Great Lakes 2023-24

The AquaHacking Challenge is now open!


Through AquaHacking, we foster a new generation of young innovators to drive revolutionary technologies 

Hosted By

The Challenge, a unique platform for passionate change-makers ready to solve critical freshwater issues and advance climate adaptation. 


Specific dates are yet to be set, but here is an overview of the timing of the Great Lakes AquaHacking Challenge.

August 2023
August-Nov 2023
Nov 2023 - Feb 2024
Feb 17, 2024
Feb-May 2024
May 2024
June 2024+


Online event to formally launch the Challenge.


Participants can register for the Challenge.

Phase 1

Teams are established, meet water experts, develop their solutions and access the AquaHacking Curriculum, and mentoring.


Teams pitch their solution to a panel of judges, and finalist teams are selected.

Phase 2

Finalist teams participate in leadership development, entrepreneurship training, and pitch training.


Teams pitch their final solution and business plan to a panel of judges. TOP 3 are chosen and seed funding/prizes are awarded!


Teams receive a spot in an incubator and join the AquaHacking Alumni Community


Win Big: Seize the opportunity to win $20,000 USD in seed funding, $10,000 USD for second place, and $5,000 USD for third place.

Get Certified in Freshwater and the Blue Economy: Obtain job skills certification with our learning curriculum, amplifying your credentials and enhancing your professional appeal.

Experience an Unforgettable Expedition: Embark on a 3-day learning adventure filled with mentorship sessions, team-building activities, traditional indigenous knowledge & more!

Access IBM Tools: Enjoy free access to the Startup with IBM program to kickstart your entrepreneurial journey.

Receive Tailored Mentorship: Get insights from a diverse roster of field experts.

Access Exclusive Content: Learn from a variety of informative courses expanding your understanding of freshwater issues and solutions.

Engage with Bi-National Innovators: Connect with like-minded changemakers across North America.

Hone Your Skills: Engage in skill-building workshops in business development, water sector leadership, and innovation & design thinking.

Final_All Teams

It's more than a Challenge ...

The AquaHacking Challenge is not just a competition; it's a platform to grow, learn, make a lasting impact and take action on climate change.

The water issues
we are tackling
in this Challenge

MicrosoftTeams-image (27)


Advance the fight against the ecological menace of microplastics by developing solutions for the detection, real-time monitoring, efficient sequestration, and sustainable elimination of microplastics from diverse environments, contributing to a cleaner and healthier planet.

MicrosoftTeams-image (29)

Nutrient & Nutrient

Drive innovation in nutrient management within the Great Lakes region by devising solutions focused on precise and reliable detection, monitoring, and tracking of nitrogen and phosphorus inputs from various origins, addressing the critical challenge of restoring and sustaining the natural nutrient cycling equilibrium in aquatic ecosystems

MicrosoftTeams-image (26)


Develop innovative solutions to address PFAS (Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) contamination in water sources for efficient detection methods, real-time monitoring systems, effective sequestration techniques, and advanced elimination approaches, with the ultimate goal of safeguarding universal access to clean and safe water.

MicrosoftTeams-image (28)


Design technology solutions for the effective detection of lead service lines by pioneering remote sensing techniques for accurate lead infrastructure identification and developing safe, innovative methods for the disposal and replacement of lead pipes, ensuring the protection of public health and the environment.


  • You are at least 18 years of age; each team must include one member that is in the 18–35-year age group.
  • You are a resident of Canada or the USA.
  • You, or at least one member of your team, is enrolled in a post-secondary institution, is a recent graduate, or is a young professional.
  • You are passionate about climate action.
    All innovators are welcome!

How To Participate

Register & create your profile

Join on your own, or with a team (each member must register).

Leverage on demand-content to help you select your water issue.

Work with your team and assigned mentor to design your solution and pitch to the judges.

Winners at the semi-final competition will participate in the expedition and compete
for seed funding to launch their start-ups

Be Inspired

AquaAction Alumni are at the forefront of freshwater solutions. They have successfully transitioned their concepts into operational startups. Discover their innovative solutions and see how far they’ve come since competing in our challenge.

Dive in

AquaEntrepreneur is a commercialization program for water companies ready to
enter new markets. We provide tailored mentorship & strategic coaching.

Stay informed

Subscribe for updates on our journey towards a sustainable water future and get the latest news about our impactful programs!