Last year, our Environment/Energy Circle grant partner Imagine H2O (IH2O) launched its global Water-Energy Nexus Prize to attract and accelerate new water businesses with energy-saving innovations. In March, they revealed their contest winners. This is the second annual competition from the start-up organization. Full Circle Fund has been involved with the organization from its inception and has provided funding and consulting support for the past two years.
“To our surprise, the winners don’t just save energy, they also make use of the valuable energy stored in water and wastewater,” says Scott Bryan, IH2O's Director of Operations.
Before joining IH2O's executive team, Scott was a Full Circle Fund Member who discovered a passion for the organization and its mission while as a member of the project team, led by Member Meera Balakumar.
The First Place winner, Hydrovolts, uses floating hydro-kinetic turbines to convert the flow of a canal into a distributed energy source. The two runners-up, Blackgold Biofuels and Fogbusters, are unlocking the energy resources found in fat, oil, and grease, which are some of the most energy-intensive waste-streams in the water grid.
Created to help find sustainable, entrepreneurial solutions to global water problems, the prize offers over $100,000 in cash, business and legal support, and access to a network of partners, customers, and financiers to accelerate the process of bringing these ideas to market. One of Imagine H2O’s goals for its 2010 prize was to increase awareness of the connection between water and energy, a relationship often under-appreciated by the public.
Congratulations to the winners, and to IH2O for continuing to push the field as the leading ecosystem for water entrepreneurship and innovation!