Last week, the Israel Trade Commission helped facilitate a keynote speaking slot and high level meetings for Amir Peleg, the CEO of innovative event management water company, TaKaDu.
As reported by Jan Arreza in WME Business Environment Network on Friday 13 May.
The lack of investment in the water sector has been a major roadblock for Australia to unlock new innovative solutions that would help address the challenge of innovation scarcity within the sector. To counter this issue, founder and CEO of Integrated Event Management software provider Amir Peleg is calling for decision-makers in the industry to shorten their decision cycles to make it more attractive for investors provide capital to uncover and fund solutions for this problem.
“The problem is sometimes people and decision-makers are not willing to take risks. They like it the way it is and following the path of if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it,” Peleg said.
“We’re always looking for new ways to become more efficient and now know that we cannot sustain the same way we’ve been doing business in the past, and if you want to do that you have to take some risks. If we can shorten decision cycles it can help everyone from entrepreneurs, to developers, and the investors.
“Whenever I speak with investors they all complain that the cycles in the water industry are about 1015 years, and they just don’t have the patience to wait that long for a return on their
“If people were able to make shorter decision cycles then investors will have the patience to wait and the confidence to invest.”
Peleg gave a closing keynote address at OzWater held in Melbourne earlier this week to address the innovation scarcity problem that the sector now faces.
“Everybody loves talking about innovation, people have talked about it for the last 20 years, but that’s all it really has been – a lot of talk,” Peleg said.
“And it’s not because there is no need for it or because the water utility guys don’t want it. The big problem is that we don’t have enough investors to back them up in their ventures.
“The longterm decision cycles of the water industry, coupled with low prices of water, and the conservative nature of many of the players in the sector… all of that just adds to the unattractiveness for investors.
“Instead they put their money in cyber security or in mobile applications because at the end of the day an investor is an investor they want to put in one dollar and gain ten and without good investment there won’t be any innovation.
“So this scarcity is really about this lack of movements of entrepreneurs, investors and other people in the water sector, and you can see it if you measure the percentage of all clean tech ideas going to the water sector. You’ll be surprised at how low the number is,” he said.
According to Peleg, with all clean technology out in the market, only less than 5% of those new ventures are related to the water sector. Entrepreneurs that are addressing clean technology issues are instead investing in things like solar, wind or electric cars. Peleg believes that addressing these issues will help prop up Australia as a leading hub for water technologies and compared the potential to Silicon Valley being a hub for the high-technology sector.
“In Australia the opportunities for the water players are enormous because the country has all the ingredients needed to have a great and prosperous water sector,” Peleg said.
“Based on the amount of discussion, collaboration and innovation in the sector in Australia, you can really see the potential for the country to become one of the leading water industries in the world.
“All of the utilities are really high level, people within the sector are all good and intelligent people, there is a lot of wealth in this country, and there is a lot of awareness with the public of water issues and water scarcity.
“With a combination of all of that, the potential to make Australia into one of the leading hubs for water technologies is huge. Australia could become one of the top two or three leaders in water technologies in my opinion.”
During his time in Australia, Peleg also conducted several targeted business meetings in a bid to further spread the TaKaDu solution [see Related Stories for part one of this two part series] to the sector, and in turn, he hopes to collect more potential clients for his business. And the company’s existing customers have helped in the company’s efforts to expand its clientele.
“All of the meetings that I’ve had were always one way or the other joined by one of my already existing customers, whether it was the guys from Yarra, Unity or Sydney, and they all gave us a huge endorsement, which is very encouraging,” Peleg said. “It’s always a nice feeling to know that we’re doing something right, and that my own customers are willing to help to spread the word and to spread our technology. “The level of interaction and interest I’ve witnessed is simply amazing. I would expect that within the next few months, we’d have a few more deals maybe two or three in Australia for Takadu.
But first, capital is needed.
“In order to finance innovation we need capital, and capital can come either from within the industry, or from outside the industry on the investor side of things, and that’s what we need. To achieve this, we need to make the sector more attractive to these investors,” Peleg concluded.