Overcoming The Water Measurement Hurdle In California

“If you can measure it, you can manage it.”
If this statement starts being implemented in California,it would go a long way to solving the dramatic water shortage the state is facing. This is also the driving vision behind Ayyeka’s water measurement solution.

When Ayyeka’s Director of Business Development, Sivan Cohen, P.E., was living in California, she had no idea how much she paid for water, and her water usage had no influence on her monthly bill. “Where I lived water was included in the rent, no matter how much water I used. Only when I moved to Israel did I get my first water bill in the mail. It was a pretty big bill, and created an incentive for me to think twice before I left the faucet running or took a long shower,” she said.

The time to bring change is now

Unlike in Israel, where water has historically always been considered government property, owned, measured and billed by the state, the U.S. water market is a whole different story. There are hundreds of water utilities in California alone, each with its own rules and methods. This makes implementing change a major challenge.

As California begins to tackle the issue, it’s finding that gathering measurement data is the important first step – and a challenging one at that. Stephanie Pincetl, the director of UCLA’s California Center for Sustainable Communities, was recently quoted in The Los Angeles Times as saying that “I think we have a really big problem in California in that water agencies do not report water data in any kind of regular and granular level,“ she said. “We really don’t know how much water is used by whom in the state. We can debate about methodology, but unless you have really reported data, it’s difficult to know.”

Ayyeka’s solution makes the measurement pill a little ‘easier to swallow’ for water utilities.

How we can help

The company’s remote monitoring kits make monitoring simple, secure and affordable. Extending smart water networks with the remote monitoring systems allows for improved network visibility, reduced operating costs, enforcement of regulation compliance, faster leak detection, more exact billing and other advantages, which ultimately mean savings of water and money.

The kits are being installed in utilities in Las Vegas, Cincinnati and Italy. Ariel Stern, the company’s CEO, recently presented the solution to leading figures from California’s water industry at the California-Israel Global Innovation Project of the Milken Innovation Center in Jerusalem. Representatives from Governor Jerry Brown’s office were impressed with the solution and technology. The company is partnering with sensor provider Turner Designs in the California market, and working through its joint venture group, the Noria Ayyeka Group.

Despite Governor Brown’s emergency drought declaration initiative in January, and his calling for a 25% reduction in water use, statewide water use has actually increased by 1%, according to the LA Times. “Before running out to plan another desalination plant, which guzzles environmental resources and is a huge expense, California would do well to better manage the water it does have, and measurement is the important first step in this process,” concludes Cohen.

Well, Hello.

Ayyeka is starting its very own blog to share what we find fascinating in the world of remote infrastructure monitoring.
Firstly – introductions! Ayyeka is an Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) startup using our expertise in civil, electrical, and computer engineering to create smart remote infrastructure monitoring products.

Why are we developing on the IIoT and why remote infrastructure?

For one, despite the fact that water and concrete (for example) are the most used substances on the planet, many operators have had difficulty in creating ‘smart networks’ owing to the complexity and cost of traditional monitoring methods (which, sometimes, consisted simply of sending an engineer to the ‘field’ with a manual measuring tool!)

Water is also going to be one of the scarcest resources in the near to mid-distant future. Humanity, as a whole, needs to work out how to use the resources that we currently have in as efficient and environmentally responsible a manner as possible.

The business of delivering critical resources is also one of the oldest industries in existence (think Roman aqueducts). It is also, however, one of the most segregated.It occurred to us that we would like to be a part of bringing it up to speed and bridging the gaps.

So, hello, and thank you for reading. We look forward to being in touch.

Smart Infrastructure Systems Tempt Cyber Attackers

Our water, energy and other critical infrastructure systems are becoming smarter, more sophisticated and more digitized. Unfortunately, this also makes them more vulnerable to more frequent and sophisticated cyber threats. Ayyeka’s CTO Yair Poleg explains how infrastructure can be protected in this brave new world.
The battles of the future will be fought, at least partially, in the cyber arena. Critical water and energy infrastructure are the ultimate targets for cyber attackers. Unfortunately, we are poorly positioned at present to prevent them.

We may not hear about them in the general news news every day, but the number of cyber attacks on critical infrastructure is growing. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers’ 2015 report on cyber security, “the number of reported security incidents rose 48 percent this year to 42.8 million – which is the equivalent of 117,339 attacks per day.” Governments may prefer to limit coverage of such attacks to prevent fear among the general public, but there is no question attacks are on the rise.

