Following a successful proof of concept run under the supervision of a large agricultural company, Simon Breese founded Ground Data in 2017 to produce remote autonomous sensors for agricultural and other uses. The company is based at the European Space Agency Business Incubation Centre at Harwell south of Oxford.

My background is in IT sales and marketing. Though I’ve worked successfully as an independent consultant I have long wanted to found a scalable product-based business.

Creating something out of nothing. More accurately starting a profitable business with growth potential, usually from scratch.

When I found a great level of interest for what we are doing and customers wanting to buy our system.

  • Determination
  • Customer orientation
  • Team building

Control over the direction of this venture … though after having taken advice from my team and others.

Dyson

How to encourage a culture of commercialisable innovation i.e. not just an interesting project.

My technical partner had to withdraw owing to health reasons. He was difficult to replace. As a coach and consultant I’ve always said ‘it generally happens half as much two years in arrears’, I’m not there yet but missteps and events can cause amazing problems.

Grants and self funding until the business is at a stage where I can sensibly seek external investment.

European Space Agency and Innovate UK

There are lots of bright people in Oxford, but the University tends to be difficult to navigate. It’s good to see Brookes has been included in this.

OxLEP, The Foundry and any number of other places. Harwell has a good community of space related companies.

Bring back the Oxford Entrepreneurs Drinks run at the Jam Factory by Mark Evans. If you had a problem there was always someone who knew someone who could help.

 

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