Industrial Water Digital Solutions Europe

Attention start-ups! Innovations invited to solve corporate water challenges

Tuesday, 5 April 2022

Start-ups are being invited to join the next cohort in the 100+ Accelerator, with the chance to work with brands such as Coca Cola, AB InBev & Unilever.

Transitioning to a regenerative future

Start-ups solving water, circular economy and sustainability challenges are being offered a chance for funding and pilot projects with some of the world’s biggest brands.

The 100+ Accelerator is now seeking start-ups for its fourth cohort to help solve key sustainability challenges for its corporate partners.

“Society is facing pressing challenges: from the climate crisis to rampant biodiversity loss to rising inequalities.”

Start-ups joining the accelerator programme will receive up to US$100,000 to implement a pilot project targeting the supply chains of multinationals, including AB InBev, The Coca-Cola Company, Unilever and Colgate-Palmolive.

“Society is facing pressing challenges: from the climate crisis to rampant biodiversity loss to rising inequalities,” said Carolina García Arbeláez, global sustainability and innovation director at Anheuser-Busch InBev.

“Transitioning to a regenerative future with shared prosperity for the people and the planet is imminent. This is why we are looking for the best start-ups around to world to innovate with us and build a sustainable future.”

To date, 70 start-ups from over 20 countries have participated in the 100+ Accelerator programme’s previous three cohorts.

Tackling the water stewardship challenge

Founded by beverage giant AB InBev in 2018, the 100+ was expanded in 2021 to multinational brands including Unilever, Colgate Palmolive and Coca Cola.

The accelerator invests in companies from Seed to Series B stage, with six months of remote programming and training provided.

“There’s an opportunity for companies to help improve water quality for businesses and communities.”

A total of seven challenges have been announced, including circular economy, water stewardship, smart agriculture, climate action, inclusive growth, biodiversity and the Corona Plastic Free Challenge.

On water stewardship, the accelerator said there’s an opportunity for companies to “play a big part and to help create and implement solutions that use as little water as possible across their operations and help improve water quality for businesses and communities”.

Examples could include:

  • Partnering with others to protect watersheds
  • Implementing technologies to improve operational water efficiency
  • Promoting water security across supply chains
  • Investing in technologies that can provide lasting access to clean water for communities at risk.

The water accelerator landscape

While the 100+ Accelerator is focused on accelerating start-ups within the corporate/industrial water context, other programmes are available with more of a utility focus.

The GoHub programme from Spain, Global Omnium’s corporate venturing fund, recently announced development into the Finland market, as well as an earlier strategic partnership in North America with the recently opened Water Tower.

ImagineH2O, founded in 2008, is a well-known water-focused accelerator, with start-ups including Fluid Robotics winning its Urban Water Challenge.

Furthermore, the Nature Conservancy’s (TNC) Techstars programme recently announced plans to invest in more than 100 European start-ups in 2022, with an expansion to its Sustainability Accelerator.

- Applications are open, and start-ups interested in the 100+ accelerator can apply here.

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