Water Entrepreneurs

Water Entrepreneurs

By Lauren Wesche

“We are all part of the water system”

Thursday’s event at Galvanize in Denver was centered around this message and the innovations in the water industry that are pertinent to Colorado’s sustainability future. TAP-IN Colorado, Galvanize, and Denver Botanic Gardens hosted the event that featured some of the industry’s most flourishing startups including Rachio, TERSUS, and Water Sage.

Greg Fisher of Denver Water made a quick appearance before the panel to reiterate the importance of finding low energy, cost efficient solutions to capturing water. TAP-IN Colorado, also prefixed the panelists to speak about the “Blue Economy” and how creative collaboration sits front and center in the discussion on water conservation.

The panel, directed by Mara MacKillop from the Colorado Water Conservation Board, posed questions on success, challenges, and impact that each business has had in the last few years. 

Water Sage, the brainchild of Ponderosa Advisors, LLC, was represented by managing partner Kelly Bennett at the event. The mission of Water Sage is centered primarily around making crucial information accessible and transparent to the applicable sectors. Bennett explained that Water Sage is data driven, granular, and comprised of experts passionate about reforming the way we look at water resources in Colorado and beyond. Bennett emphasized the value of data and efficiency and the importance of adapting to the perpetually changing landscape of water. Water Sage measures their success by their impact on people; a powerful message that resonated with the other speakers.

Rachio, represented by its Founder Chris Klein, is a Denver-based company whose vision is to provide homeowners with an affordable and sustainable way to have beautiful landscapes. Rachio’s first product, Iro, a smart Wifi sprinkler controller, was introduced to the market as a user-friendly and technology based way to control personal water use. As of May 12, 2017, Iro has saved 3,002,287,422 (that is over 3 Billion) gallons of water through its customized yard watering schedule that can be controlled from a smartphone. This cloud-based software optimizes water supply by gathering information on weather forecasts, sun exposure, and soil/plant types to implement a more sustainable watering schedule. Klein spoke about success at Rachio being characterized by the initial impact on people and the essential impact on the landscape of water.

Richard Kinsman of TERSUS Solutions touched on many different facets in the water conservation industry and how a strong conviction drives one’s purpose. TERSUS is a Denver-based startup known for creating a water-free and dryer-free alternative for the textile cleaning industry, one of the largest culprits of water pollution. This alternative utilizes liquid carbon dioxide to help eliminate wastewater, prolong garment life, and lower energy demand and operating costs. Kinsman measures success by the deployment of TERSUS systems which in turn impacts the landscape of our water sources. 

The Denver Botanic Gardens representative followed the panelists by speaking about the Garden’s Water Stewardship Program that is continuously making strides in water-efficient agriculture and gardening practices. The event clearly emphasized each company’s individual and collective efforts to further progress water conservation within Colorado and engage with the public about this important topic.