Blog

Our Insights is where we share our latest thinking through blog posts, interviews with members of the entrepreneurial community, and external publications.

Thoughts on Crypto Assets, Initial Coin Offerings, and the Utility Value of Blockchain Technology

Thoughts on Crypto assets, Initial Coin Offerings, and the Utility Value of Blockchain Technology New to Bitcoin, blockchain, and cryptocurrencies? Read this primer A new asset class I am a believer, or maybe I just want to believe. Is this Amsterdam in the 17th century? My view is: no; a new asset class is emerging, and we are about 45 seconds into the evolution of the species. I have read yet another sceptical article on Seekingalpha this morning, specifically focussed on the Bitcoin (BTC)/Bitcoin Cash (BCH) split.  The author’s supposition is that there is evidence of a bubble in Bitcoin…

The economic challenge that must be incorporated into design

Recently I have been working in the renewable energy field and two pieces of insight highlighted two key mistakes that innovators, but particularly engineering and science based start-ups, are prone to making. Mistake 1: talking to the market after key design elements have already been locked down. Mistake 2: failing to consider the economic envelope in which their innovation needs to perform. Payback hurdle The first insight we received from several market participants, in multiple geographies, was that the product in question would need to payback in under 7 years. The reason for this was that each of them had…

Air pollution: a public health concern

Cycling home over Waterloo bridge a couple of weeks ago I was surprised by my breathlessness and coughing fit that ensued. At first I thought it was a testament to my fitness levels, but turning on the news that night my concern grew from its initial trivial and personal worry. The cause of all this, as I am sure you have all been reading about, was the unprecedented levels of air pollution which set upon the capital earlier this month. Some claimed it was a result of the weather: low wind and high air pressure. While weather contributes to high…

Water: it’s a precious resource, let’s start treating it as such!

I initially started writing this blog in the summer when it was so hot that I was struggling to sleep and was drinking water like it was on tap (but it is on tap Peter!). It was late June at the time and I had decided that it was time for my second annual water blog.  Last year, I wrote about the impact that drought was having on hydro-electricity production in Brazil and agriculture in California, and how increasing droughts could lead to a greater focus on wind, solar and waste to energy technologies, particularly if they could reduce water usage, or, in an…

How to develop a business and yourself

Developing a business and developing yourself have a lot in common. Fundamentally they both involve learning. As a business owner, one responsibility I feel towards those with whom I work is to ensure that they are learning and developing in a way that drives the business and their value to it. In a knowledge business this is an essential dimension if the organisation is to flourish and grow. Where an individual isn’t learning or shows little appetite for discovering new challenges (i.e. new learning opportunities), it is time for them to move on and find inspiration elsewhere. The recipe for…

Space and early-stage companies

No, I’m not talking about Elon Musk’s deep desire to travel to Mars (or Boeing’s apparently deep desire to beat him there), although I’m keenly watching to see whether we’re going to see a re-enactment of The Martian in my lifespan. My interest lies in the terrestrial use of space technology – a particular pertinent question to RIG, given one our clients is a cross-over from the space industry, transitioning from a particularly specialised application into a wide variety of terrestrial uses. When people talk about the cost of space research and how the money could be spent better solving…

Pick your champion

As an early stage technology company, the early deals done with big companies can set the course for the business for some time into the future. Getting them done is rarely simple, but the first step is to make sure you have the right champion. It is a common misconception that because you are engaged in discussion with someone at a company, that you’re engaged with the company as a whole. It is rare that a large multinational invests all of its expertise, budgets and problems in a single individual or team, and frequently teams are empowered to solve their…

“I want to take a company from the lab to its first million and beyond”: An interview with James Evangelou on his 1 year RIG anniversary

James Evangelou joined Rapid Innovation Group in September 2015 after graduating from Cambridge and spending 6 month teaching English in Colombo. He spent a lunch with RIG Engagement Manager, Ffion Rolph, talking success, challenges, and his bid to take over RIG. First things first, are you still happy to be here? Yes! I’m still enjoying myself and I think there’s a lot to look forward to in the next year. Good stuff. And thinking back, what made you want to join RIG? Well, I was fresh out of university and looking for a job. I liked what RIG does and…

Overcoming the listed company innovation paradox – Part 1

I was recently interviewed as part of a research project into corporate innovation by a group seeking to establish how large corporates could create new service and product lines.  It was early in the morning, so I was at my most blunt. Me: “Tell them not to waste their time and money.” Interviewer: “Why?” Me: “Corporates cannot innovate.” Nothing ground breaking here; nothing to see, move on, move on.  I’ve taken a side in one of life’s eternal arguments; I’ve occupied the space for years.  Corporates cannot innovate. Respondents to the ‘can corporates innovate?’ question usually results in people taking…

Solar power: going wireless

Pylons. Nobody really likes them, do they? They’re a bit ugly and you rather wish they weren’t there, ruining the view. Let’s be honest, power grid infrastructure is not pretty but there might soon be a case to do away with it, albeit for slightly better reasons than aesthetics. Traditionally, the way to get power to large numbers of people has been to build more power plants, extending the transmission and distribution networks, and facilitating grid connections. And it remains true that this conventional system is the backbone of power provision in most countries but is it the way of…