Water Gala 2014: Imagine H2O

Last month I had the privilege of attending attend the fifth annual Water Gala hosted by Imagine H2O in San Francisco. Imagine H2O is an accelerator and startup incubator for technology and startups working to better use and conserve our most precious resource: water. Their focus this year was on startups in food and agriculture, and they offered a program that “supports emerging water businesses whose primary value proposition improves water use, treatment, supply, or discharge in the Food and Agriculture Sector.” Since this topic is on the mind of most Californian agriculturalists, the event was packed with people of all ages and backgrounds.

Imagine H2O’s fifth annual Business Innovations Competition not only offers seed funding but also opens opportunities for startups to engage with the networks and expertise of Imagine H2O. One of the great points of the night was seeing California Safe Soils, a West Sacramento–based startup that turns waste from grocery stores into safe, organic soil fertilizer, which won the growth-stage track. I was proud of this team, which I have seen participate with the Sacramento Area Regional Technology Alliance (SARTA) and also conduct research in partnership with UC Davis faculty. California Safe Soils, along with many of the other featured companies at the Water Gala, is creating a pathway for more innovation and technology in food and agriculture to move forward into real world application.

To learn more about Imagine H2O and how your startup may participate next year, visiting their website.

Edward Silva is program coordinator at the UC Davis Sustainable AgTech Innovation Center and a member/co-founder of Henlight.


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