The Innovator, specializing in putting technology developments in context for business, has chosen Vector Center as their Startup of the Week. A global publication about digital transformation, each week The Innovator spotlights a startup which it thinks has the potential to make a substantial impact on business technology.
Jennifer L. Schenker, editor-in-chief, spoke with Vector Center CEO, J. Carl Ganter, to discuss the role Vector Center plays in transforming the way business think about their water risks, and how that risk can touch on energy production, agriculture, and supply chains globally.
Schenker is also the founder of The Innovator and has contributed to or served as editor for Time Magazine, the Wall Street Journal Europe, the International Herald Tribune, and BusinessWeek, among others. The original article is featured below.
Startup Of The Week: Vector Center
Vector Center, a U.S. software-as-a-service startup, helps global corporations, institutions, and governments predict and understand how rapidly changing water, food, and energy resources will impact stability, supply chains, sustainability, and brand reputation.
The startup’s Perception Reality Engine uses machine learning to analyze and monitor geospatial and location data from open and proprietary sources along with tens of thousands of media streams in order to monitor changing conditions.“Think of us as a radar system that provides situational awareness,” says CEO J. Carl Ganter.
Clients using its services include Microsoft, which needs water to cool its data processing centers around the world, Coca-Cola, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, World Bank and the World Economic Forum.
Vector Center is a for-profit spin-out of Circle of Blue, a not-for-profit journalism site that focuses on water scarcity. Ganter, a veteran journalist, received the Rockefeller Foundation Centennial Innovation Award for developing and proving the Vector Center model with Circle of Blue, which he co-founded.
The Vector Center’s closest competitors are global consultancies but Ganter says Vector Center’s offer is unique because it combines satellite data with sentiment analysis — ie what people believe — and on-the-ground investigative research.
The startup’s technology helps companies address questions such as:
- Supply Chain and Production Management: What are the potential risk and impact scenarios of water security on local producers and suppliers as well as market activity across your global supply chain?
- Resilience: How will changing water, food, and energy conditions affect your business continuity planning programs and disaster risk and recovery initiatives?
- Brand Value: How does freshwater scarcity or groundwater pollution affect the way local communities and target consumers view your company?
- Sustainability: What are the possible and likely scenarios for water, food, and energy availability that could affect your sourcing, production, waste disposal, and recycling? How does your company align and comply with the UN Sustainable Development Goals?
- Shareholder Value: Where are the hot spots and vulnerable areas affecting capital investments? How would your company respond to a crisis or recall?
“Our clients are not only thinking about internal risks but how to get ahead of the curve and forge collaborations and partnerships with local and regional governments and NGOs on water management in order to become better global citizens,” says Ganter.