Israel NewTech and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce organized a very high level summit, which has already generated business results. Interviews with Oded Distel of Israel NewTech and Ari Briggs of Aquarimat.
“Our participation at the Business H2O Summit brought our company tremendous value. We closed a pilot, to begin next month, with a leading hotel in Las Vegas, and this deal is 100% the result of the event,” says Ari Briggs, Ari Briggs, representing Aqua Rimat. Aqua Rimat markets a water monitoring solution that uses advanced data analysis to obtain information – and control – of water systems. The hotel, one of the largest in Las Vegas, did not know where its water was going, and if there was misuse or leaks in the system, and found what they were looking for with Aqua Rimat, at the event.
The event was organized by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, with the support of Israel NewTech, whose head Oded Distel, also presented. “The level of decision makers that attended – both from industry and government – made this a uniquely effective opportunity for Israeli companies, and one of the results we can see is the Aqua Rimat deal,” said Distel.
Speakers included two governors – John Hickenlooper of Colorado and Doug Ducey of Arizona –, Seth Siegel, author of “Let There Be Water,” heads of the Las Vegas hotel industry, Tami Shor, Senior Deputy Director (Regulation) at The Israel Water Authority and Israeli water experts. A delegation of six Israeli water technology companies also attended and networked at the event.
Together with high level discussions, the event provided opportunity for real deal-making. “The team at Israel NewTech know the water industry inside out, they know the pain points faced by, in this case the hotel industry in Las Vegas, and they do a great job of directing the right Israeli technologies to address these pain points effectively,” says Ari Briggs.
At the conference, CEO at Israel-America Chamber of Commerce Oded Rose hosted a panel where all the companies in the delegation had a chance to present their solutions for the water problems faced by water utilities and users. In addition, themes addressed at the event included “The Future of water”, “Improving Water Governance,” “Water Innovation,” “Water Stewardship as Business Strategy” and more.
Another panel focused on water tech innovation models and synergies between innovation programs in the US and in Israel, and hosted the executive directors of Nevada’s Waterstart, Milwaukee’s Water Council, Texas H2O Accelerator and the Israel Innovation Authority, represented by Israel Shamay who heeds the innovation authority’s Americas Operations.
The event also provided a platform for the signing of an important agreement which will accelerate R&D cooperation in the water sector between Nevada and Israel. The Israeli Innovation Authority signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with WaterStart, a Las Vegas based non-profit that brings together the start-up community with local water utility companies, academia and private investors.
As part of the agreement, the two organizations have agreed to co-fund joint R&D projects (including proof of concept activities) that involve an Israeli and a Nevada-based partner. Five Israeli start-ups have already been approved for projects under WaterStart’s first call for proposal in 2016.
“The Summit is an excellent example of how we lay the groundwork and create real business for Israeli companies,” says Oded Distel. “Months of work understanding the needs and challenges of the hotel industry in Las Vegas, bringing the right solutions from Israel, and getting them all together through the cooperation of government agencies, has already created pilots and partnerships, and I’m sure more will come,” concluded Israel Shamay.