Ecoplant, is a rapidly growing, global awards-winning A.I. based SaaS solution creating a green industrial world by minimizing energy waste, co2 & downtime to industrial plants, bringing machine intelligence to compressed air systems. The company was founded in 2016, and its offices are located in Israel and Chicago, US. The brand has also registered itself online at www.ecoplant.co.
We recently had a conversation with the founder of Ecoplant, Aviran Yaacov! The man of words!
1. When did you begin to consider starting your own company?
As a child, I doodled designs for an innovative watch. Then, when I was eight years old, my teacher assigned the class to build an “innovative and ground-breaking product in third grade.”
Years later, I discovered that my watch design had been developed 20 years earlier by Apple.
2. How did you get involved with this company?
In 2016, I founded Ecoplant with my father, Moti Yaacov, who is an expert in compressed air and energy efficiency. Yaron Harel, also a co-founder, leads product development and is responsible for product design.
We began by developing a market survey to identify potential customers and targeted factories to help us build our product. In March 2019, we started selling our first units, including the Danone factory in Israel and factories in the United States and China.
3. What do you wish you had known before launching your company?
The most important thing for a new business is to assemble a capable team that can carry out the idea.
Some people think they need to have the idea first, but finding good team members who can develop and advance any concept matters. The key to a successful company or product is strong leadership. A business needs people who know how to take an idea, develop it, and push it forward.
4. What is the company’s strategy for dealing with the current recession?
First of all, it should be understood that one of the key added values of our product is cost savings (energy, operation, maintenance) so that many companies that are sensitive to margins enjoy cost reduction as a result of using Ecoplant’s product. We are in the right place at the right time.
Second, the company plans to expand globally and product wise. In the last two years, the company has established operations in the United States and has factories installed in Israel, Europe, and Asia. In addition, the company continues to develop its “big vision,” a dynamic control platform for all infrastructure/utilities in the plant. The company also collaborates extensively with Ecolab, an investor, and strategic partner.
5. What are your thoughts on achieving success in the business world?
I believe that networking with people you can help and who can help you is the key to success. Throughout 2019, I participated in an acceleration program called Techstars Farm to Fork, which is considered one of the most prestigious programs in the world for startups.
As part of the program, I was exposed to the term “first give”—the idea that I help you, connect you, and do not expect a return. If you succeed—I succeed, too. This is real entrepreneurship and a correct vision, in my opinion, of how to do business and, in general, how to build relationships with people.
6. What has been a tremendous success since you started your enterprise?
We have designed a fantastic team that has taken an idea, worked with the largest companies in the world, and turned our vision into a product used to control critical manufacturing processes in the industry.
7. What challenges did you face while establishing the company?
When the founders proposed their idea, many people said they wouldn’t be able to pull it off. One thousand reasons exist for a project to fail—one reason for it to succeed. Even when they had no paychecks for the first two years on the job, and things didn’t turn out as they’d hoped, the founders never gave up.
8. Before founding the company, did you have a career goal like this?
Before starting Ecoplant, I was a sales executive director at SAP and a radio broadcaster. From every job I worked, I learned something important—for example, being a radio broadcaster taught me how to interview effectively and build a compelling story that would convince both clients and investors.
9. From your perspective, how did the COVID facilitate your company’s work?
We benefited from the COVID-19 pandemic in that suddenly, factories recognized the importance of connecting and working remotely, implementing intelligent alerts, and reducing the chance of shutting down the production line in a time of uncertainty and low profits.
We developed sales and assimilation methods that do not require the physical presence of our team or significantly reduce the need for it. Which significantly shortened our sales processes and simplified the installation and operations of implementing the system.
10. How do you stay more charged or energetic when you feel that things aren’t going as planned?
It is essential to consider the big picture when creating a new company that there is a need in the market and that it can provide a unique solution. It is also important to maintain cohesion among the partners who believe in the company’s vision and product, even when challenges occur.
11. How do you remain competitive?
Stay connected to the market, your product, and your customers, and keep an eye on your competitors. Actively approach customers, ask them what they need, and look for ways to improve every time a competitor gets a deal.
12. What was your main goal when you started the business? Now is it the same?
The company’s initial vision has not changed. However, the way there has evolved with time, as the company’s strategy and tactics have changed to align with changing realities.
13. What’s the vision of your company?
Make the world greener, without having to invest and buy expensive equipment. Through proper and smart management of existing resources it is possible to achieve great results. Artificial intelligence combined with IoT is our vision.
14. What are your duties in the company, and how do they complement the work of other employees?
I run the company from the business, legal and financial sides. In general, I should make sure that there is money and business in the company—from investors or customers—to keep growing.
15. How do you define success for yourself?
We have set a target to reduce one million CO2 metric tons by 2030. Therefore, we will consider our goal to be achieved if we achieve this goal.
16. What makes you the best?
Pursuit of excellence and innovation, constantly striving to prove value to the customer, listening to customer needs, and building a suitable solution.
17. Where will your company be in 10 years?
Reduce 1 million metric tons of greenhouse-gas emissions and wastes- working with most fortune 500 companies.
We will continue to go on and build a team and a winning product that leads us to success. Our project is to grow and conduct our business in the U.S. market.
What do we have to say?
Ecoplant, as a global brand, is doing one of the
most delicate jobs ever in this field! They have been rewarded with several excellence awards and are also registered everywhere. People have started trusted brands like Ecoplant.
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