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All in a year’s work for a matchmaker

Graphic montage of sea container port with cargo plane flying overhead.

© Shutterstock (Travel mania)

You never know who you might bump into at events. My story begins last autumn, with a chance encounter with data science entrepreneur Robert Sugar at a business event where I was manning our stand.


We got talking and, within a week, had arranged a business review meeting to discuss how EEN might help him find partners to develop his ideas for geophysical data intelligence. And that’s what we’ve done.


Just over a year later and his company, Urban Hawk, has become an associate partner on a €43 million EC-funded project, Sea Traffic Management (STM).


STM is creating a new model for maritime information sharing that will become the digital infrastructure of the future for shipping.


The art of making connections


I’d initially signed Robert up for EEN alerts and made early connections with profiles already on the network, also putting him in touch with the local chamber of commerce and relevant skills services.


Meanwhile I invited him to the EEN-sponsored Virtual Reality World Congress at the Watershed Media Centre in Bristol earlier this year and arranged 18 meetings for him there.


Our match-making event at European Maritime Day ‘17 was another prime opportunity to meet the right people and we organised 13 meetings at the venue in Poole. He also attended the Jiangsu-UK B2B brokerage event.


I am now enrolling Robert on the Innovate 2 Succeed programme as he scales up his business from a consultancy to offer new products and services. Urban Hawk’s core technology can handle very large spatial data sets and display them as easy-to-understand cinematic visuals.


Ask a friend. Ask EEN


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