IDB-FEMSA Water and Sanitation Award 2017

IDB-FEMSA Water and Sanitation Award 2017

Deadline: September 12, 2017

Do you have a water, sanitation or solid waste startup, solution, product, initiative or service that is improving lives in Latin America and the Caribbean? If so, apply now to participate in the IDB-FEMSA Award. The Award seeks to provide an incentive to startups, products or initiatives that are already impacting in a positive manner the water and sanitation sector, in order to foster creativity and entrepreneurship in a vital sector for the region. Creating innovative solutions to provide drinking water, build or improve existing sanitation networks, and manage solid waste in a sustainable way is paramount for improving the lives of millions of people in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Since 2009, the Inter-American Development Bank and FEMSA Foundation have granted the Water and Sanitation Award for Latin America and the Caribbean, with the goal of recognizing outstanding individuals, municipalities, public and private companies, civil society organizations and service providers that have implemented innovative and effective solutions in the water, sanitation and solid waste sectors. Selected finalists will join in Buenos Aires for the award ceremony, which will take place in November during the IWA 2017 Congress.


  • 1st prize: 10,000 USD
  • 2nd prize: 5,000 USD
  • 3rd prize: 2017 special category 10,000 USD
  • 4th prize: 2017 special category 5,000 USD


  • Startup representative must be a citizen and resident of an IDB borrowing member country;
  • Applicant must be at least 18 years old;
  • Applicant must be the founder or co-founder of the organization;
  • The organization must have at least six months and no more than three years since being established and it should be legally registered;
  • Applicant must operate in an IDB borrowing member country;
  • Applications must be submitted through this website;
  • Applications must be submitted in any of the four official languages of the IDB (Spanish, French, English or Portuguese);
  • Applicant organization must have a solution or product already (not an idea), or at least a minimum viable product with users already testing it;
  • The organization startup must be ready to raise funds to go onto a new level of growth and impact;
  • A video pitch of no more than 2 minutes is required. The video must show all team members of the organization in front of the camera. The video must be custom made for this call. It must be uploaded to Youtube, as part of the application (no password protection please).


  • Organizations willing to participate may fill out their registration forms on the official site of the award, in Spanish or English.
  • The video must answer the following questions:
    • What is the problem that the product/service is addressing?
    • What is the solution that your product/service offers?
    • What are the organization growth plans?
    • What is the composition of your team?
    • Why should you be selected?
  • Along with the application, 2 letters of recommendation must be submitted:
    • Letters should come in an official letterhead and have the name and signature of the person recommending you and the organization.
    • One letter has to be from an external collaborator or client, endorsing the organization’s work;
    • The second letter must be from another type of organization familiar with the organization’s work and accomplishments that could validate the work being done;
    • The letter of recommendation needs to endorse the individual and his or her work in the applicant organization.
    • Recommendation letters cannot be from family members.
    • Diplomas, invitation letters to events, or letters of recommendation for other contests will be disqualified.

Application Dates

  • September 12, 2017: Application Closes
  • October 13, 2017: Finalists Announced
  • November 12, 2017: Pitching and Mentoring Session
  • November 13, 2017: BID-FEMSA Award Ceremmony

For more information, visit IDB-FEMSA Awards.