Seven pillars of wisdom from Sandra Sassow

This week, CEO of Southampton Science Park tenant SEaB Energy, Sandra Sassow, shared her experiences of getting a product to market with our Catalyst Centre winners. The seminar got right to the heart of exactly what it means to start a business, and revealed many of the challenges any start-up company will face whilst getting a product to market.

SEaB Energy has gone from strength to strength in just over 5 years, achieving commercial success as well as recognition for their contribution to the development of innovative green technology.  

Sandra had many words of wisdom to share with our tenants, including some top tips for successful start-ups:

  1. First and foremost, make sure there’s a market BEFORE you start your business. The idea for MUCKBUSTER® came before the technology was even ready. We knew there was a market for an onsite anaerobic digester, so we made it happen.
  2. Always question what you do, your goal is to make sure you have the best solution.
  3. Don’t let hype distract you, and identify time wasters early on! Your energy is best spent elsewhere!
  4. Stand out from the crowd. You need to have at least one way to differentiate yourself during a pitch, interview or press conference. Never start with “Hi my name is X, my company is called X and we do X”. You need to make yourself stand out in any way you can, and doing the same pitch as everyone else won’t help.
  5. Think about your branding early on, its more expensive to change when you’re established!
  6. What are the points of failure in your business? Make sure you have a contingency plan in place to help you get through it!
  7. Last but by no means least, to succeed in business you need to put the effort in from the start. 24/7 is the norm for an entrepreneur and you need to live and breathe it!

We can’t thank Sandra enough for taking time out from her busy schedule to chat to the Catalyst tenants, and sharing her pearls of wisdom! To find out more about SEaB Energy, head to their website,