Advanced technology is a double-edged sword

Why is this the case? Systems are becoming more digitized and more advanced, making them more efficient, but also more vulnerable to cyber attacks. As Michael Assante wrote in Forbes: “America’s critical infrastructure—the utilities, refineries, military defense systems, water treatment plants and other facilities on which we depend every day—has become its soft underbelly, the place where we are now most vulnerable to attack.”

Yair Poleg, CTO of Ayyeka, a provider of remote monitoring kits for smart infrastructure networks, explains more in depth why this is the case: “Infrastructure companies are increasingly depending on remote monitoring. They are protecting their centers – or to use professional jargon, Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems – but it is simply impossible to provide physical protection for the multitide of systems in the field. So really, any feeling of security that comes with protecting only the SCADA systems is not complete without protection of the endpoints.”

Cybersecurity must be a priority

One step towards improving the protection of critical infrastructure is more stringent government regulation, and this trend is indeed unfolding, according to Poleg. But most infrastructure companies need to place cyber security at the top of their list of priorities.

Ayyeka has already taken this step. The company’s founding team emerged from Unit 8200, the elite cyber defense unit in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) that has bred some of the world’s most advanced cybersecurity technologies. “In Israel, cyber protection is fundamental,” explains Poleg. “We placed cybersecurity as a top priority in our solutions from day one.”

The company’s patent pending remote monitoring kits provide systems that are inherently secure. “Since it is impossible to physically fence in hundreds or thousands of remote monitoring sites in a network, the only real solution is to choose a solution that provides inherent cyber protection,” concludes Poleg.

Where Can We Get The Water? Breaking Down California’s Crisis

California’s water shortage crisis is being discussed and addressed on a number of fronts.
Before bringing solutions, it’s important to understand where lays the greatest potential for bringing more available water into California’s water systems.

“There are basically two options to create more water availability – increase supply or reduce demand,” explains Ayyeka’s VP of Business Development, Sivan Cohen. The first option, increasing water supply, can be done through bringing in additional water, desalination or reducing water loss along the conveyance system. Overall supply is limited, and there are downsides to desalination which include the costly and lengthy process of building desalination plants.

They are also very costly to operate and maintain, and if the demand for desalinated water drops, the initial investment may not be reimbursed. Add to this the environmental impact, and it is clear that desalination should not necessarily be the first option considered.

There is a lot already being done on the front of altering demand for water, particularly on the residential consumer front. Even with raising awareness installing water efficient appliances in homes, offering government incentive programs, and so on, the potential for water savings on the residential demand side are actually quite limited. “Only 14% of the water supply goes to residential consumers, with the vast majority, 80% going to agricultural use, and 6% to industry,” explains Cohen. “Even if the statewide goal of lowering residential demand by 25% is achieved, this still only means a 3.5% increase in the overall water supply.”

Reducing NRW losses

Which brings us to the third major stop on the side of water supply – Non-Revenue Water or NRW. NRW is the water that is “lost” anywhere along its journey through the utility’s pipes before the point at which it reaches the consumer. The causes for this loss are both physical losses (water leaks) and what is called “apparent losses” – water that is lost through theft or inaccurate measurement. But NRW is often a “mystery.” Even the definition of NRW is subject to disagreement, with some including stolen water in its calculation, while others do not.

So how much water is really lost in the California water systems, and how can we minimize the loss?

“The truth is we don’t know the level of California’s NRW,” says Cohen. Data collection and reporting field reporting of NRW is partial at best, as a recent UCLA study detailed. “But we can make some safe estimates,” says Ayyeka CEO Ariel Stern. The world’s most advanced countries in water measurement and management, Israel and Australia, report around 10-15% NRW. Water experts target 10% as the lowest realistically achievable level.”

The world average is around 30%, with underdeveloped nations, such as some African nations, showing even 80-90% loss. So most likely California is in the realm of the international average, or around 20-40%.

So, assuming that California has 20% NRW, if through improvement, measurement and management we could cut that in half we would save 10% of the state’s water supply. This is about three times as much as the 3.5% total savings that Calfornia is striving to achieve through lowering demand.

How can NRW be lowered?

The key to addressing NRW is measurement – and this is where Ayyeka comes in. The company’s remote monitoring kits make monitoring simple, secure and affordable. According to Stern, the company’s solution is already in use in Israel to determine the amounts of water supplied to municipal areas. “Setting up district metering areas (DMAs) with flow meters to monitor the inflow to the zoned area, enables data collection about the supplied water and enables the creation of a unified, credible and continuous database of information on which to base NRW calculations,” he says.

