dws-wtf-poster-770pxInvestors from all over the world have already signed in for the Invest Tour along 14 stages in the Netherlands where startups in different sectors will pitch their business plans.

On 25 May the tour will attend the WaterCampus Leeuwarden, the Netherlands, where the spotlights will be on entrepreneurs and their innovative water technology products and ideas.

Water Tech Fest is one of the stages of Startup Fest Europe, an official event of the Dutch presidency of the European Union on mobile, web, IoT, eCommerce, agritech, hardware, water, energy, digital health, navigation and robotics.

A full day programme will offer the floor to inspiring success stories, but above all to matchmaking between entrepreneurs, investors and end-users.

dws-wtf-gasson-gws-athens-2015-350px  Plenary speaker Christopher Gasson of GWI magazine will address the typical challenges of the global water sector.

Irrigating the valley of death
According to the organizers the 'valley of death' in the water sector is in need of some irrigation. One of the plenary speakers, Christopher Gasson, publisher of the monthly magazine Global Water Intelligence, fully agrees. He believes too that the global water market is very difficult for startups.

"First there is the emphasize on public service and health. This makes water utilities risk avoidance. Making profit is not their main driver", says Gasson.

"Then there is the issue of the fragmentation. There are over 300.000 water utilities in the world, mainly small ones and not looking for innovative technologies", he continues. "It takes huge expenses for innovators to find customers and roll out their technology worldwide."

According to Gasson special events where inventors, investors and end-users meet, can help to bridge the gap.

dws-wtf-hydrowashr-350pxThe Hydrowashr can wash your hands in 15 seconds - and dry them - using 95 percent less water.

Standups, startups and scaleups
Alex Berhitu, head of the organizing committee of Water Tech Fest and coordinator business development at Water Alliance, highlights the unique set up of the event. "We address all three stages from idea, to prototyping to scale up. In these different stages innovators have different needs. By identifying these different needs we want to improve the quality of the matchmaking".

Berhitu reports a large interest from all over Europe. "Next to the Netherlands, we have participating innovators from many other European countries, such as Switzerland, Finland, France, United Kingdom, Sweden and Hungary."

The stories include a wide variety of water technologies. Next to water treatment, there will also be attention for extreme water efficient technologies such as Hydrowashr and Upfall Shower. Both solutions save over 90 percent in water use for hand washing and showering.

There is still room in the programme for a few more ambitious standups, startups or scaleups. Additional investors and launching customers are warmly welcomed, as well as anybody interested in innovative water technology.

dws-wtf-wetsus-building-350px  Water Tech Fest takes place in the iconic building of Wetsus at the WaterCampus Leeuwarden.

Inspirational event
The event is part of the overall European event that will be kicked off in Amsterdam on 24 May in the presence of Tim Cook (CEO Apple) and Travis Kalanick (CEO Uber).

The organization of Water Tech Fest Leeuwarden is a joint effort of StartupDelta, DoeFonds, Fsfe, Startup Europe, Netherlands Water Partnership, partners of WaterCampus Leeuwarden, Water Alliance, Wetsus.

Water Tech Fest is supported by FB Oranjewoud, the Province of Fryslân and the City of Leeuwarden.

Read also on this website
EIP Water conference: Start-ups and innovation is a difficult mix in a fragmented water sector, 11 February 2016
Wetsus passes mark of 100 companies participating in water technology research, 29 September 2015
WaterCampus Leeuwarden expands global network by participation in UN cities programme, 19 December 2014

More information
Water Tech Fest

Startup Fest Europe (overall programme)