A Magazine About Food, Art & Exchange In Midtown Kingston, Published By The Hudson Valley Current.

Venture Fest: SUNY New Paltz

The Venture Fest at SUNY New Paltz on October 13th will be a showcase of many of the makers and innovators in our region. One exciting component of the day-long educational event is the Evergreen Water Solutions Accelerator. The Evergreen Water Solutions Accelerator supports cohorts of early-stage companies addressing water challenges with innovative manufactured products and software technology.

Now, you may be asking yourself, what’s the big deal about water? And why should we care now? And the answer to both questions is that the US and the world as a whole is currently facing urgent water challenges due to four key issues: climate change, aging infrastructure, worsening pollution, and environmental justice impacts. 

The Hudson Valley has been a watershed for New York City since 1830, providing the world’s largest supply of unfiltered drinking water to a large urban center. As a result, the HV has amassed strong industry knowledge and collaborative problem-solving relationships, to manage generations of technology and infrastructure. The region has a wealth of resources addressing critical water problems, and is positioned to be a test bed of diverse demonstration sites and a global showcase of innovative and scalable water solutions. 

This is where the Evergreen Water Solutions Accelerator comes in. This strategic initiative co-founded by GCSEN Foundation and Sustainable Hudson Valley, and in partnership with Ulster County, is currently building a broad coalition of investors and public and private sector water experts as well as leveraging the nine-year proven accelerator model of its partner, gener8tor, a top 15 nationally ranked business accelerator. 

As a cohort based program, Evergreen will work with six cohorts over three years, each cohort with their own individual theme such as Emergency Management [Mitigation, Preparedness, Response, Recovery], Water Conservation, Water Purification, Water Pollution Prevention [from point and nonpoint sources], Water Data & Analytics, Aging and Vulnerable Infrastructure [wastewater treatment plants, municipal pipes], Water Scarcity, Ag & Water, Energy & Water, and Ocean Cleanup [plastics, microplastics]). Evergreen is developing an $8.5M fund that will invest in 42 high growth startups (24 with manufactured products, 18 with software products). Fifty percent of this investment capital must be spent with HV services providers, resulting in $2.8M in new money injected into the local economy. 

By balancing social and economic impact with return for investors, Evergreen will strive to help solve the world’s most challenging water problems, make a significant positive impact on the HV local economy , grow the vitality of the HV manufacturing ecosystem, increase business retention as non-local startups engage with HV services providers, and help the HV become globally recognized as a showcase of water solutions, talent, and thought leadership. To learn more about the Evergreen Water Solutions Accelerator contact Tony DiMarco, GCSEN Managing Director at tony@gcsen.com.