What Resilience & Company Growth Look Like After the Tragic Loss of Your Co-founder

Dr. Ido Sella,
Co-founder & CEO of ECOncrete Tech

Dr. Ido holds a Ph.D. in Zoology, Co-founder and CEO of ECOncrete, a startup producing environmentally friendly concrete. He founded the company together with the late Dr. Shimrit Perkol-Finkel; theirs was a symbiotic partnership. Shimrit was a first-rate woman entrepreneur, researcher, and partner whom Ido describes as having "shone." Some highlights in Shimrit's career were when she won the highly coveted "EU Prize for Women Innovators" & the UN’s “WE Empower Award” for Supporting Sustainable Development Goals.

Ido openly shared his and Shimrit's journey and mission, such as how they met during their university days as researchers and their process of establishing and growing the company. He also talked about that damn Sunday where everything changed, and Shimrit left her family, him and their company in tragic abruptness.

The culture of a company and its founders' spirit is a significant element in the growth of startup companies. Through small and meaningful stories, Ido shares how all these puzzle pieces have created an amazing and robust team, which continues to exist alongside the loss. Indicative of such a profound loss, Ido still looks at the empty place next to him, which used to belong to Shimrit. So, what is the company culture of ECOncrete based on?

  • A sense of pride in even the smallest of tasks.
  • Courage - Shimrit went from being embarrassed by the redness that spread around her neck when she talked on stage, to arriving in a red dress to an event with Sir Richard Branson, and picked up prestigious prizes.
  • Recruiting top-notch talent, but only special ones - or as Ido put it; "We had to invent people; an ecologist studying engineering, an engineer studying biology, marketing studying coral."
  • Enormous mental resilience - which was needed on the part of Shimrit's husband, children, sisters & the rest of her family, as well as for Ido as her partner. On the professional side - the company needed the mental resilience bandwidth to make the immediate choice to move forward with all its might. Ido shared how the day after the disaster, everyone sat down for a management meeting with tears in their eyes and chose to manage the crisis because that's what Shimrit would have done.
  • Impact was the keyword when Shimrat and Ido were only in the dreaming stage of the company. The duo wanted to promote actual change and positively impact the world, which Ido and the team continue to do today. Shimrit and Ido's life's work continues to kick in and affect the environment and improve the ecology and quality of life of all planet inhabitants.

Since her passing, the company has raised considerable funding, significant projects have been completed, and operations have expanded to Europe and the US.

"Shimrit was like Moses only without a beard - she saw the Promised Land but did not make it there."

This episode is dedicated with love to the memory of Shimrit Perkol-Finkel.

This episode was done in collaboration with ConTech - a Global Innovation Center for Construction & Real Estate technologies, where Shimrit & Ido were leading entrepreneurs.

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