S5E12 - How to be Alone, Early, Crazy but Actually Right: The History of Zenon
with 🎙️ Andrew Benedek, Executive Chairman of Anaergia, founder of Zenon and CEO for 26 years, a former member of the IWA board, and the inaugural recipient of the Lee Kwan Yew Prize.
💧 Anaergia aims to convert waste into useful resources, protect the environment, and sustain life for generations to come. Where some see waste, they see resources.
What we covered:
💰 How Zenon created the $4Bn/year membrane bioreactor market from scratch
💸 How no investor would have dared to put a penny in Andrew's vision
⏰ How wastewater reuse would become mandatory and how only a few people had realized it in the early 1980s
🌐 How you can't change the World with academic research and how that led Andrew to become a water entrepreneur
🤷 How for almost two decades there were no positive signs for wastewater treatment membranes on the market
🧰 How technology development wasn't a peacefully boring straight road either
🌐 How with Zenon membranes now in the middle of the market a merger or an acquisition became inevitable
🦸 How Andrew tempted an audacious move that - here again - would have been two decades ahead of times
🛋️ How with several million in his pocket and a beautiful house on the US west coast, 63-year old Andrew Benedek still wasn't done with business
🌊 How teaching and researching at the Scripps institute became an eye opener on the advancement rate of climate change
🪃 How Andrew plunged back into the shark tank by turning a bankrupt german company on its head - leading it to its IPO
💪 How over time, Andrew developed a 4-step recipe for changing the World
🏭 The one single business book you need to read, being an idealist, dealing with market players that copy you, failing and learning from failure, using gatekeepers to enter the mass market, believing in yourself, building for the future, becoming more ambitious every day... and much more!
🔥 ... and of course, we concluded with the 𝙧𝙖𝙥𝙞𝙙 𝙛𝙞𝙧𝙚 𝙦𝙪𝙚𝙨𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣𝙨 🔥
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