Sojo also creates space for discussion around sustainable fashion “What I needed was a really easy and hassle-free way for me to get my clothes altered and repaired – that’s when Sojo was born.” Sojo’s mission is to give clothes a second chance to keep them out of landfill for longer. Sojo made the 2020
Meet ManholeMetrics, 2021 Mayor’s Tech Entrepreneur
At its heart, ManholeMetrics is about preventing wastewater flooding and its impact via low-cost, easy-to-install technology and analytics, putting the power of data into the hands of wastewater utilities. Conceptualised just two days before the application deadline, ManholeMetrics went on to win the Tech Award at the 2021 Mayor’s Entrepreneur Competition! Our interns caught up with the founder, Will Dubin, to find out about his journey and where the company is now.
Having dabbled entrepreneurially in the past, Will was keen to go the distance with a business idea in an environment that offered the right support. Our 2017 winner, Twipes served as a major inspiration to Will in his entrepreneurial pursuit.
“The Mayor’s Entrepreneur seemed like the perfect chance to do so and is what I set my sights on, the rest was history. As for the idea itself, it came after much contemplation and after casting aside several potential others –as the saying goes: to have a good idea, you need a lot of good ideas! I looked to previous winners and the problems they chose and reflected carefully upon the criteria as constraints. This led to creativity – solving a problem for London using tech really struck a chord with me as did the subdomain of smart cities.”
Combined with his degree in civil engineering and London’s infamous fatbergs and an upcoming placement on the Tideway super sewer, Will was inspired to seek out a simple solution to a major problem.
“Since the beginning, the support offered by the Mayor of London has been phenomenal!”
“From connections to industry, becoming part of the larger Mayor’s Entrepreneur ecosystem of previous winners, to the weight carried by endorsement from the Mayor when speaking to customers and of course the funding generously contributed from the Citibank Foundation, the Mayor’s Entrepreneur team certainly set you on a pathway for success. All of the above have contributed enormously to Yorkshire Water’s recent support of ManholeMetrics.”
Reflecting on his journey, Will also acknowledged that there were things he would do differently.
“If I would go back in 2021, I would have taken a step back and tried to enjoy the experience and the moment much more! It is very easy to get tangled up in the minutiae of idea development, searching for customers and forget about enjoying the journey as a whole and relishing in the development of your skills and the opportunity to meet likeminded people.”
Will’s advice for future applicants? Go for it.
“ManholeMetrics was nothing but an idea conceived shortly before the entry deadline so don’t be held back from entering by virtue of your early stage or intimidated by others who may be further along in their journey. The experience on offer from the workshops, mentoring and networking make this an invaluable opportunity which should be taken by the horns!”
Cosi Care eczema relief – 2019 Creative Industries winner
Lauren Bell, 2019 Creative Industries Award winner, Cosi Care “When I entered the competition, I was a designer. Now I am an entrepreneur.” Lauren Bell, used her experiences with chronic eczema to create Cosi Care – a line of products to relieve the symptoms of eczema and other skin conditions. Designed with children in mind,
Fighting electronic waste – 2018 Tech finalist
Re-inventing the circuit board for the circular economy Tech Finalist at the 2018 awards, Jiva made it through to the finals with their key product Soluboard. Soluboard is designed to be a replacement for the plastic base of circuit boards used in all our electronics. The boards are made with natural fibres and a number