On World Water Day 2019, Imagine H2O publicly announced that 120Water won the Imagine H2O Accelerator program. Announced the night before at the WaterGala’19:CASCADE event, the announcement concluded three months of rigorous preparation and intense competition. 120 shared the playing field with twelve of the most innovative and dedicated entrepreneurs from around the world committed to providing solutions to some of the water industry’s most pressing challenges. It was no easy feat to come out on top with such an impressive cohort of startups.
Accelerator companies are judged by a panel comprised of market leaders, investors, and entities currently deploying water technology. The days leading up to selection are marked with pitch competitions and informative meetings. Every moment of every day is brimming with one key goal—to further prepare participants to secure financing, boost market visibility and identify deployment opportunities globally. What does this program mean for the future of water? Why does ensuring the viability of startups in the water space matter?
“If startups can’t survive…this industry won’t thrive.”
This quote by Megan Glover, CEO and Co-founder of 120Water, during a panel session at the Imagine H2O Innovation Summit sums up the issue. Innovation comes from both internal and external forces working in tandem to bring creative solutions to the most pressing challenges. On the one hand, programs such as the accelerator instruct startups on how to hone in on communicating and delivering relevant solutions and abandoning the “if you build it, they will come” mindset. On the other hand, industry leaders at the summit are called to better balance risk and adoption. As guardians of public health, the water industry has good reason to be risk-averse. However, this fact can’t stifle water utilities to the point of stagnation. The activities during Water Innovation Week remind both sides of the equation the inherent value of the other. The process reminds us of the overarching end goal: to create an environment rich with opportunity to deploy technology that improves the quality of life through the access to safe, clean drinking water and sanitation to people across the globe. At the end of the day, it all comes back to people.
“I get the sense that her team would be willing to go to war for her and that speaks volumes of both Megan and her leadership,” Tom Ferguson announcing the Accelerator winner at the gala.
Megan has led her team from 0 to 2.4 million in revenue in 24 months in one of the most difficult industries to break into. The 120Water software platform and point-of-use testing kits have helped customers test over 100,000 locations across nine US states. Nailing the perfect pitch, or shaking the right hands is irrelevant if there isn’t a solid foundation of leadership. 120 holds on tightly to its mission to ensure the customer, the end user, always remains front and center. Megan is the compass that keeps us focused and driven towards that purpose.
Winning the accelerator means another tool in the toolbox we can use to further the mission to create a world free of lead in drinking water. We’re honored to serve the water industry shoulder to shoulder with the other incredible members of the 2019 Imagine H2O cohort.