Alex is the founder of HEADING ON. It is best described like a “Fitbit® for your car”. Simply plug the HEADING ON tracker into your car and receive notifications on your mobile device when your vehicle needs attention. HEADING ON is currently rolling out its second prototype and will be open for funding soon.
I have been with Vodafone for 13 years, introducing new products to the corporate market. At one of the reorganisations, I decided it was time for me to work on my own ideas. Less than 24h after handing in my badge, I was on a plane to the US. In Silicon Valley I experienced how much positive energy and support there was in the startup scene. I was sold and soon after returning to Oxford created HEADING ON, “the Fitbit® for your car”.
For me it is about keeping your eyes wide open and identifying a problem a number of people experience. It is about listening and then delivering an attractive solution.
When people asked me when the product would be available, because it would empower them and they’d need it right now.
Going through the world with your eyes wide open.
Remaining positive and paying forward.
Getting used to being outside of your comfort zone (easier said than done).
Being surrounded by amazing people with a positive and helpful attitude.
On my vision board there is a photo of Elon Musk. For me, he is an example that ordinary people can do extraordinary things. I also like the companies he’s involved in take things to the next logical step without skipping any.
I would probably ask what routines and habits he thinks everybody should adopt.
If I had to do it again, I would do market research earlier. This is to prove there is a need and people are willing to pay for it.
Currently, I am spending my savings. However, soon after the rollout of the second prototype, HEADING ON will be open for funding.
Oxfordshire is big enough to have its own startup scene, yet close enough to London to access a much larger pool of entrepreneurs, investors, etc. I think Oxfordshire could do more to transform itself into an even bigger hub for innovation.
First, I would make them subscribe to the Enterprising Oxford newsletter. Then I would send them to the Entrepreneurship Centre at Said Business School to check out the VIEW programme. Finally, I would recommend to check out the entrepreneurship online courses at MIT (http://entrepreneurship.mit.edu/online-learning/).
No magic happens inside the comfort zone.