Viewpoints

Our interviews with entrepreneurs.

A conversation with Ffion Rolph, Rapid Innovation Group Project Director

RIG’s summer intern, Nadya Kelly, sat down for lunch with Ffion Rolph, RIG’s project director. Over some pizza and coffee, they discussed Ffion’s time at RIG, technology interests, and gender issues. NK: How did you end up working for RIG? FR: Honestly, I came out of university, and like most people, didn’t really know what I wanted to do. I had a couple of ideas. I’ve always been into politics - I studied it at university and had been working at the Welsh Assembly for a while before I came across RIG. A friend knew someone who worked here. I…

“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…

Entrepreneurship, UAVs and Star Wars: A conversation with Daniel Sola, CEO of Archangel Aerospace

We caught up with Daniel Sola, CEO and founder of Archangel Aerospace, an aerospace consultancy specialising in High Altitude UAVs (aka HAPS or High Altitude Pseudo Satellites) and space.   This is my first interview with an entrepreneur for Rapid Innovation Group’s “entrepreneur’s viewpoint” page. I am excited to see where our conversation takes us. Well I will try and give you an “entrepreneur’s viewpoint.” I find that if I describe myself as an entrepreneur I suffer massive imposter syndrome [laughs].  Maybe that’s because I’ve spent a decent amount of time rubbing shoulders with extremely successful founders in Silicon Valley…

A conversation with RIG’s founder

RIG Engagement Manager, Ffion Rolph, sat down and interviewed Founder and Managing Partner, Shields Russell, over a series of face-to-face meetings. Here, Shields shares his thoughts on RIG's history, its evolution, and its future.   FR: Is it fair to say that RIG’s market focus has evolved significantly in the last few years? SR: I think that ‘evolved’ is the key word. We have certainly increased our focus on energy, natural resources, and major industry. This was deliberate and we now have some portfolio companies with terrific technologies in this area.   FR: But you didn’t just stumble into these…

"I wanted to get closer to the companies themselves and have more involvement with the actual operating businesses" – an interview with Simon Jackson

I recently caught up with Simon Jackson, Director, in order to learn a bit more about his RIG story. When and why did you join RIG? I joined RIG in June 2009 by osmosis. I first started working on one client, and within 2-3 months I was fully engaged working on 3 clients. I’d known Shields for a long time and always thought that what he did and the way he talked about it was very interesting. I’m a technophile and my career has kind of gone in the opposite direction of flow to some people in some ways. I…

An interview with the founder and CEO of Export Technologies, Daniel Loughlin

Daniel Loughlin founded Export Technologies, an eCommerce platform provider and consultancy, in 2005. To date, their eCommerce platform, the IRP, has transacted over £1 billion in retail eCommerce sales in over 180 countries. I caught up with Dan in order to delve deeper into the world of eCommerce and entrepreneurship. How would you define an entrepreneur? From my point of view, it is someone who can create a viable business out of an idea. How did you come to be an entrepreneur? I was initially a programmer and had a big interest in eCommerce and still do, and an opportunity…

"As a CEO, you never stop pitching."

Rory O'Connor is the CEO of Scurri, a cloud-based delivery management platform that gives merchants the tools to gain control and operational efficiency. Scurri was recently chosen from thousands of businesses to represent Ireland at the European Business Awards. We caught up with Rory to hear about his journey with Scurri so far. First things first, how are you on this rather warm day? Great, I love the sun. I just biked in which I love doing. Days like today always put a smile on your face. Congratulations on being chosen to represent Ireland at the European Business Awards. How…

Introducing SprinkleBit: the DIY Investment Revolution

Alexander Wallin moved to the USA from Sweden in 2007 to pursue a Bachelor in Economics at the University of California, San Diego. Today, 6 years later, he is running the social online investment platform SprinkleBit and has secured seed round funding of $800,000. Fellow Swede and RIG summer intern 2013 Erik Lehmann caught up with Alexander between volleyball tournaments and equity research sessions to check in on SprinkleBit’s progress and Alexander’s view on raising capital. First off, congratulations on winning the San Diego Business Journal’s Innovation Award for financial innovation. Thank you very much. I was quite surprised to…

"The crowd as a whole is smarter than any single person"

Paul Higgins was a consultant with Rapid Innovation Group from 2005 to 2012, when he left RIG to co-found Crowd Valley. Crowd Valley provides the platform and back office services for crowd funding, peer to peer investing and alternative asset marketplaces for securities professionals. We caught up with Paul to find out more about Crowd Valley's growth and his views on crowdfunding. Why should a customer choose Crowd Valley as a platform? Crowd Valley is a spin out (of Grow VC) which has been going since 2008. We have been involved in the sector since before it all began really. Grow…

"I want clients that have the potential to exit at $100m": An interview with Sameer Pal

Sameer Pal has been with RIG almost since its inception. Previously he was with Mercer Management Consultants. Sameer is a RIG partner. A citizen of the world, he was educated in India, Botswana, and the United States. Not a convert (yet) to the religion of blogging, he was interviewed by RIG Principal, Shields Russell. Sam, why did you join RIG? I did the big consulting practice. I wanted stay in consulting but to do something entrepreneurial. RIG is an entrepreneurial project in its own right and we work with entrepreneurs. I like seeing the fruits of my labour becoming something…