A Concrete Example: It Takes a Village to Develop a Successful Water Tech Startup, by Geosapiens, AquaHacking ’18

By Carmen Joy King December 3, 2020

Written by Hachem Agili, CEO of Geosapiens, and Melissa Dick, AquaHacking Alumni Program Manager

Flooding impacts many communities throughout Canada. More than 19% of Canadians live in flood-prone areas.

Geosapiens is a company specialized in flood risk analysis and management. Its flagship product, E-NUNDATION, is a web platform that offers dynamic flood mapping to forecast events, either in real-time or in the future. It also enables the assessment of flood impacts and damage on the population, critical infrastructure, and buildings. E-NUNDATION can also send flood alerts by home address three days prior to potential flooding events.

E-NUNDATION is an information and risk management tool for citizens, municipalities and insurance companies.

Developing a successful business in the water technology sector is not easy, but with the support and partnerships with the different actors of the ecosystem, progress and growth are certainly achievable!

Examples of partnerships with the different ecosystem actors

Entrepreneurial Competition: The idea behind E-NUNDATION was born out of a research initiative at the Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS). Seeing the potential of this solution to prevent flood risks and the added value it brings to society, the 7 founders of Geosapiens asked themselves: why not start our own company? The first test was competing in the AquaHacking 2018 Challenge. For the team of co-founders, it was a way to see if competent and unbiased people could also see the potential of the project. The team won first place in this edition of the Challenge (read more about their AquaHacking Challenge experience here).

University Research Center: Geosapiens continues to work actively with INRS researchers to improve the performance of their existing simulation algorithms and developing innovative methods for flood simulation (more information here, in French only).

Accelerator Program: In the fall of 2020, Geosapiens became a member of Eco Fuel. Eco Fuel is an accelerator that supports companies in the clean technology sector that have competitive potential at the international level. Participating in this accelerator program will allow Geosapiens to access a network of mentors and advisors with expertise in areas such as intellectual property, financial management, and marketing, while simultaneously learning to navigate the cleantech sector. This support will be important as the company prepares for its first round of financing.

Private Company Partnership: Geosapiens also works in tandem with private companies. Their recent partnership with Hydro Météo, the Quebec leader in monitoring river conditions, allows them to offer a turnkey solution to their customers in the municipal market. Combining the respective expertise of Geosapiens and Hydro Météo allows for the generation of reliable hydro-meteorological forecasts that can be translated into flood-risk mapping including impacts on property and people.

One of the greatest lessons learned by the co-founders of Geosapiens during their entrepreneurial journey is the importance of working in partnership with diverse actors in the water technology ecosystem to create innovative and sustainable synergies.

To learn more about Geosapiens, visit: https://www.geosapiens.ca/.

Check out the waterNEXT Ecosystem Map co-created by Aqua Forum, Foresight Cleantech Accelerator Centre & International Institute for Sustainable Development to find Geosapiens and other AquaHacking Alumni companies to see the diversity of Canada’s water sector.