Water innovators wanted for Hamilton’s next Pipeline H2O class

With water problems pervasive around the globe, the Pipeline H2O program, which helps water-technology companies solve water and sewage problems, is seeking candidates from around the world to join its Class of 2018.

Eight to 10 water-tech companies or organizations will be chosen to receive mentoring and compete for cash prizes.

The program, based in Hamilton and Cincinnati, matches promising companies with area utilities, such as Greater Cincinnati Water Works and Hamilton’s well-known water utility, regional universities, city governments, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the prestigious Village Capital community network, another group that works to foster growing businesses.

Pipeline Program Director Antony Seppi said the program will be very similar to the one that ended this spring.

“Water reuse is a big deal, water scarcity is a big deal, water treatment, just addressing those different challenges, and bringing them into the Cincinnati area and introducing them to resources to help take their start-up to the next level, we’re going to be looking for companies and teams that are out there, and provide them with the resources to take them to the next level,” Seppi said.

The mission is to commercialize the most promising technologies.

The Class of 2017 had six companies or non-profits that attacked a variety of issues, including water-treatment for industries; water treatment for poor communities around the globe; water-disinfection after disasters; testing of water to detect contamination; and small-scale production of hydroelectric power.

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Rahul Bawa, who is chairman of both the Hamilton Mill and Pipeline H2O, observed that “Southwest Ohio has some of the best water resources and municipal water in the nation.”

He added: “Our inaugural class in 2017 was a great success and we are excited about selecting the next group of companies which are commercializing the leading water-based technologies in the world. We will help each of the selected companies scale and use our ‘City as a Lab’ approach to quickly find customers and generate revenue.”

One thing Pipeline H2O offers that other programs do not is immediate potential customers, proponents have said.

In a news release announcing the second year’s program, Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley said, “This is a prime example of the City of Cincinnati leveraging its resources for the betterment of the region. Given the strength of the first class, we expect to continue to see great things from the Pipeline H2O program.”

Applications will be accepted until Nov. 19. A series of informational webinars will be provided during September and October for prospective teams, and the class will run from February through May.

For more information about Pipeline H2O and to apply, visit www.pipelineh2o.org or contact Antony Seppi at antony@pipelineh2o.org.

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