How we forged the top team
June 1st 2018, I started working in the Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC) at the heart of Graphene@Manchester. This state-of-the-art facility was designed for the quick commercial scale up of nanomaterials in collaboration with industrial partners ranging from start-up enterprises to blue-chip companies.
My main focus was on the nanocomposites field, working with companies across the automotive, aerospace and many other sectors. In the first week I met Dr Liam Britnell, the head of the printed electronics laboratory. He was responsible for developing circuit boards, sensors and other electronic components from 2D materials.
It was immediately clear that he was an incredibly talented individual with an unprecedented work ethic. He had completed his PhD with the Nobel Laureate, Konstantin Novoselov, and co-founded a number of start-up companies in the years that followed. We went on to work together on a number of occasions, successfully winning business and delivering cross departmental projects on behalf of the institution.
A year and a half later towards the beginning of 2020, I had developed the idea to start a company to produce sustainable and affordable smart houses from graphene-enhanced recycled materials. The intention was to produce these houses in a way that enables them to act as a platform for the rapid incorporation of the up and coming property technologies.
As a nanocomposites research and development engineer, the structure side of things was my bread and butter. However I have always had an achilles heel when it comes to electronics. It was a no-brainer who I would ask to take on the technology side of the venture. I asked Liam if he would be interested and he enthusiastically agreed to be the CTO.
Fast forward six months and through the CEO of Graphene@Manchester we met a graduate from the Alliance Manchester Business School who had reached out looking for opportunities in the nanomaterials ecosystem. Jonas had a professional background in manufacturing, as an international consultant and industrial engineer and had just completed a Masters programme in innovation management and entrepreneurship with a focus in agile organisational management.
This looked like a fantastic opportunity to bring manufacturing expertise into the fold and so we decided to hold a meeting. After a quick chat on Zoom, it became immediately apparent that Jonas would add significant value to the team, not only in developing our manufacturing facilities but also in his strategic thought and planning. We offered him a position as the COO and co-founder soon after, which he graciously accepted.
After this appointment we had almost all the bases covered. I had the expertise on the nanomaterials side of the equation, Liam on the technology front and Jonas on top of the manufacturing. We were just missing one piece, an industry insider.
Fortunately, one of my close friends was just that. As a real estate professional, Sholom has a range of experience across the industry. Sholom's understanding of the real estate market is second to none, like a duck to water. After a brief chat about the Vector vision, he could see that what we are doing is the future of housing. I arranged a zoom meeting with the team to see how he would fit ‘in the changing room’ and the other founders immediately saw the value. A successful negotiation followed and we quickly had a top quality industry insider among our ranks.
With this top tier team we have been able to celebrate many achievements and successes over the last few months. All our hard work and effort has led us to what Vector Homes is today, a ready to roll out system for affordable, smart and sustainable housing.
Be a part of this exciting story and get in touch with us. We’re always happy to engage in conversations with individuals interested in our vision and products and are continuing to add crucial and experienced advisors to the team.