1) Can you give a brief description of what your company does?
Open Utility is transforming the electricity industry with their peer-to-peer platform for buying and selling electricity. Their web-based service connects renewable power producers directly to the people who want to buy from them. They are based in the heart of tech-city and expect to launch their product in early 2015.
2) How did you come up with the idea behind your company?
I didn’t, It was my co-founder idea James who had the idea while researching his PHD. I was brought in to be the design lead & co-founder by Andy who was James’ tech lead and co-founder too.
3) What difficulties did you face getting your business started?
Industry regulation in the energy world is really tight and very restrictive to new ideas. This has had a massive affect how fast we can build our company.
4) If you were starting again, is there anything you would do differently?
Not sure we’ve gone too far wrong yet – little things like listening to people more but on the whole no big differences would be made if starting again. There was one 3 months of work that i wouldn’t do again based on a gut instinct that we should have listen to – partnerships are tricking things.
5) What advice would you give to recent ICT graduates who are thinking of starting their own company?
Understand where your strengths and weaknesses are in your skill set and find co-founders to fill those roles. If you are the Tech lead then find a businessperson. Always include a design in your team from the very beginning.