What is your favourite innovation/invention and why?
I have an unusual fascination for product inventions that positively impact the environment and the world: products or services that were not only created to solve a market problem or reduce a negative impact but are actually creating positive effects on our world. For example, someone one day began making clothes or shoes from recycling or plastic collected from the sea instead of using traditional fabrics. Right now, someone is thinking about new solutions to provide potable water or basic sanitation in places that still do not have this service. I’m thrilled by the designers using fruit peels to create fabrics or architects thinking about substitutes for asphalt or cement. I know there are a lot of entrepreneurs out there doing amazing stuff for our world.
What’s the number one problem/challenge that you hear from clients at the moment and what can be done about it?
Businesses of multiple sizes and industries share a need: how to grow in a post-pandemic environment and with such changeable geopolitical conditions. Yet, although creativity and innovation flourish to overcome business obstacles, there are always three barriers: I need to figure out where to start, I don’t have time to do it, and it could be very expensive. These are precisely the myths we want to demolish at Sussex Innovation through our programmes and services, understanding that this process will take time and effort. Still, step by step, it’s possible to make small changes to access new markets, reach new clients, attract new investors, improve your process, and make them more sustainable or more efficient. Sussex Pioneers, The Bamboo Club and the Great Accelerator are just a few examples of our programmes that can give you quick insights to make changes or adjustments to pivot your business model quickly, cheaply and effectively.
Why do you do your job? What do you get out of it?
Regardless of our role or position, we should always ask ourselves what’s the outcome and the output of our activities: Are we stimulating curiosity in our clients? Are we challenging their perspectives? Are we learning together? Did we help them solve a problem they had? In my job, I hear many stories and meet many people with multiple backgrounds and motivations daily, making me love my job so much. The possibility of impacting so many people and businesses makes each day different. The opportunity to learn and unlearn all the time makes my job so exciting.
What’s been your favourite project at Sussex Innovation so far and why?
Sussex Pioneers! It allowed me to learn so many inspiring stories from the region’s innovators, who are an example of the kind of solutions we need. At the same time, it was a challenging project because we had fantastic material and hours of footage, but we needed to be concrete and accurate in our message and purpose.
What kind of issues can you and your team help our members to solve?
You need it? Name it. Innovation is not about significant changes. It’s about a good ideation session, about understating a new trend, about listening to your customers. In our innovation team, we’re happy to help discover, design, test and scale your ideas through different innovation tools.
Where will we find you on an ideal weekend for you?
You will probably find me with my partner or some friends cooking, watching some movies or walking around with puppies. I usually spend a lot of time reading, so it’s great when I meet people to debate and comment on an article, some books or a documentary.