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Region's first water tech demo day launches at Union Hall

A different breed of demo day started its engine in StartupCincy on Thursday night. Pipeline H2O, the region’s first water-technology-focused accelerator in the region, put a cap on the end of its inaugural class and held their first demo day in Union Hall.

Before a packed room of more than 100 friends, family members, investors, city officials and curious minds, five startups and one non-profit took the stage to present their businesses for the first time after a 15-week program in the Hamilton-based accelerator.

In February, Pipeline set out with the mission to commercialize the world’s leading water-based startup technologies. By leveraging the country’s premier public-private water innovation cluster, the accelerator provided customers unparalleled access to mentorship and support. Pipeline’s unique go-to-market platform also allowed startups to pilot locally and deploy globally.

Most importantly, Thursday’s demo day felt different than a run-of-the-mill demo day. The companies that took the stage Thursday carried significant impact. From providing clean water to tens of thousands in disaster situations to modernizing chemical water testing to just making clean water more accessible, each presenter had a solution to a big, hairy water problem from around the globe.

An immediate impact

When looking at the Pipeline cohort, no example of immediate impact is stronger than the application of kW River Hydroelectric. kW River is a Hamilton-based startup with a patented, micro-turbine device designed to create energy from water that flows over low-level dams.

The special part about kW River’s product? It’s already planned for use on the Great Miami River in Hamilton in 2017.

“To be able to see this come to fruition on a river literally 100 yards from where our building is, is pretty exciting,” said Antony Seppi, “director of flow” for Pipeline H2O. Seppi is also the operations director at The Hamilton Mill, the Hamilton-based accelerator that housed the Pipeline H2O cohort.

Immediate impact wasn’t limited to the region. Another class member, PowerTech Water, was granted a $200,000 investment from the Clean Energy Trust just days before the Demo Day event.

PowerTech Water developed disruptive water filtration technology aimed at reducing treatment costs for water-intensive industries – including Kentucky’s bourbon distilleries.

A different event “prize”

Pipeline H2O also introduced its audience to a different format for judging a demo day – a pair of peer-selected “winners.”

Voted on by peers in the program, Pipeline H2O announced two winners of a $25,000 prize. Class I’s winners were PowerTech Water and Searen, a vacuum-based technology that removes impurities in water.

To catch up on full event coverage from the Demo Day, head to StartupCincy and Pipeline H2O’s Twitter timelines.

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