In California too, effective measurement requires dividing up the large and complex water systems into distinct DMAs. Regulation will need to be implemented to ensure utilities provide accurate, reliable data on their NRW. Senate Bill 555, introduced by state Senator Lois Wolk (D-3rd District), would require this.

“California doesn’t have time to waste,” concludes Cohen. “The state needs to increase its available water, quickly. The fastest, most effective way to do this is to lower NRW, and data collection is the key first step.”

Closed And Fragmented IoT Ecosystems Prevent A Paradigm Shift In Data Acquisition

The Internet of Things (IoT) is one of the major buzz-words flying around the technology sector these days. Add to the mix some other buzz words – namely, big data, analytics, and data science – and you have yourself a veritable sea of jargon. It is practically impossible to steer clear of over-used words, right?
As I see it, the main premise of these technologies is the same: harness data and leverage network communications to improve decision making and performance.

Much of the technology brought together to form the IoT as we know it today, including software, sensors and network connectivity, has been around for many years. We can trace the evolution of much of the software we use today back several decades. Sensor technology was developed decades ago as well. The use of machine-to-machine (M2M) communications, which refers to direct communication between devices over wired or wireless networks, has been used in the industrial sector in one form or another since the early 20th century, long before the advent of wireless communication. The modern internet traces its roots back to the work of, among others, Tim Berners-Lee on the world wide web back in the 1980s and 90s.

The rules of the game have changed

But new smart sensor technology and massive strides made in software, computing, and connectivity technology, have changed the rules of the game. Much of the existing sensing and machine-to-machine technology in the industrial and infrastructure segments is inefficient at best and obsolete at worst. Furthermore, visibility of conditions within sprawling networks of dispersed assets is lacking.

As more sophisticated and affordable sensor and networking technology continues to come to market, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) looks primed to gain major traction. The major obstacle that remains, however, is how to gather data in an efficient and secure manner. The most sophisticated algorithms and models used for industrial automation and resource management are only as effective as the quality and quantity of the data fed into them. Protecting critical infrastructure and the SCADA systems that increasingly control them have become a matter of increasing concern.

Ayyeka, a Jerusalem-based technology company, develops turnkey, cybersecure and modular remote monitoring solutions to enable smart infrastructure and environmental sensor networks. Ayyeka’s combined hardware-and-software technology stack streamlines and secures the process of collecting data from remote locations and dispersed assets and delivering it to decision makers, industrial control systems, as well analytics and business intelligence (BI) software platforms.

Competition is driving fragmentation

The IoT market in the consumer segment is getting more crowded by the day with aspiring entrepreneurs looking to grab a piece of a rapidly-growing pie. Sensors and smart devices are becoming increasingly pervasive. A future in which every device will have an IP address and be connected to the cloud seems to be on the not too distant horizon.

But too many companies, including many of the corporate giants in the tech sector, are working to develop “the best” IoT platform to collect and process data from all of these connected devices. This is creating a fragmented and confusing market where most platform developers will struggle to reach critical mass. Consumers will have to navigate through a sea of brand names and try to decipher which devices will be compatible with which platforms. Device makers will have to determine which platform developer to align their technologies and R&D efforts. The companies that have excelled thus far in creating an IoT offering have focused on providing intuitive solutions that are widely compatible and make integration simple.

The IIoT market is going through an evolution rather than a revolution. Much of the technology is long-existing and still in the process of being improved upon. But new entrants are coming to market with sensors, devices, services, and software offerings that are often standalone platforms. These technologies are being introduced at the same time that cloud technology is gaining momentum, and the number of communication protocols and IIoT platforms is growing in number.

It is still early days for cloud-based industrial automation systems. Technology companies playing in the ecosystem will have to be malleable in order to succeed. Picking winners and losers among platform developers is a nearly impossible task.

Industrial end users face the same uncertainty when choosing vendors. Developers of IIoT platforms and other components should focus on more open solutions. The Alliance for Water Efficiency is a good example of end users and suppliers converging on open and modular solutions to avoid the pitfalls of fragmentation. Developers of IIoT devices that focus on delivering modular and end-to-end solutions that are sensor, software, platform, and SCADA agnostic, are more likely to gain competitive advantage over mere platform developers with niche and bespoke offerings. Ultimately, the greatest value technology companies can deliver to end users is a full suite of solutions that address their challenges and improve their performance.

