Imagine H2O creates landing pad in Vietnam for its watertech startups

Since 2020, IH2O has helped four startups secure pilots in Vietnam

As part of its growing market access programme in South East Asia, Imagine H2O (IH20) Asia participated in Vietnam Water Week. Current portfolio companies, along with applicants to Imagine H2O 2024 programmes, will benefit from the resources.     

In September 2023, IH2O hosted its first water innovation programme in Vietnam in partnership with Vietnam Water Supply and Sewerage Association (VWSA), Enterprise Singapore and PUB, Singapore’s National Water Agency. 

Over three days, IH2O Asia worked with six portfolio startups to learn about Vietnam’s water and wastewater challenges, identify new customers and test market assumptions. The startups include five Singapore-based companies: Hydroleap, PureActive Water, EnvironSens, Teredo Analytics, Mempure and 1 India-based company: Indra Water.

IH2O role as a market access advisor is reportedly replicated across other underserved markets in South and South East Asia with new funded pilot projects underway in Singapore, the Philippines, India and Bangladesh.

With booths and pitch opportunities, startups managed to raise their industry visibility, learn about competing technologies, and evaluate the market potential of their solution in Vietnam

At Vietnam Water Week, the startups tested existing market assumptions through interactions with end-users at IH2O Asia innovation pavilion. It further established local presence through Vietnamese-translated pitch videos at Startup Demo Day and media features across 23 local news outlets. IH20 Asia also gathered primary data at potential deployment sites through customer field visits.

Startups also found new value propositions from interactions with the utility operators 

Additionally, startups participated in a full day of curated one-on-one meetings by IH2O Asia and its advisors to identify pilot or commercial opportunities with end-users. Thirty customer meetings were said to be scheduled with private and public utilities. More than 10 leads were identified across applications in municipal, pulp and paper, textile and cooling towers. Tran Kim Thach, head of the water quality management department at water utility company SAWACO, said, “This technology allows us to save up to three years of research and evaluation when it comes to detecting the characteristics of pollution in our water sources.” There was also initiated discussions on scaling up an existing IH2O-supported pilot of two water toxicity monitoring systems with the city’s main utility, as seen with EnvironSens’ pilot with SAWACO here.

Those with ongoing pilots in Vietnam also received support to visit with their customer in-person to discuss post-pilot opportunities

IH2O 2024 accelerator programmes 

At Vietnam Water Week, IH20 has partnered with Vietnam’s end-users to co-create more pilot opportunities for startups. As a pillar in IH2O 2024 programmes, startups can benefit from market access resources to deploy across Asia-Pacific. Applications are now live for IH2O 2024 accelerator programmes.