Antony Seppi is the Co-Director of The Hamilton Mill business incubator, and Program Director of the Pipeline H2O water-tech commercialisation program. We sit down with him to find out more about the work he does with Pipeline H2O in Hamilton, and Southwest Ohio. He also talks about what Advizzo means for the water technology market in the US.
Thanks for talking to us, Antony. So what is Pipeline H2O?
Pipeline H2O is a water-tech commercialisation platform. We work with innovative, high-growth potential water-tech start-ups to address specific challenges that are relevant throughout the Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana region. Presented in an accelerator format, our goal is to provide Pipeline H2O companies with the foundation and platform to actively engage with potential customers in the region. We help the start-ups pilot locally and deploy globally. The partners that we bring to the table are invaluable to water-tech start-ups – the EPA, Universities, Corporate Partners, and local municipalities.
Tell me more about the kind of companies you support.
We engage with start-up companies that have a real solution to the water challenges in our region. Companies that are solving challenges, or present solutions in terms of water quality, reuse/recycling, infrastructure, monitoring/metering, consumer innovations, and data analytics would be prime candidates for the program. The companies must have a working solution/product so that we can plug them in with our partner organization to solve these challenges. With just 2 cohorts completed to date, we have engaged companies with solutions to all of these identified challenges. I would categorize that as a success.
Additionally, these are companies that come into this region from around the world – as water is an all-encompassing, all pervasive challenge throughout the world.
Why did you decide to support Advizzo?
We decided to support Advizzo because their solution solves real challenges that we are familiar with from a municipality perspective. Our municipal partners have shown that they need to have a more proactive approach to engaging with their utility customers. In fact, utilities – up until now – have virtually no proactive communication with their customers. Advizzo and their respective solutions changes this paradigm, and allows for utilities to address customer issues before they become huge nightmares. Also, in our research and engagement with the water-tech community, we learned that data and data analytics is going to be a huge value going forward – Advizzo provides this.
What did you like about the Advizzo proposition?
The ability to present data in a customer friendly format – and communicate that data back to customers on a regular basis. This results in higher customer satisfaction, reduces water consumption, and decreases the cost to serve. Also, a huge point of pain in this region is the water quality and potential contaminants (lead) in the water – Advizzo can pin-point and communicate this information back to customers in a format that mobilizes the necessary responders.
With your support, what has Advizzo already achieved in Ohio?
Advizzo took full advantage of the Pipeline H2O platform. They took full advantage of the municipal, university, corporate, and mentor partners that we brought to the table and will be moving forward with several projects throughout the region. Additionally, they are looking to establish a subsidiary within the Cincinnati/Dayton metro, and this shows their commitment to the US market and more specifically to Southwest Ohio. Also, they will be working with the University of Cincinnati on some research and development opportunities to further develop out the data science component of the product.
What do you think Advizzo can achieve in five years in the US?
With Cincinnati as their beachhead and established market in the US, I think Advizzo can penetrate into other US markets that have true water scarcity issues, specifically in the Southwest. For those regions where water is a premium, Advizzo can provide real value to municipalities that need to conserve their inventories and engage their customers. That is their high growth potential market, and another angle for the solution that can be communicated out to the arid regions of the country.
About Antony Sepi
Antony Seppi is an experienced leader in economic development and regional planning initiatives who is committed to leveraging the assets of rust belt communities in creative and innovative ways. As Co-Director of The Hamilton Mill business incubator and Program Director of the Pipeline H2O water-tech commercialization program, Antony is dedicated to continuing the legacy of manufacturing and entrepreneurship both in Hamilton and Southwest Ohio by acting as the connector and the doer. Antony serves as a mentor to new and existing businesses throughout the #startupcincy footprint and his goal is to ensure long-term viability and sustainability for businesses that participate in The Mill program.