IoT: Implications For Human Nature And The Environment

As Ayyeka’s Business Development Manager, I had the pleasure of representing our company in a recent panel discussion at IDC Herzliya: “Startup Companies in the Environment and Internet of Thing (IoT) Space,” which was moderated by Dr. Oren Zuckerman, Director of the Media Innovation Lab.
The topics of the discussion included: the conflict between human disposition toward intuition and improvisation on the one hand and data and analytics on the other, the magnitude of change that IoT can deliver, and technological solutions to the world’s most pressing environmental challenges. Below are some takeaways from the panel discussion.

Data collection is the jumping-off point for many of the biggest leaps in technological advancement across sectors such as manufacturing, energy, aerospace, logistics, healthcare or even cartography. For example, the core of transformative technologies like Google Maps and Google Earth is vast quantities of data that is collected, organized and analyzed.

The tension between human nature and data

However, there is still a tension that exists between human nature and data. A plant manager at a centralized water treatment facility can measure the quality of the water that is being pumped into the distribution network. But if you show the same plant manager remote data collected by smart sensors in the distribution network that the water quality is actually quite different from the water that left the centralized facility, the question becomes whether they are willing to trust the data or stand by their intuition that it should not differ. Are you willing to believe the heart rate measurement of your wearable device? By the same token, are you willing to believe the “pulse” (i.e. pressure, flow, quality) of your water infrastructure network?

IoT can bring transformative change to the water and other industrial sectors. Remote data is a pre-requisite for establishing key performance indicators (KPIs), ensuring regulatory compliance and achieving real-time situational awareness of the infrastructure network and environment. Industrial automation can vastly improve environmental, resource and infrastructure management; bring down operational costs; and improve customer experience and satisfaction. However, the effectiveness of industrial automation systems depends on feeding them large volumes of high-quality data. The premise of Ayyeka’s remote monitoring solutions is to streamline and secure the process of brining field data to decision makers, analytics platforms, and SCADA systems that are fundamental to industrial automation.

Data is the key to meeting modern day challenges

The world confronts numerous, inter-connected environmental challenges, chief among them climate change, water scarcity, food security, resource depletion, and ecosystem collapse. There is no “silver bullet” to address these challenges, but devising solutions requires a constant stream of data.

By collecting remote data, one can establish baseline measurements, assess the current status of the system, develop strategies for improved management, establish investment priorities, take action, and measure results. Remote monitoring in conjunction with industrial automation increases the speed of this cycle.

Data Monetization: Water And Wastewater Utilities In The Information Age

Measuring the value of physical assets can be tricky. Valuation models for companies are arguably more art than science. What about the value of something nebulous such as data? The intrinsic value of data is nil. Data’s extrinsic value is revealed only after processing it.
Once analyzing bits and bytes reveals patterns and anomalies, value creation happens by implementing systems, processes, and incentives that improve decision-making capabilities and performance. Data becomes extremely valuable once it can be leveraged to increase, or at least preserve, the value of assets and the companies that own them. Moreover, data can help make the people who comprise organizations far more productive and effective.

How can water and wastewater utilities monetize data and improve profitability by generating top-line growth and reducing costs? Utilities now face significant and complex challenges: aging infrastructure leading to pipe bursts and significant water loss, service line corrosion leading to lead contamination, disinfection by-products creating chemical hazards, strained sewer capacity leading to overflow events, and water scarcity in drought-stricken regions to name a few. Within utilities’ often sprawling networks of assets exist virtually infinite possible failure points. Waste and inefficiency have countless places to rear their ugly heads. Operators face increasing pressure from regulators, who are imposing more stringent standards. Fortunately, these difficulties are surmountable or at least manageable.

Data centricity is critical

A granular data-driven approach is paramount to effective and sustainable management of infrastructure and resources. Given the sheer number of factors at play and the often complicated interconnections between them, including feedback loops and time delays in cause and effect, common sense and a back-of-the-envelope approach will only take analysts and decision makers so far. Data fusion and analytics software tools capable of processing and correlating large volumes and different types of data can automate or facilitate insight extraction.

Where information is lacking in quality, quantity or is altogether missing, problems and bad decision making occur or persist. Data collection is the first and crucially important step water and wastewater utilities can take in the right direction. With baseline measurements of the state of their networks, operators can: evaluate problems, decide on and implement changes, and collect data continuously to assess results. This becomes an iterative process.

While huge volumes of data are being created in virtually every industry, there is a surprising data gap in the water and wastewater sectors. Utilities oversee sprawling networks of distributed assets. Establishing and maintaining visibility within these networks has proved challenging to date. That need not be the case.

