Teams of Students, Entrepreneurs Take Part in Water Innovation Competition

Erie Hack 2.0 will highlight the 50th anniversary of the Cuyahoga River Fire, and the event's quarterfinals are the first step toward $100,000 in cash and prizes

More than a dozen teams from Greater Cleveland competed Saturday in the first round of Erie Hack 2.0 — an innovative water-solutions competition that attracts the best and brightest from Northeast Ohio and the surrounding region.

The regional competition, which will culminate in a June 20 summit in Cleveland, is among the 2019 events highlighting the 50th anniversary of the Cuyahoga River Fire. Cleveland’s quarterfinals were held at The Midtown Tech Hive and featured teams with members from John Carroll University, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland State and more. Judges included Jess Moyer, Advanced Technology & Innovation, Xylem Inc.; Blake Oatey, director of Business Development, Oatey Corp.; and representatives from Ohio State, Cleveland Water and the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District.

The other quarterfinals events will be held in in Toledo, Ohio; Detroit; Erie, Pennsylvania; Buffalo, New York; and Windsor, Ontario later this month. Winners from each quarterfinal will advance to the semifinal in Detroit on June 5 in conjunction with the Sustainable Brands Conference. Winners there will advance to the June 20 final in Cleveland.

Erie Hack 2.0, a program of the Cleveland Water Alliance, brings together researchers, designers, engineers, developers and creatives around the region to build teams, develop innovations and compete for more than $100,000 in prizes. More information about the competition can be found at:

“This is the second time we’re hosting this event, and we’re expecting even better projects and ideas to emerge this year," says Cleveland Water Alliance Executive Director Bryan Stubbs. “With so much focus on the Great Lakes from our new governor and the immense opportunity to create jobs around innovation on the lake, it’s an exciting time.”

For a full list of teams that competed Saturday at The Midtown Tech Hive, visit

The Erie Hack competition is one of Cleveland Water Alliance’s most high-profile programs and accelerates technology solutions to Lake Erie’s most pressing problems. 

CWA is a non-profit organization that leads a network of corporations, universities, research institutions, public agencies and utilities dedicated to building a “blue economy” around innovation and technology on the lake.

“Resolution of our water challenges requires a clear definition of the core problems, paired with rigorous brainstorming and concept validation. Erie Hack is exactly that. Never before have I seen such a talented group of bright minds gathered in one place to solve an issue,” says Blake Oatey, CWA board member and director of business development at Oatey Corp.

The first Erie Hack took place in 2017 at the Cleveland Convention Center. Teams from Detroit, Akron and Buffalo took home top prizes and their proposed products are in production. Like last time, there will be a High School Hack, too.  Erie Hack and the Cleveland Water Alliance receive strong community and corporate support from lead Erie Hack sponsors Oatey, Digital C, Xylem and the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District.


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