Local robotics entrepreneur, Paul Hemans, made a first impression that won’t be forgotten when he arrived at this year’s RISE Summit driving a larger-than-life robot. He went home with a whole lot more, thanks to the business connections, insights and mentoring gained by taking part, and our schools stand to benefit.
Paul was one of many regional entrepreneurs who jumped at the chance to be part of the iAccelerate, RISE Summit when he heard about the collaboration between Wingecarribee Shire Council and the University of Wollongong in support of local business innovators. The experience expanded his business hopes for the future of robotics in local education.
“What I took away from this great event is that having a brilliant business idea is just the beginning.” Paul said. “It was incredible to have this opportunity to pitch my business idea to industry experts willing to share their know-how for making it happen.”
Paul’s business vision has an eye to the future of automation in education. “I have school aged kids of my own and can see the need for robotics in their learning, to put us ahead in this global sector of rapid growth,” Paul says.
“I presented my robots at the summit, which can be configured for a range of different purposes, from mowing the lawn or carrying freight, to farming. My idea is to make these available in schools for kids to program with a relevant function for the world they live in, rather than tinkering with toys.”
The Summit highlighted promising regional businesses and brought them together with industry leaders, angel investors and venture capital investors and government, to explore how to progress their business plans, attract customers and secure investment. Local business participants gained fresh perspective on regional, national and international trends in the entrepreneurship ecosystem, along with an understanding of circular economies.
Building from a background in software development, agriculture and logistics, one of the crucial skills Paul was mentored through during the summit, was moving from his familiar, technical jargon, to plain language more easily understood by the people he will want to do business with. “I tend to get very excited about sharing my vision. The summit showed me how vital it is to communicate to my audience in a way they can relate to if I want them to share my excitement and get on board with my business idea.”
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