Water-centric startups pitch to investors, industry leaders at BREW Demo Day in Milwaukee

Posted by Nick Williams from Milwaukee Business Journal on June 26, 2019

Five water-centric startups based in the Midwest, recent graduates from The Water Council’s BREW accelerator, pitched their businesses to a room of thought leaders and executives from the utilities sector at Northwestern Mutual on Tuesday.

The annual accelerator is run out of the 98,000-square-foot Global Water Center at 247 W. Freshwater Way in Milwaukee, the headquarters of The Water Council. Through the accelerator, each startup received a $50,000 grant from the Water Council, made possible with funding from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., and a one-year lease at the Global Water Center for working space.

Here’s a rundown of the companies that pitched.

Rapid Radicals Technology LLC

Rapid Radicals Technology, or RRT, of Milwaukee has developed end-of-pipe treatment technology that moves wastewater through a chemically enhanced conveyance system and safely back into lakes and rivers. Paige Peters, founder of the company, said the company recently launched a pilot project with the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District and Marquette University. Founded in 2016, the company has received some seed money from Marquette and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.

Watersurplus (Surplus Management Inc.)

Watersurplus, an Illinois water treatment solution company, and winner of the BREW Corporate Accelerator powered by A.O. Smith Corp., actually launched more than 20 years ago and has customers in 80 countries and has four patents. Through its system, which improves reverse osmosis membrane performance from hard-to-treat water, Watersurplus is looking to compete in a water reuse market that’s expected to hit $33 billion by 2025.

Gen3Bio Inc.

Gen3Bio, an Indiana-based company that developed a system for extracting cellular content from algae produced by wastewater treatment technologies. The addressable market the company is targeting is $40 billion, said Kevin Okamoto, CEO of Gen3Bio. The company is working with a few large companies and with wastewater treatment facilities in La Crosse and Waupaca. The company is seeking $4 million in funding for getting intellectual property rights and other costs for scaling the business.

Latitude Power LLC

Latitude Power, an Illinois company that developed a micro-hydroelectric generator that converts lost energy into electricity, is targeting a U.S. market of $3 billion, where companies can save on utility bills by converting water flow into electricity. The company is projecting sales revenue of $1 million by 2020 and $7.5 million by 2024. The company is raising $4 million to fund product development, sales and manufacturing.

P4 Infrastructure Inc.

P4 Infrastructure Inc., a Milwaukee startup focused on civil infrastructure applied systems, is developing multiple solutions, including internet-connected infrastructure monitoring systems. One of the solutions is a pavement-monitoring sensor system to track groundwater levels to create sustainability. The company is both selling the measuring device and subscriptions to a dashboard that displays the collected data. The company is raising $5 million for product development and scaling the business.