The digital evolution taking shape

In a 2011 essay published in the Wall Street Journal, investor Marc Andreessen wrote, “software is eating the world.” The premise of his thesis is that computers, microprocessors, and the modern Internet have been developed and improved over several decades, and collectively, these technologies now run businesses and industries on software and deliver them in the form of online services. Water and wastewater utilities are now in the early innings of a digital evolution. This evolution also combines new innovations in sensor and communications technologies that is collectively being referred to as the Internet of Things (IoT) or the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). Improved data acquisition capabilities will help utilities move more seamlessly into the Information Age. As this industry evolves, cyber threats become more salient.

Ensuring the cyber-security of water and wastewater utility information technology infrastructure is tantamount to ensuring the security of their physical infrastructure, the public, and the environment. SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) systems and other ICS (industrial control systems) that leverage data gathered from remote monitoring systems are only as secure as the weakest link in the network.

Measures needed to reduce the attack surface size for infiltration include: using secure communication protocols, encrypting data, and identifying sensor and gateway tampering. Progressive utilities that use sensors to create data collection nodes throughout their network are at an advantage relative to those less sophisticated utilities that collect little or no data at all. But utilities that understand the importance of securing their SCADA systems and ICS are truly forward-thinking.

Utilities can monetize data and realize rapid and outsized returns on investment using turnkey, cyber-secure, cost-effective data acquisition solutions. Water and wastewater utilities that understand this opportunity and capitalize on it will lead their sectors into a more resilient and prosperous future.

Note: this post was adapted from a white paper.

The Story Of Ayyeka

The inspiration for Ayyeka began about seven years ago when two friends, Ariel Stern and Yair Poleg, decided to spend their free time in a dusty old garage developing a new technology. The two engineers sat huddled next to space heaters trying to invent a revolutionary product. The result was the founding of Ayyeka.
Both Ariel and Yair grew up living and breathing technology but took slightly different paths during their army service.

One passion for technoloogy; two difference paths

Yair began programming as a teenager and post high school was drafted into the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) to work within the elite 8200 signals intelligence unit. For him, serving in 8200 as part of the cybersecurity team was a dream come true. There, he had access to some of the most advanced military-grade technologies available anywhere.

After completing a B.A. in Computer Science, Yair went on to study at Hebrew University to complete a Ph.D. in computer vision, the technology used to develop self-driving cars. As Ayyeka’s CTO, he now invests a lot of time and energy working with customers on systems integration, securing the company’s IP portfolio, and finding new ways to develop the most cutting edge cyber-security features.

Ariel decided to pursue his B.A. in electrical engineering at the Technion, through the Israeli Airforce’s Academic Reserve program, ultimately attaining the rank of captain. The air force was a perfect place to learn more about electrical engineering. He worked with aircraft such as the F16, where he even built a new aircraft subcomponent using scraps of equipment, saving the unit both time and money.

During his time in the air force, Ariel also served as a project manager for a classified Ministry of Defense project. Throughout their army service, Ariel and Yair continued to cross paths and planned to partner and launch their own company. As Ayyeka’s CEO, Ariel travels frequently, working directly with customers and generating new business opportunities. “Ayyeka started as a garage project and eventually became a reality,” he says.

It all started with a bicycle robbery

What was the inspiration for the name Ayyeka? Yair told Ariel that his bike was stolen from the Tel Aviv train station. The two engineers decided someone needed to create a GPS tracking device that could be installed inside the bike, hidden from potential thieves. After many hours of testing and re-testing, their new device was finally complete. The time came to present the bike tracker at an important meeting, which also meant ordering business cards.

A company name meant business. The two friends came up with the name Ayyeka. Translated from Hebrew, ‘Ayyeka’ literally means, ‘Where are you?’.’ The phrase comes from the famous biblical story in which Adam and Eve eat the forbidden fruit and hide from God. God called out to them, saying, “Where are you?”. Biblical commentators go a step further, explaining that the term] Ayyeka does not only mean where is your location, but also why aren’t you here? This biblical reference perfectly described their new bike tracking device.

The pivot to remote monitoring

After the 2008 market crash, the two co-founders quickly realized that the bicycle device would not lead to a promising business opportunity and began seeking another use for the technology. Ariel’s family friend, a water engineer, asked if the device could also collect data from local water infrastructure. They connected a sensor to the device to measure flow data, and sold the first five devices to an Israeli water utility.

