We pitch at WaterVent14. December 2020
Support us on the way to the Global Innovation Award6. January 2021
Retrospectives and foresight
Winning in two competitions. What does that mean for us?
We have been asked that several times in the last few weeks.
Maybe it's because of the year ending - the answer to that became a very personal one.
Author: Silke Haubensak
2020 ends with two bangs
Since our founding in May, we have entered a few competitions. From two Startup contests, we received great news in December that we won. Those who follow this blog or our social media channels regularly are already well aware of that. Everyone else can find the posts about Get in the Ring - Impact Berlin
and the Call for Innovators by TFP
In the wake of these great news, I - Silke Haubensak - have been asked several times what this means for us now. Besides the incredible opportunities for funding
, and networks that these competitions mean for Wasser 3.0, this question has also been on my mind personally. So this blog - quite fitting at this point in the waning year of 2020 - is a reflection of my personal journey with Wasser 3.0.
Would have, could have, should have
left the university setting in May 2018, Wasser 3.0 was a rather elusive entity with, at the same time, so much potential. At that point, I had already been toying for some time with the idea of leaving the corporate environment in which I had worked for 15 years, first in human resources, then in training and development. I felt a strong inner urge to embark on something new, free and independent. I wanted to at least try it, I told myself. Otherwise,
what would have been if ...
I also asked myself what responsibility I had towards an idea (hybrid silica gels in water purification
) that had already proven to be viable to achieve water without microplastics
, and which, together with Katrin, had suddenly tumbled into my life.
Things must have been better
So Katrin and I decided to join forces for Wasser 3.0, bringing together our very different skills and expertise
. What was clear: Our attitude and vision in which form and in which framework we want to work - work with meaning, adding value towards the grievances in this world, with
appreciation and respect inside and outside, with the conviction that things have to be better than they have been so far.
The journey is the reward - is not a new statement, but just so true.
What followed for me (and us) were months of reading by the ton on business models, entrepreneurial legal forms, organizational models, wastewater treatment in general and in particular,
national and international wastewater sectors,
environmental and climate legislation, lobbying, responsible research, new work and new pay, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, systemic change, fundraising, website design, marketing, and much more.
It has been months of
countless sleepless nights of discussion and contemplation, flipcharts and notepads full of writing, promising "aha" moments, disillusioning realizations, painstaking re-focusing, tschakka urges to do, confusing chaos of thoughts, and motivating glimpses of light.
Along the way, these questions were sometimes more, sometimes less present: What do I want, what do we really want?
What is the goal, the purpose of Wasser 3.0? How do we get there? What does it look like in concrete terms? What was and is always there, is my inner voice, which confirms that I am on the right track.
Form follows purpose
many building blocks that already existed
(projects under the umbrella of
Wasser 3.0 have been around since 2012
), we have put together Wasser 3.0 in such a way that it can best fulfill its purpose - from our point of view - for water without microplastics and micropollutants
The business models, organizational forms, marketing and fundraising concepts that we have elicited in the process have always appeared to us to be only partially, if at all,
suitable and future-proof
. We have been - or rather, are - readjusting and reinterpreting them for ourselves continuously.
Wasser 3.0 in a nutshell or regarding investors and visionaries
As a result, it is (was?!) quite a
challenge to explain Wasser 3.0 to outsiders
in three sentences. The fact that we can now do this in the context of competitions and in the
form of pitch decks and pitches
(you really have to get to the point there!) feels great. That the two competitions cover quite different areas makes it even better:
We were able to succeed both in the
economically driven perspective of (impact) investors
and in the perspective of people who at the same time pursue the vision of systemic change full of inner conviction.
As a side note, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
provide an extraordinarily valuable frame of reference for bringing together very different actors.
What it means
Winning in these two competitions means feedback for Katrin and me that we are on a
path with Wasser 3.0 that not only feels coherent to us but is also perceived by others - like the experts on the juries of Get in the Ring and The Futures Project - as being fit for the future. We cannot wait for 2021!
For me personally, it means that I am infinitely glad I made the decision to join Wasser 3.0 a year and a half ago.
This personal blog post was quite an emotional undertaking and requires as a conclusion the due appreciation of the team of and around Wasser 3.0.
@Mario: Thank you for your professional marketing input in developing Wasser 3.0 communication: b2b, b2g, b2c becomes hth (human-to-human).
@Michael and Dennis: Thank you for your willingness and patience to teach me about water pollution and water purification in layman's terms and with contagious enthusiasm. I take my hat off to your knowledge, your ideas, and your tireless commitment for Wasser 3.0.
@Timo: Thank you for your website support and helping me with wordpress everytime and everywhere.
@Katrin: Thank you for everything - having the time of my life!