Meaningful Business (MB:) Please tell us a bit about your background.
Inna Braverman (IB:) I am a technology entrepreneur born in the Ukraine in 1986, just two weeks before the Chernobyl Nuclear disaster. My family immigrated to Israel when I was four years old. After high school, I attended the University of Haifa, studying Political Science and English Language and Literature, graduating in 2010.
I founded Eco Wave Power (EWP) in 2011 at the age of 24, alongside David Leb.
MB: What led you to start Eco Wave Power?
IB: For me, clean electricity is a very personal journey. As I was born two weeks before the Chernobyl Nuclear disaster, I suffered respiratory arrest due to the pollution in the region. Luckily, my mother, a nurse, came to my crib on time and gave me a mouth to mouth resuscitation, which saved my life.
I got a second chance in life and decided to devote it to the development of a clean and safe method of electricity production.
MB: What are the main problems you are trying to solve?
IB: According to the UN, energy production is the dominant contributor to climate change, accounting for 60% of global greenhouse gas emissions. The production of clean electricity from the waves will be an integral part of the world’s renewable energy mix, and a significant part of the solution against climate change.
To date, most wave energy developers focused on capturing the power of offshore waves, resulting in expensive and complex projects (which required using ships and divers for simple Operations and Maintenance (O&M) activities), therefore struggling to commercialise. Whereas, EWP has taken a completely different approach.
EWP has developed a proprietary wave energy technology that is installed on existing marine structures (breakwaters, piers, jetties) and efficiently harnesses the power of onshore and nearshore waves. We keep it smart, simple and cost-efficient!
MB: What is your biggest challenge right now?
IB: Although many countries publicly encourage the idea of innovative renewable energy technology, we find that most still lack suitable regulatory frameworks, legal frameworks and supportive policies for the actual implementation of innovative renewable energy technologies, such as wave energy. This complicates the execution of the project and could cause project execution delays.
MB: What is your vision for the future of your business?
IB: EWP’s vision is to introduce wave energy as a commercial renewable energy source, with the goal of significantly contributing to an emission free planet. In the future, we hope that each breakwater (built or planned to be built) will incorporate wave energy into its design.
MB: What is your advice to other leaders who want to combine profit and purpose?
IB: I am a big believer in passion, and I always say that passion is the greatest renewable energy source – even stronger than the power of the waves. If you are passionate about what you are doing, you will find the way to combine the two. First have a purpose and then profit will come, in the right time.
MB – What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
IB – Listen to everyone, but in the end, follow your heart and your instincts, because you know best for yourself.
MB – Who inspires you?
IB – Jack Ma, since he does not come from an “obvious” background. He was rejected many times throughout his life and still he never gave up.
MB – How do you define success?
IB – Waking up in the morning knowing that you have a purpose.
MB – What is something you wish you were better at?
IB – I wish I knew how to better balance my work with my personal life. Also, I would advise my younger self not to take things too personally.
MB – What is the one book everyone should read?
DN – ‘The Little Prince‘ by Antoine de Sainte-Exupéry. It is a super simple book, with a lot of smart ideas hidden in between the lines.
MB – What do you do to relax?
IB – I like sitting by the ocean, watching the waves.
Discover the other MB100 leaders recognised for their work combining profit and purpose to help achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in 2020, here.