Participants at the Potomac Piranhas’ Hackathon. Photo credit: Umbrella Syndicate

Participants at the Potomac Piranhas’ Hackathon. Photo credit: Umbrella Syndicate

On Oct. 25, The Potomac PiranhasTM hosted the region’s first collaborative watershed program focused on innovation, capital, and entrepreneurship. The event, called a Hackathon, brought together 50 people from across geographic lines and sectors, including business, academia, nonprofits, advocacy organizations, and government to brainstorm innovative ways to clean up the Potomac watershed.

The Hackathon served to broaden the appeal of the clean water movement to groups familiar with innovation, collaboration, and light-hearted competition. “It was great to see people who don’t usually sit at the same table working together – a great way of connecting the economy to the environment,” said Lisa Lincoln, executive director of Prince George’s Green.

The event was designed to assist people in preparing pitches for the Potomac Piranhas Pitch, an event that will be held Jan. 31 at the US Patent and Trade Office. “The Potomac Piranhas Pitch will be just like the TV show “Shark Tank,” where venture capitalists hear clean water solution pitches and then decide to invest in the solution,” said Dave Feldman, chief executive officer of the Livability Project.

Vice President Gore Bolton of the Alexandria Emerging Technology Center, speaking on the goal of the Hackathon and the Potomac Piranhas Pitch, said “It is about accelerating innovation through capital investments to improve our watershed.”

Event organizers included Prince Georges Green, Alexandria Emerging Technology Center, and Livability Project along with the Water Environment Federation, Choose Clean Water Coalition, and Groundwork Anacostia.

The Potomac Piranhas Pitch is a competitive process. For more information about the Potomac Piranhas Pitch and applications for pitches can be found at