Startup Grind hosts Richard Cooper for a fireside chat
Richard Cooper, of Cascade Technologies and Novosound, joined us in Edinburgh on the 26th of April. This time the Startup Grind fireside chat was hosted by Codebase. Richard shared his journey and gave advice to others about to set out on the same path.
After leaving university with a degree in Production Engineering and Management, Richard brought that knowledge to companies like the Howden Group and Rolls Royce. 20 years later it was time to move on to startups. He became one of the founders of Cascade Technologies and was primarily the company's Commercial Director. After the company as sold to Emerson Process Management in 2014, Richard continued to work with them, most recently in the capacity as a consultant.
Today he is the co-founder of another startup company, namely Novosound. With the aim to revolutionize the relatively stagnant area of ultrasound equipment, Richard is aiming high once again.
The fireside chat
An avid car enthusiast, Richard tells us of his early years racing and getting his manufacturing engineering degree. There's no small amount of delight when he speaks about working for Rolls Royce and the cars there. The experiences have served him well, both when struggling to keep Cascade Technologies afloat and after the company became a success.
On the matter of culture Richard has a lot to say. He offers advice on when to start working on a positive culture – which is right away. Additionally, he gives suggestions on helpful ways to grow that culture that he has learned over the years. From fruit to the people that make up the team, there are a lot of factors that a startup need to keep in mind, especially money. "Manage the cash," he warns, speaking from experience. "Most startup companies go bust because they run out of cash."
These days Richard has a new project – Novosound. He recently joined forces together with a few individuals just out of university, combining his experience and their skills. He is at home with having co-founders and he knows what to look for. "There is no point in three of you doing the same thing, you've got to complement each other," he tells us.
What advice would you give budding entrepreneurs?
Get the best administration you can get
Administration underpins a company, so you want someone who is good at it to help you out. Don't expect your engineers to do it on top of their other tasks, that is more than likely to invite disaster.
Regular board meetings
Even if things are running smoothly regular board meetings are a must. You also have to make sure they are properly minuted and regulated to keep them efficient.
Get your own front door
If your aim is to build a global brand, getting a front door as soon as possible is important. Punch above your weight and aim high – that front door will help you do that.
Missed the event?
About Startup Grind
Startup Grind is powered by Google for Entrepreneurs and is a global startup community designed to educate, inspire, and connect entrepreneurs. With monthly events all over the world, it aims to feature fireside chats with successful local founders, innovators, educators and investors. They share personal stories and lessons learned on the road to building great companies. Their values of; making friends, not contacts; giving, not taking; and helping others before helping yourself, speak to us as an organisation. We are pleased to be part of the Startup Grind community.
The next Startup Grind event
On the 31th of May 2018 Startup Grind hosted its next event in Edinburgh, this time featuring Dee Bradbury, VP of Scottish Rugby. You can read more about the event in our next Startup Grind article.