The Water Council of Milwaukee, WI, received a Gold Excellence in Economic Development Award from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) for its BREW Accelerator program. The honor was presented at an awards ceremony on Tuesday, Sept. 27, during the IEDC Annual Conference, which was held Sept. 25-28, in Cleveland, OH.
“On behalf of the IEDC board of directors and Excellence in Economic Development Awards Advisory Committee, congratulations to The Water Council. Not only did they work to provide a necessary service to their community; but also, their participation in the awards program sheds light on their stellar projects which other communities can now use as a benchmark,” said Barry Matherly, CEcD, FM, IEDC 2016 board chair, and president and CEO of the Greater Richmond Partnership.
The Water Council’s entrepreneurship program, the BREW Accelerator, launched in 2013, unleashes water innovation by funding water technology startups with commercialization potential, with the goal of launching each portfolio within 24 months. The first of its kind accelerator, funded in part by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, pairs a unique water-focused startup community, located within the Global Water Center, with the credible resources found only in Milwaukee’s World Water Hub, helping entrepreneurs from around the world commercialize their unique technologies and accelerate results that impact the global community.
“Earlier this year we made a commitment during the White House Water Summit to launch 75 water technology startups over the next five years,” said Elizabeth Thelen, director of entrepreneurship and talent for The Water Council. “This award reaffirms our work as a world-class water technology accelerator and we are very grateful for this recognition and for our partner network.”
BREW Accelerator partners include: GRAEF, Michael Best & Friedrich LLP, Marquette University, Pentair, Sage Water, University of Wisconsin – Extension Center for Technology Commercialization, University of Wisconsin – Whitewater Institute for Water Business, WIPFLI CPAs and Consultants, and Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.
IEDC’s Excellence in Economic Development Awards recognize the world’s best economic development programs and partnerships, marketing materials, and the year’s most influential leaders. These awards honor organizations and individuals for their efforts in creating positive change in urban, suburban, and rural communities.
“The awards process is a thorough, non-biased, and multi-layered process. These are extraordinary accomplishments for all winners, and an overall great effort by all participants. We look forward to next year’s awards competition,” Matherly said.
The Water Council, currently exhibiting at the Water Environment Federation’s Technical Exhibition & Conference in New Orleans, LA, to promote Wisconsin’s thriving water technology cluster, also received IEDC’s Bronze Excellence in Technology-Based Economic Development Award for the Global Water Center in 2013.