Key Learnings from waterNEXT’s Summer 2022 Waterside Chat Sessions

September 7, 2022

As summer has rolled on by, we recently concluded our waterNEXT-exclusive Waterside Chat sessions with some great insights and perspectives on the water tech industry today. With support from our exclusive IP & Patents Waterside Chat sponsor, Riahi Patents, the three sessions focused on Attracting Investment, Mapping Your IP Strategy, and Exploring Export Opportunities. We’d like to thank our friends at Riahi Patents for making these chats possible! 

These private sessions included sector-specific speakers, all of whom shared their expertise on the water industry, answered questions from water tech companies in attendance, and provided valuable advice and insights into challenges and lessons learned for companies wanting to accelerate their growth.

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Here are recaps of each session:

Session 1: Attracting Investment in the Water Industry

Whether you are in the pre-seed or growth stage of your business, it’s important to start thinking about criteria for funding and what investors look for when considering an investment opportunity in water tech. We invited John Robinson and Anders Hallsby from Mazarine Ventures to speak about how investing in water tech requires an understanding of customers across a multitude of markets, each with different needs, drivers, value chains, and decision processes. 

They identified three key drivers that lead to customer demand and a tempered focus on investment strategy, including:

  • Convenience
  • Self reliance
  • Foresight

Session 2: Mapping Your IP Strategy is a Key to Success

Working with a patent company that caters to small businesses can be beneficial when growing your venture, and that is exactly what Siamak Riahi and Vivek Katiyar from Riahi Patents highlighted. They spoke about the importance of considering IP strategy early on, including:

  • R&D stage
  • Aligning IP goals with business goals
  • How both can affect companies’ potential to export at a later stage

The Riahi Patents team also provided insight on the process for IP Asset Gap Analysis, Trademark Clearances, Freedom To Operate searches (FTOs), and funding opportunities for companies looking to kickstart or elevate their IP strategy. 

Session 3: Steps to Exploring Export Opportunities

Ann F. Rosen and Kelsey Hunter from the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) joined us to speak about export opportunities to the USA when considering the water industry and the biggest markets for Canadian watertech ventures. They highlighted that when companies are considering their export strategy, they must consider key drivers of water industry market growth, including: 

  • Regulations in the regions companies might be looking to expand into
  • What types of improvements are being sought after when it comes to energy and water efficiency, and wastewater treatment technologies to lower the prevalence of waterborne diseases

In this session, companies received insight into best practices for export strategy, including the support system the TCS offers.

How to Join us Next Time

Foresight thanks our summer Waterside Chat IP & Patent sponsor Riahi Patents for their support of the Waterside Chat sessions and the waterNEXT program.

For more information about how Foresight supports water sector collaboration, contact: 

Alan Shapiro
Director, waterNEXT 

Bonita Mathew
Program Manager, waterNEXT