The 2018 winners of the ‘Urban Drinking Water Challenge’ (UDWC), a global innovation competition to deploy and scale decentralised drinking water solutions for fast-growing, water-scarce cities, were announced by Imagine H2O and Founding Partners Bluewater Group and 11th Hour Racing.
Over 160 startups from 37 countries registered for the Challenge. The three winning startups are — Drinkwell (Dhaka, Bangladesh), Microlyze (Denver, CO) and SmartTerra (Bangalore, India). The winning startup represent a diverse range of technologies and entrepreneurial approaches to solve urban water scarcity and advance U.N. Sustainable Development Goal 6.
Each winner, including India’s SmartTerra, will be showcased in Stockholm during World Water Week on August 26 – 31, 2018. The Challenge’s Founding Partners have committed up to $1,000,000 in cash prizes, pilot funding awards and investment.
Bangalore-based SmartTerra, which held third spot in the winning startups, is an artificial intelligence (AI) powered water intelligence platform which equips second-tier Indian cities with the tools for data-driven decision making to identify service failures, disruptions and opportunities for infrastructure upgrades. As one of three winning startups of UDWC 2018, SmartTerra will now receive fund to start its pilots in two cities of Indian state of Telangana.
SmartTerra is working an open and affordable urban data platform with advanced geospatial intelligence for municipalities to manage the full cycle of water distribution and drainage/sewage. With SmartTerra platform, a country like India could deploy online, predictive operations and maintenance to reduce waste and reinvest in their communities.
SmartTerra helps the municipalities in India to transition from paper logs, employee memory and Excel spreadsheets to organized operations and maintenance. The startup offers solution which is low-cost and user-friendly by taking a mobile-first and cloud-hosted approach.
The startup founded by team of technologists working closely with municipalities intended to be open-source and available for all municipalities.
Imagine H2O’s evaluation committee, which evaluated startups on the basis of commercial viability, impact and market readiness, included a diverse group of experts from institutions including the World Bank, Grundfos, The Schmidt Family Foundation, Anaergia, Rotoplas, Xylem, Aquaya Institute and Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor.
The 2018 Urban Drinking Water Scarcity Challenge which is an initiative of Imagine H2O, the global water innovation accelerator an a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering people to deploy and develop innovation to solve water challenges globally. The organization’s water innovation accelerator provides entrepreneurs with the resources, insight and visibility to launch and scale water solutions. By partnering with industry and policy experts and a global network of customers and investors, Imagine H2O has become a proven path to market for emerging water technology businesses. Since 2009, the organization’s program alumni have collectively raised more than 1 in every 10 dollars of early-stage investment in the water industry.