$100K for Winning Startup that Cracks the 'Water-Energy Nexus'

$100K for Winning Startup that Cracks the 'Water-Energy Nexus'

waterfall -- Image CC licensed by Flickr user gfpeck

Months after crowning a startup company that helps wineries use less water, the nonprofit Imagine H20 is laying the foundation for its second annual contest for fledgling companies that crack the "The Water-Energy Nexus."

The "Imagine H2O Prize: The Water-Energy Nexus" offers $100,000 in cash and services to the most promising startup company whose ideas can help to reduce the amount of energy it takes to move and treat water and wastewater.

"The connection between water and energy use has started to garner attention from business and government," Imagine H2O Chairman Tamin Pechet said in a statement this week. "With our 2010 prize, Imagine H2O will raise awareness of the opportunity for entrepreneurs to provide smart solutions to cut energy consumption in our water system." {related_content} An increase in contributions from Cooley Godward Kronish LLP and PricewaterhouseCoopers increase the purse of the 2010 contest to $100,000. The contest's founding sponsor is the Royal Bank of Canada.

Imagine H20 plans to formally announce the second competition June 2 at its Water Entreprenuership workshop at Stanford University, the first of several nationwide workshops to be held leading up the competition's official opening Sept.1.

A company called Fruition Sciences took the top honor in March for its web-based application that helps vintners use water more efficiently. With nine winery clients under its belt, Fruition Sciences' targeted business plan earned the company $70,000 in cash and business, legal, accounting and tax support to drive its expansion into the market.

Runners-up included Rainwater HOG, creator of food-grade vessel that helps people harvest and use rainwater for irrigation and household use, and WaterSmart Software, the maker of a web-based applications that helps water utilities make the most of their water conservation programs within 90 days of implementation.

Image CC licensed by Flickr user gfpeck.