I’ve recently had the opportunity to interview and tell the stories of some incredible people. I’d like to share some of the most thought-provoking with you now.
“When Dr Jamie Wilson MBA2011 left the medical profession to study for a MBA at London Business School (LBS) in 2009, he’d already caught a bug of his own: the entrepreneurial bug. After working as an NHS psychiatrist, he knew in 2007 that he wanted to have a greater impact on healthcare. Dr Wilson left the profession and forfeited a steady wage to start HomeTouch, which back then was a tablet-based solution to care, but is now a marketplace for finding a carer. The care is personalised, patients are ‘clients’ and the business is “much like a care concierge service,” says Dr Wilson.
Everyone has heard of ‘fail fast’ but if there’s one thing Dr Wilson’s learnt, it’s that you’ve got to fail first. His idea, HomeTouch, which launched in 2012, was a tablet-based software platform – a dashboard to check your family member is receiving the right care. But because tablets weren’t widely used at the time, and Wi-Fi penetration in the demographic (the elderly and the informal carers, aged between 40 and 60) was low, the product wasn’t ready to be widely used. At this point, Dr Wilson changed the business model, re-launching HomeTouch in December 2014 as a marketplace that connects self-employed carers to people looking for home care. The platform allows care-seekers to search for help by postcode, allowing them to browse carer profiles, send messages directly to them and book the person they want.”
“Around 71 per cent of the earth’s surface is covered in water, so how do you save people in hurricane winds and torrential rain without putting other’s lives at risk? The answer is EMILY: the robotic lifeguard that works hand-in-hand with first responders. She’s an unmanned surface vehicle (USV), capable of moving without human controls that can travel at more than 28 mph in hurricane conditions. The robot – which belongs to Bob Lautrup SLN18 (1986) and Tony Mulligan, Co-founders, and Executive Vice President and CEO respectively, at Hydronalix – saves lives not only in the US, but in countries with a high risk of tsunamis and floods such as Indonesia and Mongolia tsunami and flood response.
The company recently won a Tibbetts Award for innovation and was presented the prestigious accolade at the White House on 15 June 2015. The award recognises the late Roland Tibbetts who is widely acknowledged as the father of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) programme for his contribution to innovation. From over 7,000 ventures shortlisted, just 23 won an award. Bob says: “The SBIR programme enables start-ups to apply their research, creating successful businesses with important jobs and products.”
No computer can replicate human judgement and experience, but Bob believes that with the help of Hydronalix products, humans can concentrate on integrity, empathy and humanity: three traits that he applies to both work and life.”
“Every five years, China’s policymakers reveal the direction of the country’s long-term social and economic policies with the aim to boost the economy. The five-year blueprints were adopted in China in 1953 and are implemented by central, provincial, local, and district governments, along with industry regulators. Dr Gus Chow, CEO at Harmony Asset, guides his business strategy to align with China’s focus.”
Picture citation: Jill Clardy, John Steinbeck on Story telling CC BY-SA 2.0