SWFF Program & Innovator News
Oct. 2, 2018
SWFF Graduates Share Lessons Learned at "Unconference"

The annual "unconference" is an event led and facilitated by innovators to share and learn.

In celebration of Securing Water for Food's 5th anniversary and the program's achievements, SWFF innovators, graduates, founding partners, and others convened in Stockholm, Sweden at World Water Week.

In the closing panel presentation led by Dr. Ku McMahan, four SWFF graduates shared lessons learned during their tenure with the program and reflected on their experiences after graduating. "Programs like this are an incredible source of support," said Pratap Thapa, a founder of aQysta. "It is important to hear that others are experiencing the same struggles that we have and to be able to share with other people from the same field."
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  • SWFF Innovators Reduce Water Consumption by 11.4 Billion LitersSWFF's 2018 Semi-Annual Report highlights successes in the last six months and opportunities for growth. The report details SWFF innovators' impact to date, major program achievements and challenges, and the solutions developed to address those challenges.
  • aQysta in the Opening Plenary of World World Week 2018Commercial Director of aQysta, Pratap Thapa, was one of the speakers at the opening plenary of World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden this August. The Honorable Christine Nkulikiyinka, Ambassador for Rwanda to Sweden, lead the panel, and Mr. Thapa talked about how the Barsha Pump can solve water irrigation issues and help farmers save on operating costs that usually occur with standard water pumping.
  • Building a New Model of Acceleration While Building a Community. SWFF has released a case study investigating the program's development and results. The study covers topics from SWFF's inception, initial vision, and how their models for supporting innovation were formed, to their impact five years later and lessons they have learned. "We've learned what we're really good at," said one TA Facility staff member, "We know where we can add value." Read the case study here.
  • Communities come together for Conservation and Livestock Management. In Kruger National Park, South Africa, the Ahitiriheleni Cooperative signed a Conservation Agreement with Conservation South Africa (CSA). This agreement will allow CSA to better manage the area's communal rangeland, while providing locally produced cattle fodder during the dry season to Cooperative members, as well as assistance in accessing markets to sell livestock through the Meat Naturally Pty (MNP) initiative.
  • 18 Entrepreneurs Share Their Thoughts on the Future of Women Entrepreneurs. Women entrepreneurs are on the rise. This is partly due to improvements in technology that help scale online visibility and allow easier collaboration. As more women leave the corporate world to become entrepreneurs, programs and business coaches to support such women are emerging. Does this imply a bright future for women entrepreneurs? Read more  here.
  • Lean Data Approaches to Social Impact. SWFF gave a presentation on monitoring and evaluation (M&E) for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). The webinar was for IEEE's Special Interest Group on Humanitarian Technology (SIGHT) program, which brings together a network of IEEE members and volunteers who identify and address local problems by applying their technical skills and partnering with their local communities. The presentation was led by Dr. Ku McMahan, USAID lead for SWFF, as well as program coordinator Cassy Rodriguez and M&E specialist Saad Usmani. Watch the recorded webinar to learn what M&E is, why it is important, and approaches and ideas you can apply to your own work.
  • Applications for the Yield Lab North America 2019 Accelerator are open. The Yield Lab works to enable entrepreneurs to sustainably revolutionize agrifood systems by investing in and accelerating high-impact, early-stage companies all around the world. Their accelerator program will award 6-8 agrifood tech startups $100k equity investment, as well as 1-on-1 mentorship, cohort-based accelerator programming, and access to their global network. Applications are open now through October 8th.
  • A Call for Proposals from the Water Research Commission. The WRC is looking for submissions for projects around data and/or water collaboration across boundaries in southern Africa. There are three different calls for proposals, each offering from R 1.4 to R 2 million. Click here to submit your proposals.
  • What Should You Send a VC Before Your Meeting? One of the hardest things to know when you're new to fundraising is what you're supposed to send to an investor and when. Mark Suster, managing partner at Upfront Ventures offers useful guidance on pitching  here
1001 Words

Moses [on the right] the very first customer of the Barsha pump in Malawi. The Barsha pump will help his banana crops fight the coming dry season without any fuel or electricity costs.