Osmo Systems was one of nine finalists in IE Business School's H2O Challenge in Madrid, Spain.
The program was two weeks of amazing seminars, networking, and inspiration. The startups in this space are leading the way on how we will address one of the biggest issues facing our planet that does not get nearly enough attention – water.
Check out the post bellow to read more on our reflections, what we learned, and what it means for Osmo going forward.
The purpose of the Challenge was to bring together the leading early-stage startups in the water industry. Our cohort ranged from software-as-a-service providers for water utilities, to devices that distill atmospheric water, to water filtration systems, to rain-water catchment, to devices to save water from leaking toilets. All of us were eager to be there and, I believe, learned as much from each other as we did from the program itself. There's few things better than getting passionate entrepreneurs in the same place for two weeks as they work on solving real issues.
The two weeks began at Impact Hub Madrid where the teams went through a course on 'Lean Startup' methodology and applied these lessons to our businesses. For me, this was a very good time to sit back and reflect upon our assumptions and discover the best ways to test them (more on that later). We then took a bullet train to the coastal city of Valencia for the weekend. This was a highlight of the trip. We met with various executives at Grupo Aguas De Valencia and ate far too much paella. We also toured their water control systems and treatment centers and the very impressive aquarium. After returning to Madrid we spent the next week at IE business school, getting lessons from their professors and successful Spanish entrepreneurs on how to successfully launch our ventures. The time ended with the demo day last Friday (pictures to come).
- Productivity - One of my favorite seminars was by a successful Spanish software entrepreneur discussing the best methods he's found to be as productive as possible. While not all of them apply to hardware development, specifically the agile methods and scrums etc., others have already proved very useful in boosting how much we can get done in a day. Stay tuned for an upcoming post on this topic.
- Applications – One of the very cool things was the interest we got in our product from Grupo Aguas de Valencia for potential use in their water treatment plant to get live readings of certain parameters. We had never considered reaching out to utilities, but this could be a good avenue for us in the future.
- Pitching – While it is always a work in progress, we had an excellent pitching session with coach Matt Boardman. On demo day, the pitch was clear, concise, and well delivered in under 5 mins, if I say so myself.