The Secret Formula for Profit in Water Tech Venture Capital

Featured - Tom Ferguson - Burnt Island Ventures

Venture Capital has long been said to not be a fit with Water endeavors. As the water sector is deemed to be conservative, success stories in water entrepreneurship were thought to be unpredictable and irrational, hence impossible to invest in. Yet, with the rise of specialized funds such as Burnt Island Ventures, all these preconceptions may well be proven wrong.

In 2022, Tom Ferguson closed Burnt Island Venture’s first fund, with the thesis to find, fund and support the best water entrepreneurs. Did he succeed in these endeavors? Why? What’s the secret sauce? What can you replicate in your investing or entrepreneurship path?

Let’s explore:

with πŸŽ™οΈ Tom Ferguson – Founder & Managing Partner @ Burnt Island Ventures

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Micro-Dosed Lithium: Tap Water’s Health Hack?

Featured - Antoine Walter - Sudhir Gadh - Micro-Dosed Lithium - Third Element Water

Let me write that sentence I hate: water is essential for life. But beyond hydration, what if it also played a crucial role in enhancing public health? That’s the promise of micro-dosed lithium. This trace mineral, we usually associate with mining for the battery supply chain, is now being spotlighted for its potential health benefits when present in tap water.

Research suggests that areas with naturally higher levels of lithium in water might see notable reductions in suicide rates, violent crime, and even Alzheimer’s disease. In other words, it could turn a simple, everyday act of drinking water into a key to not just physical, but also mental well-being.

Let’s explore the evidence and implications of adding micro-dosed lithium to tap water and how it could represent a groundbreaking approach to public health.

with πŸŽ™οΈ Sudhir Gadh – CEO & Founder @ Third Element Water

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Big Data, Deeper Insights: Crafting Smarter Water Strategies

Featured - Big Data Deeper Insights Crafting Smarter Water Strategies - Kimberly Nelson - True Elements

In an era where technology seamlessly blends with daily life, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are not just buzzwords but pivotal tools reshaping industries. The water sector, the critical component of our environmental ecosystem you know so well, is no exception.

At the forefront of this technological revolution is True Elements, a company that’s introducing the concept of “water intelligence” by leveraging the power of AI. So today, let’s dive into how AI and machine learning are not just modernizing but revolutionizing water management strategies, providing deeper insights and smarter solutions for a sustainable future. As Kimberly Nelson tells in today’s release of the podcast (you’ll find just here ⬇️): “We are just at the beginning of people starting to appreciate and understand the importance of this kind of information and intelligence.”

Let’s dive deeper…

with πŸŽ™οΈ Kimberly Nelson – COO @ True Elements

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The Economic Incentives of the Water Reuse Revolution

Featured - Water Reuse Revolution to solve growing Water Scarcity and Infrastructure Challenges - Aaron Tartakovsky - Epic Cleantec

In the face of escalating water scarcity and the pressing demand for sustainable solutions, the concept of water reuse has surged from a niche environmental concern to a central economic opportunity. No longer just a conversation about conservation, water reuse has evolved into a narrative of smart economics, where the value of reprocessed water is recognized not just in terms of environmental benefits, but also in cold, hard cash.

So why is this shift happening now? As industries, municipalities, and agricultural enterprises grapple with the financial burden of water acquisition and the risks of unpredictable supply, water reuse stands out as a beacon of efficiency and reliability. The economic incentives of the water reuse revolution are becoming too potent to ignore, promising not only cost savings but also a competitive edge.

After the social dynamics of water reuse earlier this (special) week, today we dive into the economics of water reuse, uncovering the incentives that are driving its adoption at an accelerating pace. We’ll explore how this revolution is not just sustaining the environment but also swelling the wallets of those who have the foresight to invest in it.

with πŸŽ™οΈ Aaron Tartakovsky – CEO & Co-Founder @ Epic Cleantec

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Beyond Technology: The Social Dynamics of Water Reuse

Featured - Fostering Political Will and Public Acceptance to develop Water Reuse - Austin Alexander - Xylem

In an era where water scarcity is becoming an increasingly pressing issue, the concept of water reuse should emerge as a beacon of hope. But while technological advancements have made water reuse a feasible solution, there’s a critical aspect that often goes overlooked – the social dynamics influencing its adoption.

Today, we’re looking at water reuse, not from a technological standpoint, but through the lens of societal, policy, and human behavior factors that play a pivotal role in its implementation and acceptance.

with πŸŽ™οΈ Austin Alexander – Vice President, Sustainability and Social Impact at Xylem

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A Flow of Opportunities: The Unseen Potential in Water Careers

Featured - A Flow of Opportunities- The Unseen Potential in Water Careers - Veolia - Kendra Morris

Let’s face it: water is often taken for granted. Yet, behind every drop of clean and accessible water is an intricate network of water professionals dedicated to its management and preservation. The water industry, while crucial, is frequently overlooked when considering dynamic and rewarding career paths. Let’s explore the hidden potential and myriad opportunities within that water sector…

(Wanna get direct water job insights from a specialized head hunter? Then listen to this episode’s twin here)

with πŸŽ™οΈ Kendra Morris – President Northeast Region at Veolia North America

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New Year, New You, New Water Job?

