Year in review: reflecting on Epic’s 2023
As the year comes to a close, we’re taking a moment to reflect on the whirlwind journey that was 2023. These last twelve months have been action-packed for the Epic team with significant achievements and accolades on all fronts.
We doubled our project count and expanded our work to seven cities across several states. We grew our team with key additions across sales, marketing, and operations. We advanced our goal of transforming the conversation around water, helping to usher in new regulations and achieving over 3 billion impressions across our various media campaigns.
In this year-end review, we journey through the exciting moments and transformative events that made up the past 12 months. Here’s to achieving new heights as we bid farewell to yet another banner year and prepare for the next chapter in our Epic journey.
We kicked off 2023 at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos, where Epic Co-Founder and CEO, Aaron Tartakovsky, was invited to participate in high-level discussions with prominent corporate and world leaders on the critical top of global water security. He was joined by executives from Suez, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Deloitte, HCLTech, Unilever, EDGE, JLL, Microsoft and Salesforce, who revealed a growing recognition that water change and climate change are inextricably linked.
At the Davos meeting, Epic was named a winner of the inaugural as part of the Freshwater Innovation Challenge put on by UpLink – World Economic Forum and HCLTech. It was an honor for the team to be recognized as one of the world’s leading water innovators and an amazing way to start the year.
One of our goals at Epic is to help spread awareness about the untapped potential of water reuse, and one of our favorite venues to do so is in academia, where we get to meet with the students and researchers that are shaping the future of sustainable design. In February, Epic was invited to Stanford University to participate in a water treatment and reuse workshop organized by industry thought leaders Peter Fiske, Meagan Mauter, David Sedlak, and Paula Kehoe of SFPUC.
At the start of spring, we were invited to participate in the first UN Water Conference held in 46 years. In such a highly regulated space like water and wastewater, collaboration between public and private entities is essential for progress. It was inspiring to witness a renewed global commitment to more funding and initiatives that will scale technologies and amplify leading solutions. We also had the distinct honor of serving our Epic OneWater Brews to many delegates and attendees at the international gathering in New York City!
March also added another major award to our shelf with Epic being named to the no. 1 spot in Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies of 2023 list in the small company category! It was an honor to be recognized for our efforts to transform long established paradigms in new and innovative ways.
April was a very exciting month as we launched Epicenter, our monthly newsletter featuring a roundup of all things Epic. There is a lot of momentum now in the water and wastewater industry, and our hope is to provide key insights.
As part of SF Climate Week, we worked with our PR partners at Antenna Group to co-host a happy hour that brought industry leaders and media professionals to our San Francisco HQ for a tour of the Epic operation. And as is now our custom, all visitors were greeted with a well-stocked bar featuring our world-famous recycled water brews!
The month of May was a fun one for the team. We were honored to have our OneWaterTM System named a winner in Fast Company’s 2023 World Changing Ideas Awards, as well as being named an honoree in a record three additional categories: Sustainability/Energy, Urban Design, and Best of North America.
Our technology was further highlighted in The Wall Street Journal’s “Fate of Urban Freshwater” video series that focused on the most pioneering solutions to our urban water woes.
And it was during this same month that our Epic OneWater Brew went viral! Our eco-brew was featured in SFGATE, Sustainable Brands, The Guardian, Bloomberg, The New York Times, and more. We had CBS Mornings hosts Tony Dokoupil, Nate Burleson, Vladimir Duthiers, and Nancy Chen try our beer live on air — host Nate Burlerson even chugged a full pint live on camera (much to the delight of the Epic marketing team)!
In June we welcomed Noni Weigand onto team Epic to help supercharge our marketing efforts and elevate our brand. A key differentiator for Epic is our ability to effectively tell the water story and highlight the critical importance of water reuse, and we look for the best storytellers to help us do so.
Our award winning OneWaterTM system was featured by our partners at UpLink and the World Economic Forum in a sleek video highlighting our technology and its benefits for building owners and developers.
