The drought continues to affect businesses, but this time in a positive way. By MIKE PRESTON.
By Mike Preston
Every Tuesday ‘Money Wanted’ features a new entrepreneur or inventor pitching their products and services.
Entrepreneur: Stephen Cordell
Company name: Azuratec
To: Expand nationally
To view Azuratec’s slide presentation, click here.
As the water shortage bites, rainwater tanks are becoming an increasingly common feature in Australian back yards. But as more homeowners make do with smaller blocks, putting in a tank means taking up space in an already cramped back yard.
Enter Stephen Cordell (right), founder of Victorian water storage company Azuratec. “I saw the need for something new back in 2003. I knew that water storage could be done better and went about designing a better method than putting big storage tank in the backyard.”
Cordell’s solution? Rainwater storage tanks that fit into the slab that forms the floor of the house.
The tanks, which are installed when the house is constructed, are slightly more expensive than the above ground variety, but Cordell says his product is competitively priced against other out-of-sight storage options.
“Householders love it. They can have their water tanks without having to see them in the backyard – water storage with no lifestyle cost,” he says.
State government responses to the water shortage are also playing a big role in increasing demand for rainwater storage, Cordell says.
The Queensland Government has just legislated to require 5000 litre storage tanks for a normal detached home. In NSW, BASIX certification aims for all new houses to have rainwater tanks with an average 4000 litre capacity. And the 5 Star program in Victoria gives incentives to install rainwater tanks. “So it’s almost to the point where it will be compulsory to install rainwater tanks Australia wide,” he says.
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Azuratec has been working on improving timeliness and quality in the manufacturing process and spent the past three months getting its branding right. Cordell says the company is now set for growth.
Azuratec’s product has already had positive responses from a number of Victorian and national builders, but the business must now take the next step and turn those responses into supply arrangements, Cordell says.
To take that step, Azuratec is seeking $400,000 investment for working capital and to fund growth plans, with the first step being to set up an office and warehouse in each state to establish a national installation, dispatch and sales capability.
The investment would also assist Azuratec complete the introduction of a grey water storage and recycling product line, Cordell says. “We know many builders find the regulations and complexities of residential water management confusing and time-consuming. We can look after this for them, from rainwater to grey water and storm water – basically, our systems will be able to manage a home’s water from start to finish.”
Contact Stephen Cordell: 1300 766 318.
For information on what we SmartCompany looks for in the businesses featured in Money Wanted, contact COMET business adviser Bob Beaumont on 0415 597 080.
For information on Federal Government grants and programs, click here.
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