Featured - New Year - New You - New Water Job - Lyle King - Influx Search

Happy New Year! With the start of a new year, it’s the perfect time to look at new job opportunities, especially in the water industry. This field is about to see a big change. Many experienced people are retiring, leaving room for new talent to step in. This change, often called the ‘silver tsunami,’ is a big deal for the water sector. But it’s not just about people leaving; it’s also about new chances for innovation and technology.

This is where you come in. Whether you’re just starting out or looking to shift gears in your career, the water industry offers exciting and important job opportunities. Let’s talk about all the changes happening in the water world and what they mean for jobs. From understanding the impact of retiring experts to the growing role of technology, we’ll (hopefully!) cover it all. If you’re curious about where a career in water can take you, read on!

(Wanna get direct water job insights while reading? Then listen to the dedicated podcast episode ⬇️)

with πŸŽ™οΈ Lyle King – Owner & Director at Influx Search

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These 5 Water Technologies Mitigate CO2 Emissions 5000x Better than Trees

Featured - Water Technologies to Mitigate CO2 and Carbon Emissions

Let’s explore five paths a water professional can follow to reduce the water sector’s carbon impacts.

This year alone, I’ve traveled to six continents, I’ve taken 56 planes, and I’ve emitted nearly 12 tons of CO2 equivalent from that alone.

As I started having a hard time looking my kids in the eye and telling them I was doing all of that for good, I decided to compensate for my carbon emissions by planting trees! 

We’ve had that dead tree in the garden for two years now, so I could totally uproot and replace it with a couple of new ones and balance out my travels, right? 

So I looked up what gargantuan amount of CO2 a tree could absorb in a year to figure out how much I should plant in my garden, and… I have a problem.

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How to Buy a Water Company (and Turn in a Profit)

S10E10 - Featured - How to buy a Water Company and turn in a Profit

I dived into 23 years of M&A records in theΒ Water Industry (and sat down with a bunch of first-hand experts πŸ˜‰): 3 major trends stand out:

1️⃣ The most active players are American utility consolidators. Within the top 10 M&A fanatics, 6 respond to this description, and a 7th is also consolidating utilities (although not in the US).

2️⃣ There’s a new wave of “Water Tech Aggregators” that’s rising under the lead of SKion Water, Nijhuis Saur Industries and Evoqua Water Technologies.

3️⃣ 12 companies are playing the “Wayne Huizenga” game – super actively consolidating a very specific section of the water food chain.

with πŸŽ™οΈ Tom Rooney – Chairman at Sciens Water

with πŸŽ™οΈ Alex Buehler – CEO at Integrated Water Services

with πŸŽ™οΈ Damian Georgino – Partner at Womble Bond Dickinson

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Coding the Future: Ginkgo Bioworks’ Synthesis of Biology and Technology

Featured 2 - Gingko Bioworks - Kimberly Kupiecki

Dive into the microscopic world where Ginkgo Bioworks is redefining the boundaries of biotechnology, transforming cells into high-performance solutions for the water industry and beyond. In this episode, we unravel the revolutionary tech that’s turning biological cells into the next-generation toolkit for environmental sustainability.

with πŸŽ™οΈ Kimberly Kupiecki – Senior Director at Gingko Bioworks

πŸ’§ Ginkgo Bioworks is the software company for biology, coding DNA to create custom cells that solve real-world problems.

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Is Big Media Failing Us, or Are We Failing the Water Folks?

Featured - J. Carl Ganter - Circle of Blue

We’re diving deep into a topic that’s been swept under the rug for far too long: the media’s coverage of water issues – or lack thereof. Are journalists dropping the ball, or is the water sector failing to make its case?

with πŸŽ™οΈ J. Carl Ganter – Managing Director at Circle of Blue

πŸ’§ Circle of Blue is an award-winning team of leading journalists, scientists, data experts, communications designers, and facilitators that reports challenges and solutions to global resource issues with emphasis on the fierce and growing competition between Water, food, and energy in a changing climate.

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The REAL Ocean Killer is in your Closet!

