BREW Accelerator Application - Corporate
Submission Deadline07/26/2016

A. O. Smith, The Water Council to sponsor BREW Corporate technology challenge

A. O. Smith Corporation and The Water Council are partnering to identify and support entrepreneurs and start-ups developing innovative freshwater technologies through a global technology challenge, BREW Corporate: Powered by A. O. Smith.

The challenge focuses on the following areas of interest to A. O. Smith:

  • Water purification - Higher-efficiency reverse osmosis technologies to prevent fouling and scaling, cost-effective salt- and additive-free water softening technologies, and advanced residential and light commercial water treatment technologies for the removal of heavy metals, organic chemicals, and microbiological contaminants;
  • Water heating - technologies that improve the energy efficiency of non-powered atmospheric gas-fired water heaters, technologies/products that increase thermal energy storage in water heaters without reducing the life of the heater; and
  • Sensors - cost-effective, real-time heavy-metal sensor technologies for micro to medium flow applications, advanced water flow sensor technologies for micro to medium flow applications.

To be considered, an entrepreneur or start-up must complete this online application. The deadline for entries is 11:59 p.m. CDT on July 20, 2016.

All entries will be reviewed by a panel of A. O. Smith personnel, The Water Council senior staff, and subject matter experts in the area of freshwater science. Recipients will be notified in August; the fall BREW Corporate (Business. Research. Entrepreneurship. In Wisconsin) program begins the week of September 12, 2016. You (and key team members, if any) must be willing and able to live in Milwaukee for one year starting September 12, 2016.

Application Guidelines:

  • BREW Corporate is seeking technologies with the highest potential to succeed commercially, regardless of the current stage of development.
  • Your idea must be thought through and have completed some customer interviews.
  • Your idea has a market place and/or you need assistance from the BREW to define your market.
  • Use the investor and technology readiness levels in the application (We are open to numerous phases in your start-up, what is important is to be accurate).
  • You have a minimal viable product or are close to building one.
  • Complete your application online, not email, and answer all required questions. You are a start-up, not a small business with revenue, that is launching a new product.

Judging Process:

  • Round One – review of applications: Mid-July
  • Round Two – invite-only pitch via web-based tool: Late July/Early August
  • Final Selections: Late August
  • Move in the Global Water Center in Milwaukee: 1st Full Week of September
  • Program Begins: 2nd Week of September

Recipients will receive a minimum investment of $50,000 from A. O. Smith as well as tuition to participate in The Water Council’s 12-month accelerator program in Milwaukee. The accelerator program includes the following:

  • Six-month start-up school
    • Business model and operations training through The Water Council
    • Access to faculty and students from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School for Freshwater Sciences and Marquette University
  • One-year lease for office space in the Global Water Center
  • Access to the Global Water Center’s Flow Lab and A. O. Smith product engineering labs
  • One-year membership to The Water Council, providing access to an extensive water technology network
    • Your business showcased at The Water Council’s Annual Water Summit and member meetings
    • Attendance at conferences and pitch sessions with The Water Council
  • Access to investors
  • Mentorship from A. O. Smith corporate development and senior engineering staff
  • Direct access to BREW Preferred Partners:
    • Wipfli LLP
    • GRAEF
    • Michael Best & Friedrich LLP
    • Watrhub
    • JPMorgan Chase & Co.
    • Sage Water
    • Milwaukee Institute
    • Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation
    • University of Wisconsin – Whitewater, Institute for Water Business
    • University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, School of Freshwater Science
    • University of Wisconsin – Madison, Law and Entrepreneurship Clinic
    • Marquette University – Law and Entrepreneurship Clinic

About BREW (Business. Research. Entrepreneurship. In Wisconsin.) Accelerator
BREW Accelerator, a program of The Water Council, is a world-class seed accelerator that unleashes water innovation by funding water technology startups with commercialization potential. The first-of-its-kind accelerator pairs a unique water-focused startup community with credible resources of the World Water Hub to help entrepreneurs from around the world accelerate results. Now in its fourth year, BREW has sponsored a total of 20 freshwater technology companies. An expansion of the BREW Accelerator program, BREW Corporate partners with global corporations looking for new technologies to solve a specific challenge.

About A. O. Smith
A. O. Smith Corporation, with headquarters in Milwaukee, Wis., is a global leader applying innovative technology and energy-efficient solutions to products manufactured and marketed worldwide. The company is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of residential and commercial water heating equipment and boilers, as well as a manufacturer of water treatment products. For more information, visit

About The Water Council
The Water Council was established in 2009 by Milwaukee-area businesses, education and government leaders. The nonprofit organization, consisting of more than 180 members, links together global water technology companies, innovative water entrepreneurs, acclaimed academic research programs and, most importantly, some of the nation’s brightest and most energetic water professionals. The Water Council is capturing the attention of the world and transforming the Milwaukee region into a World Water Hub for freshwater research, economic development and education. For more information, visit

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