Andrea Demichelis wanted to change the world…so he created a search engine.
But unlike Google, Demichelis’ website creates water for people in need. In fact, Elliot for Water donates 60% of its profits to buy Solwa Technologies, solar energy based products that purify dirty or polluted water through desalination, the irrigation of arid grounds and the dehydration of food.
We caught up with Demichelis to find out more.
Why do you think your company has been successful?
We are giving people the opportunity to help without going out of their comfort zone and even more importantly, without asking for money. Elliot For Water is an ethical search engine. You can help save lives by simply searching the web which is an action that we already do every day.
What’s been your biggest achievement to date?
Our biggest achievement is definitely the clean water project in Bichau, Guinea-Bissau that we are about to realise in collaboration with WellFound. This project will give access to safe drinking water to 200 people.
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What’s been the biggest challenge?
Our biggest challenge has been getting traction. As a new startup with not much funding, we had to be creative in order to get the word out there.
What’s your team structure like?
Since day one the team has been built with a remote working frame of mind. Maybe I’m romantic, but I like the idea that people can work from any place in the world and still achieve great results.
What advice would you give to someone considering starting their own business?
The best advice I have is, be patient. People presume that being an entrepreneur is all fun and games: one conference here, one interview there, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The remaining 99% of the time it’s hard work, dedication, failures and sacrifices. It will probably take years to reach your goals, so weapon yourself up with patience, gratitude and composure. Start responding to things instead of reacting and enjoy the process.
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How do you measure success?
I believe that success is very personal, each one of us should give success a different meaning based on what makes us happy. In the case of Elliot For Water, success will be based on the number of people that we will be able to help. The more lives we can change through safe water, the more successful we will be.
How can companies nurture a more diverse team?
I believe diversity is key to the success of any company. You don’t want to be around yes people who always agree and think like you do. Instead, it’s much more beneficial to surround yourself with diverse individuals with different perspectives and opinions. They will push the company to the next level.
What’s the one thing you wish people knew about your business?
I wish people knew that the search results they get from Elliot For Water are just as good as Google. Our search engine, in fact, is completely powered by Bing.
What does the future hold for your company?
I see Elliot For Water providing safe drinking water to 1 million people by 2025. I also see it becoming an example of how a tech company can be profitable and socially impactful at the same time.