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Hi I'm mark fuhrman I'm a partner at ARLA breed heart and Rogers we're thrilled to. Be hosting on the record we represent business owners and love to hear from business owners about what's going on with their business we also enjoy interviewing their advisors to help us represent our clients effectively welcome back to radio entrepreneurs special edition on the record with mark fuhrman from the law firm of Harlow breed heart and Rodgers hello mark hey. Jeffrey great to be with you thank you very much mark and our next guest someone we've been pursuing actively to get on. Radio entrepreneurs because of his topic area David Rubenstein president CEO and CEO oh wow you got a double title of op drtc and we're going to talk about storm water correct that is correct good morning. Gentlemen it's great to be here tell us why optic what opti does and why opt is so important well lofty is important for a lot of different reasons and whether you want to believe in climate change or not I like to say that we we don't treat our planet like a toilet and what. Opti does is really help protect communities improve water quality so our core competency is the management and control of storm water in dense urban environments we have major problems with combined sewer overflow there's 770 communities in the US where. If it rains more than a quarter of an inch you're gonna overflow your wastewater treatment plants and the only way to deal with the water is to let it go out into the wild the Hudson River the Gulf of Mexico Boston Harbor or whatever the case may be. So you're seeing it's lost its lost yeah that water just gets sent out into the wild because the waste treatment plants get overwhelmed by it so that's that's one such example another is flood control or flood mitigation flood alerting so that we can let communities know quickly that. Maybe a highway is gonna get overwhelmed and emergency response people need to know how to get around that and. It may need to do evacuation another major areas water quality of the Chesapeake Bay region. Is a prime example the Chesapeake Bay watershed most people don't know it comprises. Seven states it almost reaches up to the Great Lakes so that water as it percolates through the ground and eventually goes into the Chesapeake Bay carries a lot of pollutants I don't think people understand how much pollutants there are on top of impervious surfaces highways parking lots roads and when. The rain comes that all just washes away into the environment now we do have ways of controlling it you'll see at shopping centers larger retail complexes off of highways you see these stormwater ponds probably drive by and you don't even really notice them but what Abdi is able to do. With the stormwater pond is maximize the use of that capacity allow the water to settle into the pond the longer it sits pollutants attach to dirt molecules they go down into the earth the earth chews them. Up and then when you release. The water out it's a lot cleaner that's a big effort that's going on in the Chesapeake Bay region now traditionally these stormwater ponds or what's called passive control so they put a valve on it somebody in Public Works sees that it's too full they drive out they can. Crank it and open it up what opti brings to the table is digital technology it's a combination of cloud computing 100% Microsoft Azure cloud along with Internet of Things devices or IOT devices and we put. Sensors out into the wild so again as a pond example we put we put sensors into a pond that can measure nutrients. Such as nitrogen phosphorus agricultural waste other types of pollutants we know how long the water's been there and when we see a storm approaching our software opens that Valve up gradually so you don't have downstream. Erosion and it. Allows the water out so when the next storm comes we're able to fill that pond. Back up so on average we see about 60% more capacity usage in these ponds it's a much more effective way utilizing today's digital technologies on top of that we can measure everything in reported so it helps with compliance. Reporting to the EPA if you're constructing a store and you have to keep at your eye on the stormwater generated by overflows and whatnot within that retail area during construction you have to report to Department of Environmental Quality or EPA and again our technology automates all of that for the. Construction developers we've got a couple of test pilots going on to event and very large national retailer and the construction firms are coming back really excited about how much time and money that we're saving them and what we love what our purpose is is to help clean up the environment and make. Our communities safer so it's a win-win and it seems to me that you're saying since you're using technology that this is a money saver over let's say traditional technology building a whole new water systems well it's. Dramatic it's dramatic savings what we've seen in some instances and depending on the jurisdiction they measure it differently but major metropolitan area may look at storm water and say it's costing us about three and a half to four dollars a gallon to process when you bring. Off these technology and we're measuring it in dimes nickels of quarters so dramatic. Savings you know again I'm gonna go back to the politics you know usually people don't adapt new technology and there's traditional technology unless there's a major crisis that motivates them right are you finding it hard to. Sell something that seems so obvious to you it is difficult I will say that we're seeing a lot of good uptake in what we'd call mid tier cities in the u.s. we've had great success in Albany Kansas City they've won awards. They've been nationally recognized for what they do primarily working with us but also with other smart. City components that they're bringing in I think time is of the essence you know these. Dense urban environments we're seeing places in New Jersey where store owners are starting to put their own flood gates up in front of. Their buildings property values are gonna start