Meghan Jensen (414) 988-8754

The Water Council Receives Excellence in Economic Development Award
from the International Economic Development Council

NEW ORLEANS, LA, September 28, 2016 – 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.


About The Water Council
The Water Council was established in 2009 by Milwaukee-area businesses, education and government leaders. The nonprofit organization, consisting of more than 180 members, links together global water technology companies, innovative water entrepreneurs, acclaimed academic research programs and, most importantly, some of the nation’s brightest and most energetic water professionals. The Water Council is capturing the attention of the world and transforming the Milwaukee region into a World Water Hub for freshwater research, economic development and education. Visit for more information.

About the International Economic Development Council
The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) is a non-profit membership organization serving economic developers. With more than 4,700 members, IEDC is the largest organization of its kind. Economic developers promote economic well-being and quality of life for their communities, by creating, retaining and expanding jobs that facilitate growth, enhance wealth and provide a stable tax base. From public to private, rural to urban, and local to international, IEDC’s members are engaged in the full range of economic development experience. Given the breadth of economic development work, our members are employed in a wide variety of settings including local, state, provincial and federal governments, public-private partnerships, chambers of commerce, universities and a variety of other institutions. IEDC’s members create high-quality jobs, develop vibrant communities and improve the quality of life in their regions.