Launch Space resident story – Greg Gruszecki
Launch Space entrepreneur Greg Gruszecki likes to solve problems. He’s just picked his biggest challenge yet – to tackle the global threat of air pollution.
“Everyone knows air pollution is a problem around the world, but on a trip to London I experienced it first-hand. The air was foul. You could actually taste how bad it was. When I see a problem, I look to solve it. I discussed it with colleagues and we began seeing how we could supply people with fresh air.
“In China, they wear masks all the time. It’s not a satisfactory or comfortable solution. Our aim is to produce a powered, active mask that’s smart and wearable. Beyond that, we could make air pollution towers that scrub toxins from the air, and even look at ways to tackle global greenhouse gases.
“We’re making a hardware product. It’s different to software, where you roll out a product, let people make suggestions, and it improves and evolves. With hardware, you have to have developed a viable product that people will like and buy from the outset. So getting to the stage where you make revenue takes longer.
“The most common problem for start-ups is finance. People don’t know what funding options are out there, or how to apply for them. So much development time can be wasted this way. That’s why initiatives like Launch Space are critical.
“Everyone needs a safe place for their enterprise to grow. In here, we get a hot-desk, support with business and finance, marketing advice and the right connections. Collaboration is the strength of this place.
“A year from now, I believe we’ll have our product developed to such a stage that we can go out and seek serious investment that will fund the enterprise for the duration of its development. I could try and do it all from my bedroom, but I prefer the buzz of Launch Space.”
Greg’s start-up idea
The environmental pollution mask is a wearable device that filters harmful pollutants from the air. It’s automated, so it pumps fresh air in without obstructing breathing. It’s a smart mask too, automatically notifying the wearer when there’s air pollution.
Greg’s top tips
- Network. I genuinely believe that the most important thing to start-up success is networking. Universities are full of expertise, so if you have a question, someone here will know the answer.
- Know your weaknesses. There’s a real skill to grant writing and producing business plans. If they’re not your strong point, find someone with the expertise to help.
- Strike a work/life balance. I used to work all the time, but now I try to strike a balance. It’s important not to burn out. When people are happy, they are more creative.