Meet The Finalists Of Dubai Startup Hub's Smartpreneur Competition 6.0: Hydro Wind Energy

The Hydro Wind Energy team has built QuenchSea, a low-cost seawater desalination device that produces fresh water from seawater using only manual power.

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Hydro Wind Energy is one of the top 10 startups pitching for prizes worth a total of AED150,000 at the finals of Dubai Startup Hub’s Smartpreneur Competition 6.0, which will be staged as part of Entrepreneur Middle East’s Enterprise Agility Forum 2022 at Expo 2020 Dubai on January 20, 2022.  

Hydro Wind Energy
Maryam Hassani Chief Innovation Officer, Hydro Wind Energy

It often takes a team of talented individuals gathered from all corners of the world to develop a first-of-its-kind kind device, and that’s certainly the case for tech startup Hydro Wind Energy, which has built QuenchSea, a low-cost seawater desalination device that produces fresh water from seawater using only manual power. Led by Hayk Vasilyan, Maryam Ahmed Hassani, and Pranay Addepalli, co-founders of Hydro Wind Energy, the startup has been built on the premise that innovation has the ability to change people’s lives for the better. "Over 2.2 billion people worldwide lack partial or complete access to clean fresh water, and we wanted to make an impact on the world’s water crisis,” says Hassani. “For that reason, QuenchSea was primarily developed to cater for the humanitarian and disaster relief sectors.” 

Hydro Wind Energy’s work in advancing the field of sustainability with disruptive systems that address the challenges of low-cost electricity, grid-scale energy storage, and seawater desalination has led it to be shortlisted as one of the finalists for the Smartpreneur Competition 6.0, an annual startup contest by Dubai Startup Hub, the entrepreneurship arm of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry. "Our efforts align with the UAE’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” Vasilyan adds. "QuenchSea, as the world’s first low-cost hand-held seawater desalination device, both empowers an individual to produce their own freshwater from seawater, and it also reduces the use of plastic bottles during disaster relief missions.”  

Hayk Vasilyan, CTO, Hydro Wind Energy. Source: Hydro Wind Energy

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From its offices in Dubai, San Francisco, and London, Hydro Wind Energy targets humanitarian, corporate social responsibility (CSR), and governmental development agencies that can provide the QuenchSea device to people who lack access to safe water. According to a UN report (just one among many reports on the topic that present similar data), 2.2 billion people around the world still lack safely managed drinking water, while 785 million of those are even without basic drinking water. "We are currently finalizing the first production batch of QuenchSea due for delivery in the first quarter of 2022,” says Addepalli. "Our plan is to scale to 100 million units by 2027, and impact over one billion people.”  

Pranay Addepalli co-founder, Hydro Wind Energy. Source: Hydro Wind Energy

Taking part in the Smartpreneur Competition 6.0 has allowed the Hydro Wind Energy team to connect with people behind other solutions that can radically change the world, says Hassani. When asked about how they are preparing for the final pitching event that will be staged as part of Entrepreneur Middle East’s Enterprise Agility Forum 2022 at Expo 2020 Dubai on January 20, 2022, Vasilyan says, “We have been practicing our pitch several times, and we are excited to share our story with the world. One needs to believe in their idea before people around would start to believe in it too.” For its part, the UAE and its thriving innovation ecosystem has recognized the talented Hydro Wind Energy team by offering them golden visas- this, according to Addepalli, indicates an important piece of advice for fellow entrepreneur. "Entrepreneurs in this ecosystem are always willing and happy to advise you on the basis of their experiences, so don’t be afraid to tap into your network,” he says. “Lastly, enjoy the journey, because no entrepreneurial endeavor comes without its fair share of challenges and hardships, it is important to stay positive and focused on your mission.”  

Hydro Wind Energy is one of the top 10 startups pitching for prizes worth a total of AED150,000 at the finals of Dubai Startup Hub’s Smartpreneur Competition 6.0, which will be staged as part of Entrepreneur Middle East’s Enterprise Agility Forum 2022 at Expo 2020 Dubai on January 20, 2022. Register HERE to be a part of the event. 

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