Mentoring New Innovation
Over the past couple of months SSC have been busy helping new start-ups find their feet.
TWEFDA in Aberdeen, Scotland is a pre-operations renewable energy company that Cait is helping to prepare for funding applications from grant bodies and for pitches to interested investors.
TWEFDA Ltd is developing an Energy Device (Es-Wave) with dual functionalities production and storage, addressing the two biggest challenges that the Energy Market is facing right now with one single device. It is also capable of economically repurposing aged offshore oil & gas producing assets after their end of economic recovery.
They have a patent applied for innovation that will provide sustainable renewable energy and energy storage of marine and tidal energy that can be deployed in Scotland and any coastal region globally. This tackles the major challenges of renewables: providing reliable 24/7 supply to the grid from a relatively small footprint that does not harm marine life.
TWEFDA’s MD, Javier Dominguez explains
I'm a Marine Engineer, an Associate Member of The Royal Institution of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, and I have been awarded the Euro Engineer distinction after more than 20 years in the industry. I was also part of the 2nd Cohort of Grey Matters.
I am an entrepreneur by nature. I have owned and managed a 24-people company with a €1 million turnover, as well as an LED bulb and control system business in Aberdeen. As an inventor, I patented internationally a ‘Folding Package with Variable Volume’ which was awarded the Silver Medal at the 27th International Invention Fair of Geneva, back in 1999.
Cait is helping me to really clarify my thinking about how to explain TWEFDA as a company and the first product ES-WAVE to the world. Together we are creating a proper portfolio of business documents to present to potential investors and also to support grant applications alongside costed work-plan to take the idea from TRL 2 to commercialisation and market. I have directed businesses before but my language needs to progress to be able to communicate with ‘money people’ and working with SSC who can understand my technology but who also understand the funding maze has been invaluable.
More information on this company at www.twefda.com
Seeds of Enterpreneurship
Entrepreneurship is a strange beast. It is a rite of passage for some people, an experience never to be undertaken twice. For others it can be a lifelong addiction. It is definitely not for everyone!
Entrepreneurs are also a bit out of the ordinary themselves, but there is not a set personality type that makes for success or failure. There are many people who make creating a business look easy. They might be inspirational at explaining their complex ideas and getting others to believe that it is going to be possible. They might be doggedly determined to keep trying, perhaps quietly in their basement, until they manage to get the correct formula for success.
One thing that we have noticed at SSC as a team, is that when we participate in, or coach on, entrepreneur/commercialisation courses there are often a majority of “out of towners” signed up.
There is something in the personal challenge of moving for university or employment, away from your home, or going to another country and learning to live around another culture (and often language) that feeds an entrepreneur spirit.
Perhaps relocation gives people the confidence to try new things, perhaps the relocation gives people a new set of vocabulary and cultural references to be able to communicate their thoughts better. Perhaps we just see the world in a different light and can spot new ways to do things, ways that would be normal back home, but in this new environment bring innovation and improvements.
Whatever the cause, it does seem to be a truth that holds across all geographies that SSC has been lucky enough to work in.
Its another tangible benefit of immigration and to be celebrated!
Watch one, Do one, Teach One
The world of a business expert at SSC is a strange one.
We are constantly learning new things, trying to understand the cutting-edge of technology in many market areas, trying to make contacts with all sorts of vibrant and interesting people and companies to be able to make connections. We are always watching.
We are also not afraid to roll-up our sleeves and provide practical support where it is needed. Sometimes it is the right thing to do to be immersed in a company for the length of a project and share knowledge from the inside not just through a report or presentation.
Recently SSC in Scotland has been working with two young companies who are wanting to take their ideas and introduce them to the world. They want to ideally be able to obtain grant and investment funding to then allow them to take their prototypes and develop them into successful products and to grow their companies around that, enabling employment and revenue.
It is a pleasure and a privledge to see their progress and the changes they are making.
For us it is also the proof of our own skills as that "Teach One" element of mentoring is an art. I think the mark of a true expert is in being able to understand the influence of communication within business enough to be able to encourage and guide others to embrace those skills and use them to move their own businesses forwards.
It might be a strange world at times, but it is hugely rewarding to be trusted with such a depth and quality of new technologies as they make their journey forward to market and commercial success.