INNOVATE 4 WATER Marketplace 2020

This event has been postponed due to current advice relating to COVID-19. A future date will be confirmed in the coming weeks.

“Innovate 4 Water” is Australia’s contribution to strengthen water nexus sectors in the Asia-Pacific region.



What is the marketplace about?

“Innovate 4 Water” is two days of matchmaking, bringing together solutions and needs, curated into investment focused themes.

The design and delivery of “Innovate 4 Water” is unique and effective because the event:

  • is outcome oriented
  • will have 100% active participation
  • is highly curated
  • has a business-networking focus.

Why “Innovate 4 Water”?

The “Innovate 4 Water” marketplace fosters interactions between global and local players from the private sector, the public sector and the civil society to shift financing towards innovative impactful local solutions.

What are the expected outcomes?

The expected outcome of “Innovate 4 Water”  is a strong reinforcement of the local ecosystems around water resource management, including water, sanitation and water-dependent sectors. The marketplace accelerates commercially sustainable change by:

  • creating visibility to established technological solutions and business models, local solution providers and local investors
  • attracting higher levels of blended investments outside of donor and aid funding
  • transferring water sector and water-dependent knowledge and innovation
  • forming meaningful partnerships and cross-sectoral collaborations
  • driving economic growth and improving access to water and sanitation in the targeted region.

“Innovate 4 Water” organisers, in conjunction with the Office of the Queensland Chief Entrepreneur, will coach participants on the day before the marketplace. We will also run a special pitching session for start-ups on the day after the marketplace.

Who should attend?

“Innovate 4 Water” is particularly relevant for:  

  • SMEs and multinational companies working in water-dependent sector
  • utilities and civil engineering
  • investors (banking, asset management, private banking, corporates, venture capital and private equity)
  • primary and manufacturing industries
  • institutions working in water-dependent sector (foundations, coalitions and associations)
  • non-government and governmental organisations, national and local
  • universities, incubators and research institutions.

Sequence and organisation

The event will be dynamic, interactive and innovative, consisting of short pitches and networking discussions, and an exhibition with an extra day for pitch coaching.

Importantly, pitching and networking sessions will be dedicated to facilitating connections between the participants, with a focus on concrete projects in the field. We require every participating organisation to pitch their solutions and needs.

An exhibition marketplace will be available during the whole event, with selected organisations presenting their activities, innovations, technologies and projects. This marketplace will be used for active networking. To ensure the event has the broadest impact and reach, sessions will be recorded and documented for post-event marketing and media amplification.

There are breaks of 45 min in a marketplace format (small booths for entrepreneurs and relevant organisations) to facilitate interactions and discussions.

Proven legacy

“Innovate 4 Water” has a proven legacy:

  • seven successful marketplaces have been organised globally with various partners (see
  • delivering systemic impact
  • addressing critical challenges in local areas
  • truly multi-stakeholder.

Past participant’s feedback:

This event brought in one place all the stakeholders I need to connect with.

Thierry Barbotte – Vergnet Hydro

A great opportunity for me to meet with companies and investors innovating in the water sector.

Martine Vuillerme – Veolia

How to engage

You can engage as a solution provider: an entrepreneur, an investor, a government representative, or a sponsor. “Innovate 4 Water” is a curated event and participation in the event is by invitation only. To engage, you need to follow two steps.

Step 1

Solution providers from the various categories must register their intent to pitch at “Innovate 4 Water”. You will be asked details about your solution and capabilities, so we can match and curate solutions to needs of investors, industry and government participants.


If you would like to participate as an entrepreneur, please click here to complete the registration form. It will take approximately 20 minutes to complete the form. Contact Andrew Best @ or call 0408 862 076 for more information.


If you are an investor, please contact Oksana Tkachenko at or call 0408 843 690 for more information.

Government representative

If you are a government representative, please contact Andrew Best at or call 0408 862 076 for more information.

Sponsor information 

If you would like to be a sponsor, please contact Andrew Best at or call 0408 862 076 for more information.

Step 2

Once you have been accepted into the event, you will be given instructions for purchasing participant tickets.

