Crowdsourcing Disruptive Ideas to Solve Global Water Challenges

SAP Next-Gen and Startupbootcamp AfriTech partner to tap the creativity of startups to accelerate solutions to UN Global Goal 6 – Clean Water and Sanitation

Water is the ultimate systems challenge. It is a unique resource that underpins all drivers of growth – be it agricultural production, energy generation, industry or manufacturing. It also connects these sectors into a broader economic system that must balance social development and environmental interests. A decision to allocate more water to any one sector implies that less water will be available for other economic uses, public water supply, other social services, or environmental protection.

To accelerate solutions aligned with The Global Water Initiative, Startupbootcamp AfriTech and SAP Next-Gen are collaborating on the Global Water Challenge where from October 2018 to January 2019 disruptive startups will work with innovative corporates to rapidly scale solutions to water resource management challenges with potential for global impact.

“Water resource management is a critical challenge of our time, and we believe startups can play a key role in developing disruptive solutions,” said Philip Kiracofe, CEO and Co-Founder at Startupbootcamp AfriTech. “Through the Global Water Challenge, we will accelerate startups from around the world that are focusing on Water Management, Waste Water Treatment, Water Conservation, Water Quality, Water Supply, Smart Water Use, and Sustainable Development, developing bold new solutions aligned with UN Sustainable Development Goal 6.”

“Innovation with Purpose” meets “Innovation 3.0”

“Innovation 3.0 is the new frontier for accelerating solutions to the UN Global Goals,” said Ann Rosenberg, senior vice president and global head of SAP Next-Gen. “Our partnership with Startupbootcamp AfriTech in support of the Global Water Initiative is an example of how crowdsourcing the embedded knowledge of a global community of startups, accelerators, corporates, purpose driven institutions, academia, and citizens can result in rapidly uncovering new solutions to address the UN Global Goals.”

Startups will address challenges in several areas:

  • Devices, techniques and/or services to detect and monitor new and existing groundwater sources and measure consumption
  • Novel approaches to improve efficiencies for formal and informal irrigation
  • Services to predict and detect weather-related shocks (e.g. droughts, floods, etc) and notify areas of potential impact
  • Techniques to address water scarcity and reduce over-drafting of groundwater, stream depletion, land subsidence and salinity
  • Devices to monitor groundwater levels to estimate the recharge rate, determine direction and gradient of flow and understand and manage aquifer systems
  • Groundwater-availability modelling and decision-support system for better water resources management and allocation
  • Predictive modelling for future groundwater usage

Applications are now open at bit.ly/sdgwater2018 and the deadline to apply is September 9, 2018. Startups that are selected will participate in a tailored program with supporting corporates on launching scalable and sustainable solutions. The program will include master classes, mentoring, and opportunities to run lean pilot engagements with sponsoring corporations.


About Startupbootcamp AfriTech

Startupbootcamp AfriTech is part of the global Startupbootcamp family of industry-focused programs supporting early-stage tech founders to rapidly scale their companies by providing direct access to an international network of the most relevant mentors, partners, and investors in their industry. Founded in 2010 in Copenhagen with a core mission of supporting the world’s best entrepreneurs through all stages of their growth, entrepreneurs around the world have joined the Startupbootcamp movement in 19 programs across 6 continents. Startupbootcamp now has more industry-focused accelerator programs than any other organization, and holds events in more than 100 cities each year supporting the world’s most talented founders with hands-on mentorship and access to key industry connections.

You can learn more at Startupbootcamp Global Water Challenge, F6S Global Water Challenge, and VC4A Global Water Challenge.


For all media enquiries related to Startupbootcamp AfriTech and the Global Water Challenge please contact: Jo Griffiths – The Loudhailer – +27 (0) 729 180192 jo@theloudhailer.org


About SAP Next-Gen


SAP Next-Gen is a purpose driven innovation university and community aligned with SAP’s commitment to the 17 UN Global Goals for sustainable development and supporting SAP’s 404,000+ customers across 25 industries in 180+ countries. The community leverages 3,600+ educational institutions in 113 countries, 100+ SAP Next-Gen labs/hubs at universities and at partner and SAP locations, 72+ SAP Next-Gen Chapters, as well as startups, accelerators, tech community partners, venture firms, futurists, and purpose driven institutions.