Nestlé Waters North America has announced it is joining the Beta Partners program of water innovation non-profit Imagine H20.
The goal of IH2O, a so-called “water accelerator,” is to “provide entrepreneurs with the resources, insight and visibility needed to launch and scale water solutions,” according to a press release.
The Beta Partner program focuses on “developing and deploying early-stage water technology,” and includes companies such as General Electric, Lagunitas Brewing Company, Organic Valley and Earthbound Farm Organic.
In an interview with BevNET, Nelson Switzer, Chief Sustainability Officer for Nestlé Waters North America, said the program would allow the company to tap into ideas and innovations that address Nestle’s core sustainability principles of water stewardship, packaging, energy and community value.
“As Beta Partners, we have an opportunity to sit down with entrepreneurs and innovators and share what our challenges are,” said Switzer.
In addition to general guidance, Switzer noted that entrepreneurs working with Nestlé would potentially have opportunities to test their technologies at company facilities. He also left the door open for further collaborations, funding or formal commercial partnerships between Nestlé and those participating in the IH20 accelerator.
“We would never turn away an opportunity to provide either commercial value, environmental value or to stimulate growth,” said Switzer. “We see a huge opportunity — and a responsibility — in North America to shepherd along the next economic revolution while ensuring the sustainability of our resources.”
The full press release is below:
Stamford, Conn. and San Francisco, Calif. — September 27, 2016 — Nestlé Waters North America today announced that it is partnering with Imagine H2O® (IH2O), the water innovation accelerator, to help provide entrepreneurs with the resources, insight and visibility needed to launch and scale water solutions. IH2O is a nonprofit organization empowering people to deploy and develop water innovation to solve water challenges
Nestlé Waters joins IH2O’s “Beta Partner” program, a global network of sector leaders focused on developing and deploying early-stage water technology.
“Providing entrepreneurs with access to customers in strategic markets is critical to our programming,” said Scott Bryan, President, Imagine H2O. “For the beverage industry, engaging water technology startups is an opportunity to advance the market for water innovation and support new solutions to water resource challenges.
“Population growth, urbanization and increasingly volatile weather patterns continue to present challenges with respect to our shared water resources. We must identify and encourage innovation to overcome these challenges,” added Nelson Switzer, Chief Sustainability Officer for Nestlé Waters North America. “Imagine H2O offers its partners an exclusive channel to engage with emerging water entrepreneurs whose technologies have been vetted for both commercial viability and impact. Perhaps more importantly, the Imagine H2O network helps commercialize these critical innovations.”
Since 2009, IH2O has supported over 550 startups in more than 30 countries across a diverse range of sectors, including food and agriculture, water and wastewater treatment, quality monitoring, and water data and analytics. IH2O’s accelerator participants represent one in every 10 dollars of early-stage investment in the water industry.
Nestlé Waters North America is a committed water steward. This includes responsible water management practices and collective action that strive to sustain the quality and quantity of water where the company operates. Nestlé Waters believes it must create shared environmental, social and economic value in the communities where it sources spring water and operates its facilities.
Nestlé Waters North America joins IH2O’s global network of leading organizations in the industrial, agricultural and municipal sectors committed to supporting water entrepreneurs and innovators. The network provides members with accesses to vetted startups and technologies addressing critical water issues.
About Imagine H2O
Imagine H2O (IH2O), the water innovation accelerator, empowers people to deploy and develop innovation to solve water challenges. Recognized as a proven path-to-market for emerging water technology businesses, IH2O partners with leading customers and investors to support entrepreneurs globally. In 2016, IH2O announced a multi-year water data commitment at the White House Water Summit. The initiative supports data-driven solutions in water through a series of programs, including the 2017 California Water Policy Challenge. Join us at www.imagineh2o.org.
About Nestlé Waters North America
Nestlé Waters North America provides people with an unrivaled portfolio of bottled waters for healthy hydration. Brands such as Nestlé® Pure Life®, Poland Spring®, Perrier® and S.Pellegrino® have driven Nestlé Waters North America to be the third largest non-alcoholic beverage company by volume in the U.S. Based in Stamford, Connecticut with about 8,500 employees nationwide, Nestlé Waters is committed to reducing its environmental footprint across its operations. The company is also committed to creating shared value and being a good neighbor in the 140 communities where it operates in the U.S.