An Entrepreneurial Tale of Two Cities

By Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council

I had a chance to compare and contrast recently at two very different events: The first involved short “pitches” by entrepreneurs developing technologies to analyze, clean, treat and otherwise manage fresh water on a massive scale; the second centered around a workshop on the basics of setting up and growing a small business of any description.

Recurring themes were the need for a solid business plan, making a compelling pitch to customers or investors, building the right company “team” and, of course, raising enough money to get the enterprise off the ground… and raising more to help it succeed.

Ten water-tech ‘treps involved in The Water Council’s latest BREW cohort (that’s an acronym for Business Research Entrepreneurship in Water) went on stage June 22 in Milwaukee for short presentations on their respective innovations. Six were from the United States; four hailed from France, Norway, Slovakia and Spain.

Advanced industrial wastewater treatment, digital solutions for processing laboratory samples, PFAS destruction, microbiological assessment, environmental DNA detection and robotic pipeline inspection and drawing water out of the air for emergency and “off-the-grid” use were among innovations pitched.

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