to. Drop more and more so the difficult part is because a lot of this is government procurement you have to go through these RFP processes and they can take nine months a year sometimes two years I think we have. To move a little bit faster I'd like to see the government bring in procurement practices similar to private industry so that they're moving faster they keep the competitive and they're doing the right thing for their. Citizens so it does sound to me to be a very important political issue I think it is a very important political issue and again. I'll say whether you believe in climate change or not we've got a problem nature continually evolves we're seeing denser precipitation patterns we're seeing flash flooding happen a lot faster particularly on the eastern seaboard now you were you're recently to this position I'm not gonna say recently you are not the original CEO of the company you're a new. CEO correct brought in as a professional leader can you talk about that transition what it's. Been like for you because this is a show about entrepreneurship so this is my ninth venture-backed organization I was contacted by through a retained search back in August of 2017 I looked at what the company was doing I was actually following the company. For a couple of years because I heard about it and felt this is something I could get really passionate about and I think I had the privilege to join the organization and work very closely with the founding CEO Marcus Quigley tremendous thought leader who put all of. This together about eight years ago √ęthey spun out. Of a civil engineering consulting firm geosyntec and what I saw her the technology was just vast amounts of value in the data that were collecting so over the first year I got an opportunity to really understand the company and got out into the market spoke with other engineering service firms there. Was definitely confusion about who we are a lot of people thought we were an engineering. Consulting firm the reality is we need to have that aspect to. Our business and we're morphing that into an organization that supports our partners which are these engineering service firms so through that first year we really stabilized the operation started to get our identity together form up our product roadmap and product strategy and then moving into 2019 the board sat with both Marcus and I. And talked about how the company's been performing and some of the changes they'd like to see being made you know to Marcus's credit he's worked very well through this transition with us but he has elected to evaluate other opportunities in the market I feel that he he wants to get back into the consulting he's. A tremendous problem solver what we're doing adoptee is we're building ourselves out as a digital product company uh again I'm gonna go back to the Entrepreneurship thing I mean you've you've run a lot of companies right I assume there's some culture change. Going on and you. Talked a little bit about how you're trying to remake the organization into the kind of winning championship team you what yeah well I like to have a very open transparent organization I like. To be able to share the numbers with the people so that they understand the mechanics of the business I don't want people to feel like they're just a billable entity it's especially in a start-up you have a unique opportunity to develop yourself professionally and stretch yourself into areas that you would never be able to do in larger corporations. And that's I mean for me that's part of my passion and paying it forward is to helping develop other. Leaders so we've implemented a series of leadership workshops we now have an internal newsletter we have monthly company meetings where we serve lunch for everybody we just sit. Around and have some fun we had a thumb wrestling contest complete with uniforms and a ring so we're injecting some fun but what I love about this startup versus others that I've been in it they're not concerned about do we have kegs or. Coffee makers or foosball tables they get excited when we're solving challenges out in the environment so when a hurricane is coming up the East Coast we got it up on the big screen. We're looking at all the sites we service and at the end of the day people are high-fiving because we stopped flooding in Ormond Beach Florida or in Beckley West Virginia keeping a Township open for 35,000 cars a day to go spend retail money in a small village means a lot to them so how many people. Work for the company so we have 26 people and then we have some independent folks who work with us around the country so if we're gonna do a call-out. Before you go to call out to certain people who might be interested in let should be talking to you who would that call-out be to I. All years of towns you know well I would say if you're if you're in the Department of Environmental Quality if you are in Environmental Services it can be at the state level the county level municipal levels watershed authorities we've put together a great package with the North Hudson Sewer Authority down in Hoboken we're all privately in development over. 10,000 square feet now has opti valves on their cisterns and that's significantly reducing their combined sewer overflow problems if you're in communities where you're paying a stormwater tax you want to have ought to come in and talk to your people thank you very much everybody we've been speaking with David. Rubenstein president CEO co-op drtc David if someone wants to find you how would they do that in the company well you can find us on the. Web at WWDC comm we're located here in Boston in the Back Bay we also have an office down in Philadelphia and a strong presence in Washington DC not. Far from the law firm of Tarla breed heart and rogers our host for today thank you very much mark Berman and thank you David for coming and we hope you come back a lot this year I. Would love to we want. To know more and we want to track this as we go especially Chris who as is Washington political background. So he loves this stuff all right you mind everybody this is radio entrepreneurism would be right.

