It is sadly nearing the end of the fellowship journey. Needless to say it has been a complete life
changing experience. My key achievements
Linking and vocalising what I have learned,
experienced or spoken about in a way that is advantageous for others as well as
I have built up an ever increasing network of advisors,
game changers and frontrunners who I have and will contact if and when required
in the future
I have influenced and catalysed positive change
in organisations globally, as well as encouraging new thought processes to
really help companies break through that glass ceiling
As I said in my previous blog to ‘watch this space…’ well I won’t
keep you waiting any longer and tell you a ‘wee bit’ about what I have been up
I have been very fortunate to be in a fantastic placement at
FreeFlow and working with Neil MacMartin (youngest ever inductee into the Entrepreneurial
Exchange - at only 26, Global Scot and his company is the only Scottish company
to have secured the European Regional Development Fund for 2011. Neil is also in advanced talks to build the Commonwealth
Games track for the Games in 2014).
For the past 10 weeks of being at FreeFlow not only have I managed
to change my actual project to something a ‘wee bit more challenging’ but
actually get a great response in doing so.
Neil is, hands down, the best person to be working with, he loves a
challenge and is not afraid to make changes, he is also a great communicator,
his quick response and relentless pursuit of opportunity has really been an
amazing inspiration to say the least. Every
business faces challenges when it comes to approaching banks and funding and
all related hurdles, but Neil really has not let it stop him achieving his end
Before I go into my project here is a bit of background
about FreeFlow Global (FFG) - FFG is a high growth, design-to-deliver-value-chain
in the sports lifestyle market, predominantly bicycles. Neil has developed a completely unique, 1st
to market electric bicycle in conjunction with his business partner Romi Kadri
who is currently at MIT. My project at
FFG is to help commercialise his vision of making FreeFlow a globally
recognised lifestyle brand – at first with his electric bicycle, (oh by the way
he has named his first electric bicycle model ‘SALTIRE’).
Keeping that in mind, whilst at Babson, the fellows and I
did a case study on a green City in the UAE, one that aspires to be a key
influencing model for other cities to emulate.
When I started my project at FFG and spoke to Neil, certain alarm bells
started ringing with regards to both this case study and Neil’s
aspirations. I spoke to Neil about this and
after a very intense 6 weeks of hard grafting, crazy hours and juggling a huge
amount of other things Neil, Scott MacDonald (Non-Exec Director of Operations
for FFG), William Mitchell (FFG Design partner) and I came to the UAE on a
trade mission to meet some people and chat ‘game changing opportunity’.
I am on my last day in Abu Dhabi and writing this blog with
a huge smile on my face as we managed to achieve and secure Neil’s FreeFlow ‘SALTIRE’
electric bicycle, a pilot in that city as well as being offered a place on
their mega-stand at the World Future Energy Summit in January 2012, which will
be attended by world leaders and key global players.
Now our focus is on quality and speed of delivery. Another key point to note is FFG, being a
Scottish company; aim to manufacture in Scotland and put the legacy of ‘Clyde
built’ quality back on the map. Who said
anything was simple?
If anything I hope you are inspired from this blog to really
be relentless in pursuing opportunity as it all surely does pay off. One good turn deserves another, do not be
afraid to ask people for help and advice and be prepared to return the favour
if and when required. People really want
to share knowledge and people also want to learn. It is so important to be open and honest with
people and gain as much value from each person you meet. Do not be tripped by
hurdles, there are alternative ways around them.
Like I said I shall keep you posted with things as they
progress… for now… it is only the beginning…
For further information on the SaltireFoundation contact:
Level 7, Strathclyde Business School, 199. Cathedral Street, Glasgow, G4 0QU
Tel: +44 (0)141 548 4417 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Company registered in Scotland No. SC332951.
Charity registered in Scotland No. SC038858
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