As climate change and catastrophic human-caused environmental destruction continue to wreak havoc on urban areas and the Louisiana coast, our urban water management systems and wetlands have become increasingly vital to our economy, ecosystem and coastal protection.
- Our coast faces the highest rate of sea-level rise worldwide. At this rate, New Orleans will be underwater by 2100.
- Over the next 50 years, inaction will cost the Greater New Orleans community nearly $8 billion in storm water flood damage, $2.2 billion in subsidence damage, and $600 million in avoidable insurance costs.
- Louisiana comprises 40% of our nation’s wetlands, but 90% of its losses, losing a football field of land every hour.
Propeller accelerates social entrepreneurs by giving them the tools they need to bring market-based solutions to improve urban water quality, water retention, and restoration of our coastal, wetland, and marshland environments. With $50 billion slated to be spent in the next 50 years to restore Louisiana’s coast and $20 billion approved for the BP settlement, there exist numerous potential revenue streams for Propeller water entrepreneurs to finance innovative solutions. Propeller also catalyzes water entrepreneurship through the Water Challenge and annual programming, connecting entrepreneurs with policymakers, potential funders, and other industry stakeholders to collaborate for collective impact.
- Magnolia Land Partners (Propeller ’15) provides a more efficient, environmentally beneficial use of mitigation funds in Louisiana, and has secured 1,330 acres of wetlands for restoration and permanent protection, with 2,000 acres projected in 2015.
- Greenman Dan Inc. (Propeller ’15) launched an underground rain harvesting system. With current contracts in place, these systems will keep over 1.5 million projected gallons of water annually on-site and out of storm drains.
- Riverbottom Tech (Water Cohort ’15) developed a working sediment harvesting prototype installed in South Plaquemines Parish to divert river sediment and restore wetlands.
- Wetland Resources (Water Cohort ’15) is an environmental consulting firm that has planted over 100,000 cypress trees as a means of storm protection, developing a proprietary growth shelter device that would increase the amount of seedling planted per day from 400 to 4,000.
- The Riffle (Propeller ’15), a project by Public Lab, raised $50,000 for evaluating water quality using low-cost, DIY tools that collect, interpret and share valuable data such as oil contamination and water conductivity.
Propeller’s Impact Accelerator
We’re always seeking entrepreneurs who have innovative ideas to address regional coastal and urban water issues, especially as it relates to coastal restoration, urban water retention and quality, maritime industries and ports, and fisheries. Propeller’s Accelerators are designed to support entrepreneurs throughout the business lifecycle, from our Startup Accelerator serving early-stage entrepreneurs to our Growth Accelerator focused on ventures seeking to grow and scale beyond the startup phase. Hands-on mentorship, access to high-level networks, pro bono technical support, and free office space, are just some of the benefits. Learn more about our Impact Accelerator, including eligibility and selection criteria, or view the online application.
- The Water Challenge: an initiative presented by Propeller focused on solving Louisiana’s most pressing regional water challenges through entrepreneurship. The Water Challenge culminates each year at New Orleans Entrepreneur Week featuring a $15,000 business pitch competition. Originally seeded by the Greater New Orleans Foundation and The Idea Village, the Water Challenge is funded by the Greater New Orleans Foundation, sponsored by JPMorgan Chase & Co. and the U.S. Economic Development Administration, and supported by Entergy Corporation.
- Year-round public programming: workshops featuring water management policymakers and opportunities for entrepreneurs in areas such as Emerging Issues Following the 2016 Floods, Integrating Resilience Into City Operations, Water Data Monitoring, and Equity in the Water Sector. Never miss a water event. Sign up for Propeller’s water newsletter.
- Policy Initiatives supported by Propeller help to build market opportunity for entrepreneurs tackling critical water challenges.