be chosen in December 2015, with a January 2016 start date for the winners in Milwaukee. Veolia Milwaukee is a wastewater treatment company that serves about one million people in the Milwaukee area. The Veolia Group works internationally to provide water and energy management solutions.

Image Credit: Dori, Wiki Commons

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