22 June 2021 TB news


GoHub launches The Global Water Challenge: up to €3M of investment in each startup for the best solutions to water challenges

22 June 2021 TB news

The commitment of Global Omnium’s corporate venturing alongside IBM to create the largest global hub of water technologies kicks off in Barcelona with the support of Tech Barcelona and Acció


GoHub, the open innovation hub and corporate venturing of Global Omnium, launches The Global Water Challenge, a global initiative with up to 3 million euros of investment in each startup to capture the best innovative solutions that will allow the creation of the largest global hub of water technologies.

As a first milestone, GoHub joins forces in Barcelona with IBM and adds the support of Tech Barcelona and Acció, a combination of four leading strategic partners that mix entrepreneurship with a vision to create an innovation and technology ecosystem.

The goal: to create the largest global hub for water technologies, a sandbox in which startups can experience new products and services. It is about bringing together worldwide talent and technology to anticipate and solve the great problems of the most scarce resource: water.


The challenge had its prologue in New York with the launch of The Ultimate Water Challenge at the beginning of June and will gradually add more places and ecosystems (Helsinki, Quebec…) to the roadmap.


Technology to solve water problems

In a scenario of climate emergency and search for environmental sustainability, The Global Water Challenge starts from the premise that the use of innovation is essential to address the greatest global challenges, such as water scarcity and quality.

Technologies such as artificial intelligence, 5G, Internet of Things, augmented and virtual reality, cybersecurity, digital twins or robotics contribute to more efficient use of water resources.

For this reason, the challenge calls on startups with disruptive deep tech solutions that solve major problems in areas such as agriculture and food production; offer smart water solutions with data science for more efficient management; seek the care of the oceans by eliminating microplastics and spills; predict anomalies in infrastructure; prevent natural disasters and phenomena such as desertification; and combat drought and the decline in stocks.


Which startups can apply

The initiative is aimed at the entrepreneurial ecosystem regardless of its geographical location. The applications are open until September 30th for startups with proposals applicable to smart water management, industry 4.0 and smart cities with a sustainable approach.

The requirements for startups are, among others, that they must: be focused on B2B and have turnover; have a team with leadership and solid technological experience; a validated product-market fit in their country, strong business model and technology consolidated in at least one vertical; experience working with a large corporation and be involved in a fundraising during 2021 or 2022.

The startups will be selected by an expert committee composed of members of GoHub, IBM, Tech Barcelona and Acció.


Benefits for startups

Each selected startup will receive an investment up to 3 million euros through GoHub Ventures. In addition, the challenge will open the opportunity of developing a remunerated use case in Global Omnium, one of the top five water companies in the world, and join our portfolio of solutions that will strengthen its commercial action thanks to the relationship with different corporations.

The startups will also have access to a network of experts and mentors from GoHub and IBM. IBM will also provide support for the use of the technology; business accompaniment days at the IBM Garage in Madrid and 120,000 euros in free annual credits for solutions development.

Entering the challenge also entitles a Tech Barcelona Membership for two years -1r year free + 2n fast trackfee-, which includes access to activities, connections and contents, as well as tickets for the 4YFN and other events.


Patricia Pastor, Managing Director of GoHub: “We are creating the largest global hub for water technologies. To do this, we are looking for the best startups with innovative solutions that can predict and anticipate the problems of the future”.

Mónica Cernuda, IBM Public Cloud Market Leader for SPGI: “Cloud technology is an enabler for large and small companies to develop their ideas without worrying about the technology that makes them possible. That is our motivation to join this challenge”.

Miquel Martí, CEO Tech Barcelona: “Water management will be one of the key factors that will define the territories in the future. Barcelona as a Mediterranean enclave and technological ecosystem has all the elements to become a world reference centre. Investment in this sector is prioritary and strategic”.

Jordi Aguasca, Technologic Transformation and Disruption Director at Acció: “Collaboration between corporations and startups has been shown to generate great economic impact and highly disruptive innovations. For this reason, from Acció we have been working on it for 4 years, in which we have led more than 300 meetings between both agents of the ecosystem”.