who Andrew Cuthbert really isA useful overview
My History in a nutshell
I believe that a small group of people properly focused can have a massively positive impact on the world which can lead to a billion mindset.
My core is innovation.
Its been inside me forever.
Realizing myself as an Innovation Maven 2017-current
After losing my shares in Clinisent I struggled to know what to do, I had delivered at every stage the firm failing to make me a bad leave however I was left with no income. These two elements combined to take me into the field of technical consulting. I got back into code and began to build applications for clients, however I found it hard to get into the flow development. I had a work to survive rather than a work to thrive attitude but luckily I arrived at an inspiring project that of working in innovation. I had never given myself any special title and yet innovation was in every aspect of all I would do.
I added up my years of experience and realised the bulk of my day to day experience over the most recent years had been in innovation. If I added up all the product concepts I had started over the years I could easily add up 10,000 hours as per Malcolm Gladwell becoming a “Maven,” I began to realise how differently I approached problems than others less experienced people would do and I began to realise the value of my experience.
I have been at the forefront of diagnostics, healthcare and educational technology for some time.
I had worked in a diversity of sectors including everything from digital technologies, to mechanical engineering, bio chemistry and bio technologies and I was lucky to have been involved in many aspects of the supply chain which included marketing, sales, production, finance, and research and development.
I began to work therefore in the Intellectual property and Innovation wing of Muir IP working on innovation processes. I worked within a series of industries including software, tax technology, social housing, Observation technology, property management, games management and maintenance, Proton Therapy, Robotics, Hyper spectral imagining, satellite technology among others.
The experience was wide and varied I got meet meet major players such as Softbank, and some great people as part of the process. I was able to use my background in innovation in a way that could guarantee client outcomes.
I began to realise the true economic value of innovation and became very familiar with the Frascati guidelines as part of the process.
I was able to add a number of patents to my CV and was able to identify value on behalf of clients.
So how did I finally start a VC and become the #rocketman?
Well the answer was because of my experience of failure within my own VC backed journey I was shocked at how poorly the venture capitalist dealt with my company and I felt I could do a better job. I had mentored start ups and felt they needed more than an angels listening ear if they were to change the planet. They needed a co venturer and for the best and most ambitious this co venturer was going to be me!
It was this failure that also brought me together with my first real co-founder Gavan Wall. The truth is I reached out to Gavan for some mentorship on my own failures. Our 20 minutes turned into 4 hours of conversation and ultimately I expect a lifetime of joint success.
I have met very few people who share my values of legacy, leadership, quality and sacrifice. I had never met anyone like Gavan we had such complimentary skills to myself and who was willing to work for success.
Gavan invested in the first company I brought to him which was a founder that was destined to fail the founder was not driven enough. Despite taking £250k of investor money the founder moved on. That could have been disaster! Gavan saw it as an expected cost of entry! I was not going to let that happen again! We learned a lot from the experience and despite a mini failure we failed fast and moved to accelerate the change!
I conceptualised the name #TheChange off the back of many years of trying to be just that.
The company was always going to involve “Being The Change I wanted to see in the world” just as every company I had started before it had been. I thought to check domains and bethechange.vc and thechange.vc were both available. I immediately bought them.
Although I had bought the names I had expected it to take months if not years to use them. I mentioned my purchase to Gavan and pretty much immediately he was on board, and we were bound to commit 10 years to each other and to #TheChange vowing to do an exceptional job for founders and for investors alike. We know we will work harder better and stronger than all those around us.
Listen to our journey here:
Project EVE → AKA Clinishare → AKA Clinisent 2014-2018
Given the success of my previous project ventures in the life sciences space I decided to enter the lab space again. I built a prototype of how I saw the future use of diagnostics should change in the clinical setting. My aim to create appropriate interventions and unlock new research value.
I quickly acquired industry interest and the support of angel investors. This was not so difficult given my previous success in supplying software to the laboratory space, and also the genetics space however I did learn a lot.
The core concept seemed complicated but I soon distilled it to be simple. The diagnostics industry informs circa 80% of decisions in healthcare directly and yet took on average 2-3% of healthcare revenues 2010-2018. I believed that given diagnosis informed the treatment if diagnostics could get direct to customer access then it would become the channel to health and hence expand its influence.
I knew I had to tackle a multitude of core issues to succeed. Patient engagement, Clinical engagement, regulation, security, GDPR/ Consent, data access, data processing and use. In fact my focus on consent predated my awareness of GDPR despite that topic having been topical at the time. With a core focus on sharing patient data with the patient the platform was renamed from Project Even to Clinishare. With the focus on consent so topical we rebranded again towards Clinisent.
My aim was to share clinical data but consent became the core of the issue. Eventually the company hit revenue and had secured significant traction in the form of agreements in principle, Proofs of concept and a few key commercial deals.
The company was driven by myself. Over the years I had met a series of experts and passionate people involved in the space or wanting to be. Those I felt added value I felt were essential to advising and guiding me. I had excellent advice composed of medical, diagnostic sales and laboratory finance specialists, together with a global board of advisors on everything from patient safety, to diagnostics, GDPR to Healthcare software.
Shortly after taking venture capital I very reluctantly left the firm I founded for reasons I can not at this moment disclose. All through no fault of my own.