Adam Root, CEO & Founder of Matter, a Microplastics removal company

It’s not the plastic straws! The greatest threat to the Oceans that’s living in all our homes is more discreet but much more harmful: it’s the washing machine. 30% of the plastic that enters the sea every year is actually microplastics, and a good chunk of it gets emitted when we wash synthetic fabric at home. What can and shall we do about it? Let’s find out:

with πŸŽ™οΈ Adam Root – CEO & Founder at Matter

πŸ’§ Matter is an innovation company pioneering technology solutions for capturing, harvesting, and recycling microplastics

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The $500 Million Bio-based Bet: Kemira’s Growth Accelerator Unveiled

Featured - Tuija Pohjolainen Hiltunen - Kemira - 500 million dollars of biobased raw materials by 2030

What happens when chemistry meets purpose, and sustainability isn’t just a buzzword but a $500 million bet? That’s the riddle we dive into today, as water treatment is getting a revolutionary makeoverβ€”from purpose-driven chemistry to game-changing partnerships, all while making a bold leap into a bio-based future.

with πŸŽ™οΈ Tuija Pohjolainen-Hiltunen – President Industry and Water Segment at Kemira

πŸ’§ Kemira markets safe and sustainable chemistries that are part of a good life, ensuring hygiene, safe water, food safety, and more.

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How Open Innovation Fueled Evoqua’s Resurrection: Steal that Growth Template!

Featured - Ann Perreault & Joshua Griffis - Open Innovation - Evoqua Water Technologies

Let’s unpack Evoqua’s intricate approach to Open Innovation – a strategy that significantly optimizes technological adoption and capital efficiency. We’ll get an expert breakdown, offering insights into strategic intellectual property development, the nuances of their merger and acquisition strategies, and why the Product Vitality Index should become your next key performance indicator:

with πŸŽ™οΈ Ann Perreault – Vice President for Strategic Marketing & Growth at Evoqua Water Technologies

with πŸŽ™οΈ Joshua Griffis – Director of Technology & Innovation at Evoqua Water Technologies

πŸ’§ Evoqua is a global leader in helping municipalities and industrial customers protect and improve the world’s most fundamental natural resource: water

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Growing 10 Wonder Kids from 5 to 50 Clients with 0 Equity: Xylem’s Weirdest Move?

Featured 2 - Max Storto - Xylem Innovation Labs - Growing 10 Wonder Kids from 5 to 50 Clients with 0 Equity! Xylem's Weirdest Move?

You may recall how we covered the Xylem Innovation Labs’ inception last year with Sivan Zamir, which led to many questions as to how they actually work! Let’s open the hood and explore how Xylem scouts the best prospects, multiplies their commercial references by 10 and propels them to new heights all of that… without taking any equity. Crazy? Let’s review:

with πŸŽ™οΈ Max Storto – Lead Innovation Analyst at Xylem Innovation Labs

πŸ’§ Xylem is one of the largest water and wastewater technology company globally and follows the simple motto: “Let’s solve water”

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Will AI Prompt Us To Build A Sustainable Future?

Featured - Will AI Prompt Us To Build A Sustainable Future?

Is AI a force for good or a double-edged sword? In this comprehensive look, we’ll discuss everything from the ethics of AI to its transformative role in sustainability. Are you ready to understand the complexities of an “AI Sustainable Future?” Let’s dive right in:

with πŸŽ™οΈ Alice Schmidt, MBA lecturer, Adviser to the European Commission, and non-profit organizations like Extinction Rebellion, Protect our Winters, and Chair of the Board of Endeva e.V.

with πŸŽ™οΈ Claudia Winkler, CEO, and co-founder of Goood Mobile, Europe’s first B-Corp Certified telecom provider, and a Founding Partner of Adjacent Possible Network.

πŸ’§ Alice and Claudia had been with us for their first book “the Sustainability Puzzle,” and are back for an in-depth exploration of the AI world and its potential impact on Societal Progress and a Sustainable Future. Which is the topic of their second book: Fast Forward, written with Florian SchΓΌtz and Jeroen Dobbelaere.

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The Bill Gates Jewel that Pivoted from Water to Chemical Free Lithium Refining

Featured 2 - Saad Dara - Mangrove Lithium - Lithium Refining Without Chemicals By a Bill Gates Scale Up

Mangrove Lithium started as a Water Technology play, yet it rapidly became evident that Lithium refining was an even stronger product market fit! Mangrove’s clever pivot was rapidly rewarded with a powerful business angel: Breakthrough Energy Ventures. What’s so sexy about electrochemical lithium refining that it attracted Bill Gates? Let’s explore:

with πŸŽ™οΈ Saad Dara – CEO and Founder of Mangrove Lithium

πŸ’§ Mangrove Lithium produces battery-grade lithium hydroxide or carbonate from a wide array of raw sources

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How to Foster Innovation and Agility when you’re the World’s Largest Water Company

Featured - Glenn Vicevic - Veolia Water Technologies and Solutions - Keeping the Innovation Pace as a World's Largest Water Company

Everybody wants to be the big dog one day! But how do you ensure staying on top once you’ve secured the number 1? That’s what we explore today, as we prove innovation to be key, at the intersection of membrane filtration, digital twins, and sustainability. Let’s wander the ever-evolving landscape of the global water industry and its pressing challenges, with a very special guide:

with πŸŽ™οΈ Glenn Vicevic – CTO at Veolia Water Technologies & Solutions

πŸ’§ Veolia WTS provides Industry-leading water technology and process expertise to solve the toughest water, wastewater, and process challenges

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