'Never be afraid to ask for advice - there are many experienced people happy to help...'
Published 03/04/2016 | 02:30
'Setting up a business from scratch is no easy task - but every challenge is a learning experience and you only learn by doing. It is all about the journey with your product to create your business.
"It's a long road and it's important to put in the time. I worked with a lot of experts, all of whom gave their time on a voluntary basis - including members of the Irish Navy, Coast Guard and rescue services - who advised me on the challenges of working offshore. The insight and advice of those who experience these conditions every day is very important.
"I am very grateful to them for taking time out of their busy schedules. It really taught me a lot about the importance of being patient and working with people.
"While raising finance and getting business support is always a challenge, there are lots of supports out there from different government agencies. InterTradeIreland and Enterprise Ireland in particular gave me great support.
"A big boost for Ocean Survivor was winning the InterTradeIreland Seedcorn competition. The overall prize money of €100,000 was really invaluable in allowing me to invest in the product and allowed the company to hire its first employee.
"In addition, the pitching and mentoring aspects of the competition really helped me to improve my business model. Winning the Seedcorn competition has opened a lot of doors.
"I get monthly advice from other entrepreneurs who help to steer me on the right path. They offer the benefit of their own previous experiences to help me to be realistic about my aims and prepare for experiences that are often very different to what I had originally thought.
"It taught me not to be afraid to ask for advice, as there are lots of experienced people who are happy to help. I hope, in turn, to be able to offer future entrepreneurs the benefits of my experience. Building a start-up is always a challenge but it's important that we support each other.
"There are lots of supports out there; they only need to be found. Social media is opening up new possibilities for mentorship and business support. I have been able to access networks of start-ups and new entrepreneurs in the same position as myself.
"There are a lot of hoops to jump through in order to get to where you want to go. However, I would not change my experiences. The process of seeing your vision become a reality is worth all the hard work."
Sunday Indo Business