Indicative participant fees and early bird timing

Super early bird participant – (up to 2 months before the event) – $500 (inc GST)

Early bird participant – (between 2 and 1 month before the event) – $650 (inc GST)

Full price participant – (4 weeks before the event) – $750 (inc GST) 

Registration fees include the following (for one person):

  • access to the 2-day event (including tea and coffee, snacks and lunches)
  • access to the evening cocktail event on day 1 (see Program below)
  • ​opportunity to pitch (5min) during the event (if presentation received 2 weeks prior to the event and approved)
  • opportunity to get a bistro table to exhibit in the marketplace
  • possibility to participate in the coaching session on day 0 (see Program below)
  • possibility to participate in the start-up pitching session led by the Office of Queensland Chief Entrepreneur on day 3 (see Program below).


Tentative program (full program coming soon):

Day 0 (optional)

  • coaching for presenters

Day 1

  • pitches (5-7 min) by solution providers (established entrepreneurs, enablers and investors)

Day 2

  • pitches (5-7 min) by solution providers (established entrepreneurs, enablers and investors)

Day 3 (optional)

  • startup pitching day

The following themes, which reflect current sector priorities, will be the focus of the marketplace:

  • Sustainable planning for health, food, energy and water nexus sectors
  • Embracing the circular economy
  • Mitigating and adapting to climate change
  • Efficiency in water infrastructure and management
  • Off-grid and distributed solutions
  • Exporting Australian innovation and expertise
  • Technology investment readiness and hybrid business models
  • Innovative finance for the water sector
  • Role of development and government agencies.

Additional information

Initiative rationale

As innovation is booming worldwide, there have been multiple attempts at decentralised solutions to water issues by private enterprises and by governments at the state and federal levels. However, too many solutions are fragmented. This highlights the need for a collaborative approach that can truly demonstrate impact at scale, enabling all stakeholders in the water nexus to come together to share knowledge and leverage networks and resources to solve water scarcity and accessibility issues.

While the world has committed to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which call for universal access to drinking water, sanitation and hygiene, Australia plays a leadership role in the implementation of Goal 6. Australia has recognised expertise on water data, water use efficiency and innovation, which provides an opportunity to expand and export its knowledge for development and commercial outcomes.

The global water crisis presents Australia with an urgent and timely opportunity to share its experience in sustainable water management to improve water security. Brisbane is uniquely positioned in close proximity to the Pacific and South East Asia with a strategic potential to become an Asia Pacific City for water innovations and knowledge exchange for best practices in integrated water resources management.

In order to contribute to overcome water industry systemic gaps and to build bridges between the sector stakeholders, the International WaterCentre and Waterpreneurs are launching “Innovate 4 Water” Brisbane, following the successful development by Waterpreneurs of “Innovate 4 Water” since 2017, in Europe and Africa.

“Innovate 4 Water” forum legacy

Information about past forums can be accessed on the “Innovate 4 Water” website:

All knowledge acquired through delivery of the past forums has been summarised in an integrated collection of facts, reflections, forum know-how and impacts, outlined in Waterpreneurs’ groundwork document (available on request). Some of the document content includes, but is not limited to, the forum theory of change, program structure, forum toolbox and know-how, participants’ testimonials and examples of past impacts and thematic agendas, such as:

  • nexus: water sanitation energy food health
  • water and sanitation in the circular economy
  • off-grid and smart technologies (data leveraging and monitoring)
  • reinforcing the efficiency of water utilities
  • supporting the scaling-up of entrepreneurs and their impact
  • women and youth entrepreneurs
  • the role of NGOs, development agencies and UN agencies
  • the emergence of innovative and hybrid business models
  • innovative finance for market-based solutions
  • climate change: mitigation and adaptation in urban and rural areas.

About Waterpreneurs

Based in Switzerland, Waterpreneurs is a global for-impact organisation, supporting the scaling-up of impact investments financing the growth of “water nexus” businesses, operating in developing countries.

Waterpreneurs brings extensive knowledge of the sector, impact investing and facilitation of marketplaces. In June 2017, in Geneva, Switzerland, Waterpreneurs initiated the “Innovate 4 Water” series of marketplace forums, with a global plan to expand to other regions (over the next ten years) with a focus on cities leading in the fields of water and sanitation, entrepreneurship and innovation, and impact finance.

In 2018 and 2019, 6 other “Innovate 4 Water” forums have been organised in Africa (Kenya, Nigeria and Zambia) and in Europe (Switzerland). Ongoing discussions are taking place to accelerate the expansion of the program globally.

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