 


OptiRTC Company News

Thu, 02 Feb 2017 08:00:00 GMT
Opti Raises $5.5M to Scale Intelligent Stormwater Management  PR Newswire BOSTON and SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 2, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- OptiRTC, Inc. ("Opti"), announced today that it has closed on $5.5M in equity funding, led by ... PR Newswire
Wed, 17 Dec 2014 08:00:00 GMT
OptiRTC, Inc. Formed to Scale Intelligent Water Infrastructure  PR Newswire BOSTON, BOCA RATON, Fla., and NORWALK, Conn., Dec. 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- OptiRTC Inc. (Opti) announced its formation today as an independent ... PR Newswire
Thu, 01 Feb 2018 08:00:00 GMT
Opti Expands Executive Team, Names David Rubinstein President and Chief Operating Officer  PR Newswire BOSTON, Feb. 1, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- OptiRTC, Inc. ("Opti") today announced the appointment of David Rubinstein as President and Chief Operating Officer ... PR Newswire
Thu, 29 Oct 2015 07:00:00 GMT
How Technology Can Save Us from the Next Hurricane | WNYC News  WNYC Thirsty concrete, walls made out of styrofoam sandwiches and intelligent ponds are just a few of the new, and not-so-new ... WNYC
Fri, 04 Dec 2015 08:00:00 GMT
Water management in a changing environment  The MIT Tech MIT Water Summit presents insights, innovations, and solutions to protect our world's most abundant natural resource. The MIT Tech
Mon, 21 Mar 2016 07:00:00 GMT
Water Council Announces Winners of Clean Water Technology Competition  WUWM Milwaukee-based startup Solar Water Works and Veolia Water Milwaukee/OptiRTC, Inc. have been selected to participate in The Water Council's Pilot. WUWM
Mon, 04 Dec 2017 08:00:00 GMT
In Chicago, smart city data drives innovation, efficiency  TechTarget In Chicago, smart city data is helping improve efficiency, sustainability and quality of life for its residents and visitors. TechTarget
Tue, 28 Feb 2017 08:00:00 GMT
Eight Mass. tech companies raised $282M in February  Boston Business Journal Massachusetts tech started strong in February 2017, with two different companies hauling down $100 million-plus rounds within the first eight days of the month. Boston Business Journal
Wed, 27 Jul 2016 07:00:00 GMT
Opti and Beckley Sanitary Board Announce Partnership for Watershed Management  PR Newswire Infrastructure retrofits will monitor and improve water quality and prevent flooding in Beckley, West Virginia. The addition of CMAC technology can achieve ... PR Newswire
Sat, 26 Mar 2016 07:00:00 GMT
Tech and Biotech: Epic Systems bans soda from campus  Madison.com SBIR Advance Program delivers grants; The Water Council advances two startups. Madison.com
Tue, 27 Oct 2015 07:00:00 GMT
The Small Solutions Helping New York City Battle Climate Change  Inverse Thursday and Friday, 'Inverse' is covering the Municipal Art Society of New York's sixth annual MAS Summit. More than 100 speakers and a thousand attendees ... Inverse
Wed, 09 Jul 2014 07:00:00 GMT
The Internet of Everything Meets Water | The Network  The Network Researchers and engineers are applying Internet of Everything (IoE) technology to waterways, using it for everything from monitoring real-time flooding ... The Network
Tue, 13 Sep 2016 11:14:40 GMT
CityLab 2016  The Atlantic HOSTED IN PARTNERSHIP WITH. Dedicated to highlighting innovation and effective practices in urban governance, CityLab gathered the world's most creative ... The Atlantic