The second $100,000 Imagine H2O competition has launched its call for entries. This year, the theme is the water-energy nexus—innovations could focus on a number of areas including water heating/cooling, pumping and transport or low energy treatment. Entries will be accepted September 1 to November 15, 2010.

“Opportunities for saving energy exist at every stage of the water cycle,” says Scott Bryan, director of operations. “Many of these innovations could be attractive to all water users from utilities down to the individual consumer.”

Imagine H2O was created in 2008 to inspire and help bring to market sustainable solutions to global water problems through entrepreneurship. This year’s $100,000 purse includes cash as well as access to Imagine H2O’s Incubator Program that helps bring the winning ideas to market through its network of established beta-customers and in-kind service providers.

“This prize highlights a big market opportunity for entrepreneurs,” says Tamin Pechet, Imagine H2O’s chairman. “Tomorrow’s water supply system will have to be an energy-efficient one.”

Imagine H2O is holding workshops for entrepreneurs in Los Angeles (August 18), Palo Alto (September 15), Boston and Berkeley and international webcasts. These events will help guide water entrepreneurs and innovators toward customer needs, introduce them to industry contacts, and prepare them to participate in the Imagine H2O competition.

In its first year, Imagine H2O’s 2009 global competition, Water Efficiency, rewarded business plans that offered the greatest promise of breakthroughs in the efficient use and supply of water in agriculture, commercial, industrial or residential applications, such as water demand reduction, improved water use, water recycling and/or reuse. First Place went to Fruition Sciences, which has developed an innovative way to give the vineyard farmer real-time status of key variables for growing wine grapes. Already used successfully by several grape growers in California, Fruition’s web application has generated significant water savings while decreasing or eliminating yield loss and improving quality. Along with the other winners, WaterSmart Software and Rainwater Hog, Fruition Sciences is participating in Imagine H2O’s Incubator Program where the principals have received expert feedback from mentors, introductions to customers and investors, press coverage and strategy consulting on intellectual property, legal, tax and accounting, and early-stage financial planning.

Winners of Imagine H2O’s 2010 prize, The Water-Energy Nexus, will be announced in March of 2011.

See Water Canada’s upcoming September/October 2010 issue for a profile of Fruition Sciences.

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