STAR Water Group, an Australian maker of biofiltration technology and bioretention systems and a 2017 alumnus of The Water Council’s BREW accelerator, will soon launch an initial public offering on the Sydney Stock Exchange.
STAR (Stormwater Treatment and Reuse) is the first BREW company to go public. The Water Council’s $50,000 investment in the startup, part of the accelerator model, will be converted to equity in the new public company. STAR Water also participated in The Water Council’s Pilot Program, successfully testing its technology at Green Tech Station on Milwaukee’s northwest side. The company recently kicked off a month-long subscription period in advance of its IPO, which aims to raise $700,000-$1 million USD, valuing its equity at up to $4.9 million USD, according to Global Water Intelligence.
STAR Water products remove pollutants and contaminants from stormwater and runoff using up to 100% recycled materials, making the company attractive to clients and investors concerned with sustainability and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) improvements. The company is based in North Sydney, Australia, but has offices and projects around the world.
“We identified STAR Water early on as a strong startup that can address issues of stormwater management and access to clean, safe freshwater around the world,” said Dean Amhaus, president and CEO of The Water Council. “Its success is a prime example of how The Water Council fosters innovation and economic development in the water sector.”
From 2013 to 2019, The Water Council’s BREW (Business, Research & Entrepreneurship in Water) accelerator provided participating companies with six months of training, networking, access to water industry leaders and low-cost space in the Global Water Center in Milwaukee, along with a $50,000 note. In that time BREW worked with 39 startups that have generated $15 million in sales revenue, raised $36 million in capital, generated $42.4 million in additional funding, and created 100+ pilots, with 24 patents issued and 34 patents pending. A previous BREW participant, OxyMem Limited, was acquired by DuPont in 2019.
“The Water Council’s BREW accelerator program provided STAR Water with the perfect springboard to expand from, particularly around the Great Lakes region and the Midwest,” said Chris Rochfort, CEO of STAR Water Group. “It has also raised our profile and reputation around the world as we navigate lucrative markets. Having The Water Council as a shareholder is an honor. We have a major opportunity to provide solutions to water quality and scarcity problems and the effects of climate change.”
In 2020, The Water Council re-engineered the program as BREW 2.0, helping late-stage startups build connections and grow capacity. The first cohort of 12 BREW 2.0 companies participated in 2021. The Water Council will announce its 2022 cohort in the coming weeks.
“Our innovation programs – including BREW, Tech Challenge and our Pilot Program – are helping water technology companies at all stages of development solve pressing global challenges of water quality and quantity,” said Karen Frost, The Water Council vice president of economic development and innovation. “We are proud to have STAR Water as a member of The Water Council and alumnus of our programs.”