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AquaAction: Nourishing a thriving water tech community

By Alejandro Martinez-Ramos
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AquaHacking Alumni members are social entrepreneurs who hunger for change and want to have a positive impact on the health of freshwater in their communities and across the world. Many have research or academic backgrounds and started their entrepreneurial endeavours through the AquaHacking Challenge. They are brave and determined innovators who chose the path of entrepreneurship to tackle the challenging water issues that affect our lives.

Yet, the journey of an entrepreneur is not an easy one. It is indeed a crazy ride with ups and downs. It is a complex labyrinth with unexpected turns. Nevertheless, it is journey that is as rewarding as it is challenging. At AquaAction, we firmly believe that entrepreneurs do not need to walk this path alone.

The passion and determination that fuels these young entrepreneurs are not inexhaustible. Their mindset needs to be nourished and their steps guided. To this end, at AquaAction, we believe that community plays a critical role in supporting the development of these young innovators as well as their endeavors.

This is the reason why the AquaHacking Alumni community was created. Through our community, we create opportunities for our members to:

  • Nurture their mindset and aspirations,
  • Get inspired,
  • Boost their enthusiasm,
  • Share ideas and receive feedback,
  • Get market insights & market knowledge,

With this in mind, we ally with organizations and individuals who are ready and eager to share their knowledge, experience, and expertise to help the AquaHacking Alumni start-ups grow.

The AquaHacking Alumni community meetups are a fine example of how we build community. Depending on the occasion, these meetups can be regional or nationwide, virtual or in-person. Regardless of their format, these meetups are always occasions where attendees can have meaningful conversations and forge close relationships in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. This kind of setting allows for AquaHacking Alumni start-up founders to share openly with one another their concerns, doubts, or ideas. Select experts and partners are invited to such occasions to provide their unique perspectives and insights to Alumni members.

The latest meetup took place on May 17, 2022, and consisted of a 5 à 7 event in Montréal co-organized with our partners Lavery Lawyers. Surrounded by Alumni Community members and organizational partners, the entrepreneurs enjoyed a lovely time together. Experts in patents, trademarks, and copyright shared with attendees the top 10 legal mistakes that all start-ups should avoid. Also, Alumni members had the opportunity to discover insights about how to protect their innovations from the get-go.

It is reported that Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn, once said, “The fastest way to change yourself is to hang out with people who are already the way you want to be.” Adopting his words, we would instead say, “the fastest way to shape someone’s mindset is to surround that person with people who are already the way they want to be.” Through the AquaHacking Alumni program and the meetups like the one co-organized by Lavery Lawyers, we strive to enable entrepreneurs to unleash their creativity and skills to build technological solutions to the water crisis. In-person or virtual meet-ups is one way we support members of the Alumni community program in nourishing their mindset and helping facilitate peer-to-peer knowledge sharing.

As the year progresses, we will continue organizing community gatherings to foster a water tech startup network that thrives at contributing to a better world!