“Some of my friends started companies way before we started thinking about Ayyeka. But, while we were working in the garage, the perfect storm developed,” Yair says. The Internet of Things (IoT) market had already started creating a buzz and the Wavelet water monitoring device was the perfect IoT solution for the water industry.

The water industry is generally conservative and only somewhat connected – utilities cannot monitor vital quality and quantity information in real-time. Industry leaders know that data is needed to better manage infrastructure and are looking for innovative solutions to connect aging infrastructure to control centers.

On the other hand, “Humans are fully connected,” as Ariel notes. “We use Fitbits and Apple watches to monitor our every move, which is exciting but not essential. It proves that the technology exists and can also be used to create an industrial transformation.” Industrial networks need to establish connectivity and at the same time address the challenges of aging infrastructure and a growing population. Connected autonomous devices, like the Wavelet, bridge the industrial data gap. Ayyeka is helping to transform the conservative water industry through the creation of plug-and-play cost-effective smart networks.

Even though Ayyeka is now established as a leader in remote water monitoring, these two engineers know that the technology can become even smarter. Ariel and Yair want to enter new market segments, test new smart city applications, and transform our understanding of public infrastructure investments. “Who knows where we will be in five years,” Ariel says. Watch this space to find out.

The Story of Ayyeka: Ayyeka first business cards

Ayyeka׳s Wavelet Demo Kit

The Wavelet Demo Kit offers an end-to-end solution for real-time measurement of water temperature. The Kit includes temperature transmitter and 3-ft cable. The temperature transmitter can monitor temperature changes of water and gas flowing through a pipe, such as into a cooling tower or to monitor temperature of water used in industrial treatment and processing.
This Kit is ideal for industrial applications and demonstrating the ease of set up and use of Ayyeka׳s Wavelet systems. Monitoring water temperature offers insights on evaporation. It also provides insights on the optimal temperature needed for reduced energy consumption. Ayyeka’s streamlined cyber-secure solution provides GPS and time-synced data to water network operators, regulators, and decision makers and supports better operations management.

Ayyeka's Wavelet demo kit
Ayyeka’s Wavelet Demo Kit Suitcase

Interning In The Startup Nation

After I finished volunteering at an Israeli children’s home, it was clear that I wanted to return to this wonderful country. However, I needed to complete my bachelor’s degree in Germany before I could come back to Israel.
I chose to major in business administration and environmental studies at a unique German environmental university. As my fifth semester, which was designated as a practical semester, drew near I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to return to Israel. Not just because I fell in love with the country but also because Israel is known as the startup nation. It has the highest concentration of innovative start-ups as well as high-tech companies in the world. I knew that if I wanted to work at an innovative startup, Israel was the place to go.

I had always been interested in the water industry, so when I started to search for Israeli startups active in the water industry, I came across Ayyeka Technologies Ltd. After a challenging application process, I began a five-month internship with Ayyeka’s Business Development team, which turned out to be an incredible opportunity.

A different kind of internship

I wanted to intern at Ayyeka for a few reasons. The most important one being that I didn’t want to be the kind of intern who does the tedious administrative work like printing, photocopying, and conducting internet research, which often happens in large companies. I was excited to be part of a young and professional team that was passionate about creating and developing unprecedented technologies to advance the water industry. In the beginning, it wasn’t easy. I had to read a lot about the water industry in order understand the business model and technology. Once I had enough background information, they presented me with my main project assignment. It seemed like a huge responsibility, and I was worried I would never be able to successfully complete it.

Once I started to work on the project and met with my supervisor, I gained more self-confidence and really enjoyed my work. In addition to the projects I worked on, Ayyeka gave me numerous opportunities to learn about various aspects of the business. For example, I met with the engineering team to learn how the device worked, and I got to see how it was installed and operated in the field. I even went with the Business Development team to pitch to investors! For me, the most memorable event was the Water Technologies and Environmental Control (WATEC)Exhibition, which took place in Tel Aviv and had over 10,000 visitors. I joined the Ayyeka booth and had a chance to represent the company!

Looking back on my internship, I am glad that I had the opportunity to intern at a company like Ayyeka. The team and the startup atmosphere was incredible. Although I am a student, and I don’t have a lot of professional experience, I can definitely say that Ayyeka, and its team, are very special. Although my internship lasted from Sep 2015 until Jan 2016, I am still in touch with the Ayyeka team and hope to return to Israel again.

So if you are thinking about interning at Ayyeka or another Israeli startup, my advice would be to go for it! If you like to be challenged and can work independently, you will get to learn about cutting edge technologies and you will have a lot of fun!