BREW Startups Share Business Concepts with Trade Show Crowd

09/30/15 in 2015 WEFTEC

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IX Power CEO John “Grizz” Deal during the Croc Tank session

Three more startups from the Business. Research. Entrepreneurship. In Wisconsin. (The BREW) accelerator pitched their business ideas before a crowd of expert judges and water technology professionals at the WEFTEC trade show in Chicago yesterday.

Dubbed “Croc Tank” after the trade show’s crocodile mascot, the session was loosely modeled on the TV show Shark Tank, but was more about sharing ideas than about competition. All companies that took the stage had the opportunity to make an “ask” to the crowd—whether they were looking for investment, customers or new demo sites.

Besides The BREW, the session featured startups supported by the Imagine H2O accelerator in San Francisco and BlueTech Research, with offices in Canada and Ireland.

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Solar Water Works President Doug Winkie during the Croc Tank session

BREW companies that presented were:

  • IX Power, which designed a cost-effective method for treating the “produced water” that is a byproduct of the oil and gas industry
  • Solar Water Works, which created a wastewater treatment system completely powered by solar energy, and
  • Iconac, which developed a method for inspecting water pipes that is non-invasive and does not require taking the pipes out of service, and costs much less than the widely used method of inspecting the pipes with robotic instrumentation.

WEFTEC draws a crowd of more than 22,000 attendees from the water technology sector; some of the companies that presented as part of the BREW Tank were looking for funding, others for customers, others for demonstration sites. 

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Iconac CEO Harrison Richarz during the Croc Tank session

The BREW is a program of The Water Council, with funding support from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC). BREW companies receive grant funding, discounted rent for a year and access to collaborative lab space at the Global Water Center in Milwaukee, as well as training and mentorship.

Representatives of The Water Council and WEDC are in Chicago this week to raise awareness of Wisconsin’s water sector and work to attract more water companies to Wisconsin at WEFTEC, which concludes today.

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