UACI Client Sylvan Source Wins at World’s Largest Startup Pitch Contest

Sylvan Source, a University of Arizona Center for Innovation client, has been announced as a winner for the world’s largest startup pitch contest, the Unicorn Battle Final Cup. Sylvan Source is part of an elite group of extraordinary international startups from different industries that competed and won the preliminary Unicorn Battles. The very best companies were selected during the preliminary Unicorn Battles® covering North America, Latin America, Silicon Valley, Asia, Middle East, Southeastern Asia & Oceania, Africa, Eastern & Western Europe this Spring. Only 10 extraordinary ventures from different countries pitched live at the Unicorn Cup in July. 

Sylvan Source was the only top three award-winner from the United States. 

The Unicorn battles attract famous venture capitalists and angel-investors seeking to find the best deals for their portfolios. Over the years, $296 million has been received in funding by past winners. The Unicorn Battles are crucial connection events, bringing together entrepreneurs and investors by showcasing the best and brightest startups across the globe.   

Laura Demmons, co-founder and CEO of Sylvan Source has devoted herself to making an impact globally by founding an industrial-municipal water treatment and thermal energy management company. The business seeks to tackle issues that plague the industry such as the cost and energy needed to treat water as well as the size and complexity of the systems. Sylvan Source systems are half the cost to own and operate, and have fewer points of failure, versus the competition.   

Sylvan Source was founded in California in late 2010 and incorporated in Delaware, therefore Demmons’ involvement in Arizona’s startup ecosystem was not initially on her radar. However, when she visited her parents in Green Valley in 2020, she reached out to Anita Bell, director at the UACI and a power connector with the Department of Energy, who walked her through the benefits and application process for UACI. Upon acceptance, Demmons and her team started to receive a tremendous amount of support from the people and resources in Arizona.   

“Over the past year, the UACI team has provided strong tactical and strategic guidance for our business models, plans and presentations which has made us even more competitive as we present our company and our opportunity to investors and customers alike,” Demmons said. “We are delighted to be included in the UACI program and look forward to making a positive difference globally and in our local community.”  

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