SWFF Program & Innovator News
February 21, 2017
Getting There, Even If It's Hard: Lessons Learned from a SWFF Water-Ag Innovator 
Social entrepreneurs generally have their minds set on one very important goal when they start their business: They want to create impact. But one thing we don't all necessarily think about is how long it takes. 

At Si Technologies, whose leading product is NewSil, impact has meant protecting farmers around the world and their crops against increasingly common droughts that devastate local communities. While it's taken the company a number of years to get where they are, they tell other social entrepreneurs: "Change is a long haul, but don't give up."
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Innovator News
aQysta Named in Forbes 30 Under 30

SWFF innovator aQysta, maker of the Barsha pump, was honored recently in the  Forbes 30 Under 30 social entrepreneurs category. Co-founders Lennart Budelmann and Pratap Thapa were awarded this designation for their work in enhancing food security with the Barsha pump, a hydro-powered irrigation technology. 

Currently looking for product distributors, the company was also previously named the most innovative cleantech startup by the Climate-KIC Venture Competition.
 
aQysta  strives to develop technologies that provide economic benefits without hampering the environment and can empower society towards prosperity. The Barsha pump is an innovative solution for farmers to irrigate their fields without using any fuel or electricity.

SWFF Innovator Maximizes the Value of Acceleration Technical Assistance

Securing Water for Food (SWFF) Technical Assistance Facility service provider Imagine H2O assisted SWFF innovator Green Heat with an investor pitch deck and a marketing strategy to scale their operations.

Green Heat Managing Director Vianney Tumwesige used these tools in his recent conversations with angel investors, and the meeting resulted in a convertible loan investment of 51,000.

"We are privileged to get this much needed technical assistance from SWFF. These important foundational components increased investor confidence in the business. We maximized the value of this support to strengthen our team, stimulate company-wide ownership, and change our thinking about who's responsible for the sustainability of our organization," Vianney noted. 

Green Heat generates biofuel, a form of alternative energy by converting waste into energy to reduce the reliance on non-sustainable biomass and mitigate deforestation.
SWFF Updates
SWFF Delegation Will Hold a "Global Agriprenuers Summit" at the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in South Africa

During the 
Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC) in Johannesburg, South Africa March 13-17, SWFF and partners will hold the Global Agr
ipreneurs Summit, a joint collaboration with Future Agro Challenge/Industry Disruptors. The Summit connects innovators with investors and implementing partners who can support innovator growth and scale their impact. Industry Disruptors will facilitate the program and provide coaching for innovators making business pitches and showcasing their technologies at the innovation marketplace.

During the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in March, SWFF will announce the winners of the Fourth Global Call for Innovations. Over the next few weeks, the evaluation team will complete the final stages of the evaluation process. 

All SWFF innovators, including the Round Four winners, several SWFF alumni, founding partner representatives, and the SWFF TA Facility will be participating in the event. 

SWFF Advocate Chris Holmes' USAID Departure

With the transition of the administration, Obama appointee Chris Holmes, Deputy Assistant Administrator, Global Water Coordinator, USAID Bureau for Economic Growth, Education and Empowerment has left the Agency on January 17.

Known for his frequent and meaningful interactions with the SWFF team and SWFF innovators, Chris was an invested partner and tireless advocate for Securing Water for Food. We value his inputs and greatly appreciate his ardent support in helping us to meet the challenge of improving the lives of millions in great need of water for food.  
Opportunities
Funding and Competitions
  • Gray Matters Capital (GMC) believes that the most worthwhile strategy is to invest in people and high-impact, investible ideas. Every 60 days, GMC extends an invitation to entrepreneurs to pitch their team for investment funding and provides winners with investment capital ($10,000 - $100,000). Learn more here.
  • The 2017 Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition's 2017 YES! (Young Earth Solutions) Research Grant Competition seeks groundbreaking research ideas that have a high impact potential for the sustainability of food systems. Emerging experts are encouraged to submit studies that are innovative, have a promise of significant impact, and can meet global research needs. Project submissions can be related to new or ongoing research.

    Proposals must be submitted online through the BCFN website by June 28, 2017, 11:59 pm CET. Winners receive a €20,000 research grant for a one-year investigation. 
Resources
Articles, Tools & Publications
1001 Words
 
SWFF Innovators  FutureWater  and  MyRain  were featured in USAID's recently published  Safeguarding the World's Water: Report of Water Sector Activities, which details the Agency's investments and efforts in WASH and nutrition, agricultural water management, sustainability of WASH services; sanitation; and water quality.