On July 17, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. (WEDC) and The Water Council selected four technology startups to participate in the Freshwater Seed Accelerator Program. The French company Le Prieure will participate through its American subsidiary Vegetal i.D. The company focuses on the art and science of green roofs with an innovative system that controls green-roof runoff through a constant and minimal flow rate.

The first-of-its-kind 6-month accelerator program starts Sept. 2. Companies will receive a $50,000 grant from WEDC to cover startup costs and will have space in Milwaukee’s Global Water Center. Recipients will also have access to training and faculty through the University of Wisconsin–Whitewater Institute for Water Business and the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee School of Freshwater Sciences. The program will also make local water technology experts and investment capital funding sources available to participants.

The Water Council and a global panel of water technology professionals, investors, and entrepreneur experts reviewed applications for the accelerator program. Water Environment Federation Director Barry Liner served on the review panel, assessing various criteria, including the applicants’ potential for commercialization, compatibility with existing companies, and long-term interest in growing Milwaukee’s position as a leader in freshwater technology.