“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” is a phrase that Arthur Steingart, president and CEO at Symp1e LLC, lives by. Since he founded Symp1e in January 2012, his company has developed Waterall, a Wi-Fi- and Bluetooth-operated irrigation timer, one of the simplest and most efficient of its kind.
“It comes up with the most efficient watering schedules based on plants that you have in your garden or in your lawn,” says Steingart. Based on such information and weather, the device computes an efficient watering schedule for any given day.
“It waters throughout the day versus all at once, and it’s able to change based on soil, weather – if it rains, it will turn off,” he says.
It is so efficient in its water use that it has met U.S. Environmental Protection Agency criteria for the Water Sense label, applied to products that “have been certified to be at least 20 percent more efficient without sacrificing performance,” the EPA says. As a result, Waterall qualifies for a rebate from government entities in the program.
After Waterall is purchased, the receipt can be sent to the purchaser’s city or specified government entity for reimbursement, says Steingart. “In Scottsdale, it’s up to $250. So, if our unit is $169, they’ll reimburse you up to $250. So, that way it’s free,” he says.
Steingart, a 2015 graduate of Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business, initially developed the Waterall idea while having dinner with friends and a hardware developer, whom he had met a few nights earlier at an ASU Hillel event he hosted as president of the organization.
At dinner, the group discussed plans for the upcoming weekend, and Steingart mentioned that he had to replant his entire garden due to a failing irrigation timer, which started the ball rolling.
Then, someone suggested making the irrigation system simpler, and the idea grew from there. “All of us contribute to this final product that we go on to create.”
“There’s nothing more precious in the world than water,” he says. Aware of its value as a resource, he is committed to conserving water. “People involved in Waterall realized that they were also doing something very altruistic. That in the future, [it] could really save a lot of water, a lot of energy, a lot of frustration.”
The group used Kickstarter for initial funding, and two years later, the dinner idea has grown into a successful business. “Since then, it’s developed in every way,” says Steingart. “Now, we are dealing with people and products that have to do with taking this product to the very next level, the next level being mass production, implementation, support and I guess ecosystem growth.”
While building Waterall from the ground up, he managed to balance his role at Symp1e with academics and extracurricular activities. “It was really interesting to be in school while … becoming an entrepreneur,” says Steingart. “It is an experience of a lifetime, and it’s something that I find to have been very challenging in the best ways possible.”
“You can make it as hard as you want. It’s all about the attitude,” he says. Today, having graduated college in the spring, he has only increased his work load.
Looking to study constitutional law, he has been preparing for the LSAT and working as the marketing director for a California company, while still leading Symp1e. “I’m studying right now – I am pulling like 17-hour days,” says Steingart. “So it’s great though. It’s fun!”
Steingart dedicates his hard work to his parents and grandparents. “I have a greater responsibility,” says Steingart. “My grandparents are Holocaust survivors. They came to this country for me to get an education … and my parents are accomplished in their own fields and they are working very hard.”
Steingart plans to continue with Waterall and hopes it can make a difference in the world.