As seen on Tampa Bay Inno “Former FIBA Company Named Among TIME’s Best Inventions of 2019”

An Israeli company with Tampa Bay ties has made its way to TIME’s 100 Best Inventions of the Year.

ECOncrete, which was in the Florida-Israel Business Accelerator program in 2018, was named one of the best companies in the “Design” category. ECOncrete began in 2012 and aims to replace concrete blocks often seen along shorelines with less disruptive concrete infrastructure that better blends with the environment and accommodates living sea creatures. It was founded by Shimrit Perkol-Finkel and Ido Sella.

“We’ve developed ECOncrete a few years out of academy as we realized that to make a real change we must bring a solution that the industry can use at commercial scale,” Perkol-Finkel said in an email to Tampa Bay Inno. “We took on concrete as it makes about 70% of coastal structures and we’ve witnessed that regular ‘gray’ concrete isn’t a good surrogate to reefs, and it mainly attracts “wheedy” and invasive species.”

The company, based in Tel Aviv, hired its sales manager from the Tampa area and also leased storage space in St. Petersburg. Rachel Feinman, executive director of FIBA, has a bi-weekly phone call with the company team to continue to help ECOncrete with Floridian connections.

“From the time they applied, we saw their passion for what they were doing and the strength of their team was what really stood out,” Feinman said. “When you’re evaluating early stage companies, the team is just as, if not more, important than the solution. From the founders to the rest of the staff, everyone was very strong even before they joined our program.”

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