Given my passion for improving the use of diagnostic data this company being taken from me took chunks out of my self worth and changed my very sense of identity.
It took time to recover. That said I learned that finding the right team is core to success.
I would not make the same mistakes again.
Cuthbert NI Ltd 2014-Current (An ongoing centre for research)
Before Omnisoft closed i opened my own trading company so that I could do some research work of my own. The work of Cuthbert NI Ltd is covered in the overview.
I’ve worked on everything from:
- Proton Therapy
- Mechanical engineering
- Hyper-spectral Imaging Satellites
- Block Chain
And much much more explained in my section becoming rocket man!
I was right! We developed extremely rapidly hitting over £1m at bank in revenue in our first year trading. A company started by myself taking a seat in an office in late 2009 grew to 26 people by 2011.
By year 2 we had hit approx £4m in booked revenue and had a staff of 60. During 2011-2012 we began to align much more closely with Randox laboratories and alas the firm was bought over by Randox after the successful development of key products for Randox including Acusera 24/7, RIQAS, Randox Health, Confidante, Powerline and a number of software components important to a number of analysers (22 systems in all) . 2 of these projects between them are embedded in the quality assurance processes of over 20% of the worlds laboratories.
The firm also developed its own education products and was involved in a number of successful educational initiatives. The firm closed this wing of its business as part of the Randox buy out.
Omnisoft was a dynamic and successful company that took me around the globe. I met presidents, ministers, I met amazing founders with passion and drive like myself, I met billionaires, and had some amazing people in my team.
This was one of my biggest lessons in human nature! Through this journey I realised that not everyone was driven by the same thing as me and in fact despite being able to convince many people of most things I realised that not everyone wanted to give a portion of their income to social causes. The process was indeed an awakening.
In the period we made reasonable profits but failed to build a long term robust team. This led to a company that had built some 750 websites. Its team of 20 plus co operative members learned and grew together. We made approximately £400k a year as a co-op but costs meant salaries were low and wages inconsistent. The quality was also highly variable given the nature of the sales force and web teams acting as a co-operative.
When a key member of our team Adam Weir died in an accident on his way into work I realised that this wasn’t a life path I could lead forever. I had to do more than build websites if I was to legitimately honor Adams memory.
We won the odd award during the time! Perhaps my most proud was the Investors in people which we achieved in only a few months.
Entering Business 2003-2014
I founded moderately successful companies in a variety of businesses and had a constant hunger for knowledge. I ran all businesses and charities up until 2005 part time while working and doing a degree.
My Entry into the third sector 2001-2012
I was proud to grow the charity to some 400 individuals and expand our work into many countries. I began to develop my approach to business during this key time and I as part of my charitable works founded both a gardening company and a web design company.
I maintained a zeal for the expansion of good works and was an active protester for GreenPeace and an active supporter of IFAW and a variety of environmentally and socially focused organisations. It was during this time in life that I wrote extensively on religion and explored a wide number of faiths actively. and also explored a number of philosophical paths.
I was part of the Making Poverty History March in Edinburgh and our charity among others was well represented at the event.
A talk on failure
All the while I worked I used my income to fund my studies and was able to learn a huge amount.
I worked both at Newforge within pesticide research and Crossnacreevy within plant testing before leaving after the role prevented me serving as a field medic within Kosovo despite extensive preparation and training.
After this role I chose to do a variety of odd jobs from working in construction in various roles from laboring, to pipe fitting and wrapping of gas pipe accross ireland to sales and bar promotion in Gran Canaria.
During my time in Madagascar I did a significant number of dives including my first dive experience with whales and turtles.
While in Madagascar I was transformed from a well built rugby player to a skinny wreck. A combination of a diet of only rice and beans for 6 months and amoebic disentry caused the change.
My early career followed a non linear path however it included some of the most formative steps in my life! I started life in the landscape gardening industry working as hard as I could at the age of 13. Paying rent from a young age gave me a strong sense of responsibility and I am grateful to my mother for a life that gave me a natural sense of responsibility for others. I appeared on TV displaying some of my then menagerie of some 4,000 animals. I had my own show which ran for 13-14 episodes each of which included a different group of animals I would introduce on the show.
My mother bought me a computer at the age of 8. I had a modem and was a very early adopter of the internet. I learned to code using the Amiga 500 plus before getting my first PC which then enabled me to adopt other languages and techniques.
I spent my formative school years at Limavady Grammar School. It was there my mother was told I wasn’t like other children. I was gifted in both Mathematics and English scoring exceptional scores in mental arithmetic in many ways displaying savant like qualities. Luckily like Edison my mum did not inform me of any diagnosis during those very important and formative years and as a result I have been able to adapt and flourish exceeding all expectations later in my career.
I was a keen rugby player and viewed as gifted by my peers and coaches at my school and at a local club. I was however a passivist and gave up the sport in any serious way after injuring a friend quite badly. My then attitude to life, and view on ethics including my vegetarianism prevented me from playing a sport were by I would actively harm others.
I was uninspired by school and did not believe in using my brain in the classroom. I did however write extensively during this point in life and engaged in numerous online platforms.
My brain is my playground. Imagination and Knowledge together create a wisdom to be reckoned with. I constant work towards “knowing myself,” so that I can succeed to be the change.