I’ve had a rather interesting career so far - undergrad and PhD in physics at Cambridge, then off into the Defence sector where I had the great fortune to work on a huge variety of problems and platforms, all the way from nuclear submarines to martian rovers and plenty of things in between. Following a short stint back in academia I saw the opportunity to create the technologies that now exist as my startup company’s main products and took the bold step of setting a company up around the vision rather than just writing a bunch of papers about the ideas instead. Life as a founder CEO is incredibly busy, I work every single day, but it’s worth it, we are trying to get our software into every single smart-device on the planet with a GPS chip in it, and that’s no mean feat.
I took the bold step of setting a company up around the vision rather than just writing a bunch of papers about the ideas instead
We are a B2B enterprise, and each deal we target involves putting our IP onto millions of devices, so we are looking for a small number of high value deals. We are in a relatively good place after 5 years, we have signed deals with a couple of companies already and shipped our first product to a customer last year. We are in the middle of negotiating a major deal with one of the most famous smartphone manufacturers on the planet, and closing that will be the next major milestone in our story, it’s the pathway to being in hundreds of millions of devices next year.
Your team is the most important thing you can build - your product can be copied but your team can’t, so build an amazing team with a clear understanding of your vision and you can outstrip your competition every time
Advice for other founders… don’t forget that every founder should be trying to hire themselves out of having to do any work. Your team is the most important thing you can build - your product can be copied but your team can’t, so build an amazing team with a clear understanding of your vision and you can outstrip your competition every time. And don’t forget that your Board is part of your team. You’ve got to ensure everyone throughout the entire company understands the vision and the strategy or you will waste a lot of energy herding cats.
ideaSpace was key to taking the proto-company off a kitchen table and into a more professional-feeling working environment. We met some key contacts through ideaSpace who still help out and advise the company, and I think it is a certainly critical part of the Cambridge start-up scene.
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