Announcing the 2020 Urban Water Challenge Finalists

Imagine H2O announced the finalists for the 2020 Urban Water Challenge, meet the 8 startups advancing progress towards U.N Sustainable Development Goals

The Challenge

We live in an era where innovation is advancing at an unprecedented rate. Technology is revolutionizing the way we live in cities – how we eat (Plenty), commute (Lime), pay (Stripe), and use energy (Nest). But has it changed the way we think about water? 

There are many brave entrepreneurs and water leaders trying, but it’s been a slow process. Industry-wide barriers make it extremely difficult for innovation to scale. Think safety standards, lack of funding, misaligned incentives, etc. In short, they need help.

That’s where the Urban Water Challenge (UWC) comes in. UWC was created to provide funding, unlock networks, and amplify success to accelerate the adoption of impactful solutions globally. So let’s dive into the 2020 Challenge.

The Stats 

Urban Water Challenge, Imagine H2O, water sustainability, coastal innovation, water technology

Applicant & Deployment Locations Image credit: Imagine H2O

This year, 235 applicants from 44 countries applied to the program, with the average company having already raised about $1.5M. Of these applicants, around 40% have female founders and 50% have female advisors.

And with the spotlight this year on coastal resilience, we are excited that 73% of startups indicated that their deployments had a coastal focus. 

“This year’s Challenge had an impressive number of applicants, and diversity both with countries represented, and female-founded companies. 11th Hour Racing started supporting the Challenge after seeing firsthand how the water crisis is impacting coastal cities around the world. The status quo is not going to work any longer; we need better ways to conserve, reuse, and protect this natural resource and help cities become more water resilient in the face of climate change. With a majority of the applications focused on coastal resilience, it is clear that there are many innovative ideas and it’s time to take action through strategic deployment.” 

— Michelle Carnevale, Grant Program Director, 11th Hour Racing

The Journey from 235 applicants to 8 finalists

The Final 8

The Ways to Get Involved 

  • Read the stories of the deployment and learn about their progress 
  • Come to Water Innovation Week to find out the Winning Deployment
  • Watch the Announcement Webinar hosted by World Water Week below

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