We became one of the very first startups to partner with 50L Home Coalition in July to help catalyze a new approach to building water usage. 50L Home Coalition is a global action-oriented platform that unites leaders from the private, nonprofit, and public sectors to address water security and climate change. Together we’re focusing on the goal of reducing building water consumption and reshaping the relationship with our most precious resource through innovation, education, and advocacy. We’re thrilled to stand alongside other members of the coalition including Procter & Gamble, IKEA, Kohler, Grundfos, and Electrolux Group.
We were also proud to launch a Projects page on our website to showcase the growing portfolio of Epic work across the U.S. Each case study delves into the unique challenges faced by clients and the tailored solutions implemented to address their specific needs, including reduced water costs, increased water resilience, and improved environmental stewardship.
Epic’s approach was recognized by Bloomberg as one of the “9 smart ways to make cities better.”
Chief Commercial Officer Eric Hough was invited to present at US Green Building Council’s Annual Product Solution Showcase. An important element of our work is collaborating with key industry groups and thought leaders, and we are grateful for partners like USGBC and other leading associations that are committed to improving how we do business in the green building world.
September was packed with events, awards, and new social media campaigns, including the launch of our #ToiletTalkTuesday social media campaign.
The Epic team descended on the Big Apple for NYC Climate Week, where Epic’s CEO Aaron Tartakovsky participated in main panels at both the Sciens Rethinking Water Conference at Columbia University and the Fast Company Innovation Festival alongside executives from Dell, ScaleAI, Pandora, and Lithos Carbon.
Epic was additionally honored to be named the grand prize winner in the emerging startup category at the 10th Annual Real Estate Tech Awards (RETAs). This prestigious award recognizes excellence in commercial real estate technology and celebrates pioneering ventures that have played an outsized role in advancing novel tech solutions.
For the second year in a row, the Epic team was thrilled to once again make the exclusive TIME Best Invention of the Year list with our Epic OneWater Brew. (This of course follows on the heels of our OneWaterTM System being named to the venerated list in 2022).
Epic’s Eric Hough participated in ASPE’s Tech Symposium where he spoke on water resilience, reuse technologies, and the regulatory shifts that are developing in response to changing climate conditions.
To top things off in October, we were invited to join the World Economic Forum’s Urban Transformation Summit. During a keynote panel discussion, Aaron Tartakovsky shared his thoughts on how cities and businesses can collaborate to tackle our most ambitious and pressing climate goals. We were also able to debut our unique and interactive booth design that demonstrates the robust capabilities of our water reuse and resource recovery solutions.
A major coup for the year was Epic’s inclusion in the APEC CEO Summit 2023, where Epic CEO Aaron Tartakovsky was featured on a panel alongside global leaders Nick Clegg, President of Global Affairs at Meta, Manny Maceda, Worldwide Managing Partner at Bain & Company, and moderator Michelle Caruso-Cabrera of CNBC to discuss the need to foster innovation and champion entrepreneurship in the public-private sector. And in what was undoubtedly a first for the APEC stage, the panel concluded with each of the panelists cracking an Epic beer live in front of the global audience!
We also had the privilege of exhibiting our technology in true Epic fashion at San Francisco City Hall, where we again served our recycled water beers during the official APEC media reception with Mayor London Breed.
Another highlight from the already busy month was Epic being featured in CNN’s “Going Green” series in an episode dedicated to the innovative technologies that are being deployed to secure our planet’s water resources.
The team closed out 2023 with a record number of new contracts and our highest revenue figures to date. We also expanded our water reuse operations team with the addition of an experienced operator, Ryan Tassa, who will lead our efforts in Los Angeles — a market where we are seeing increasing traction.
In spite of a challenging macroeconomic environment and significant headwinds in the new construction market, the Epic team had its strongest year yet and is proud to be working with many of the leading names in global real estate. We are more energized than ever to continue our work of accelerating a water reuse revolution in our cities, and we look forward to working with many of you to help build a more sustainable, and water-secure future for all.