What was the inspiration behind your company?
At Mineral Carbonation International (MCi) we saw an opportunity to create valuable products out of carbon dioxide. If global industries like cement, steel and chemicals could utilise their emissions in the construction industry instead of viewing them as a harmful waste, we could create significant change to global emissions.
What has been your biggest challenge since starting your company?
The biggest challenge since starting MCi has been the changing political landscape underpinning climate change and emissions trading. Since MCi was founded in 2013, we have seen many changes in Government, Prime Ministers, policies, and public stances towards climate change. We have emerged with a successful $9.12Million Research Pilot Plant Project but the investment landscape in this area still requires more policy support and stability.
Sophia’s Top Tips
- Own your own success. Don’t be afraid to tell people of the achievements you’re proud of. We all want to celebrate each other’s success!
- We all have something to teach each other. Remember that dynamic teams can involve a two-way mentorship. Even if you are the most junior person in the team, you may be the most knowledgeable person in a certain area.
- Aim high. Entrepreneurship requires you to deal with a lot of uncertainty. Most of the time we are creating brand new products for whole new markets. In MCi’s case, some of our markets don’t even exist yet! Our vision is for MCi technology to be a platform to reduce global emissions and even achieve negative emissions.
- Mentorship is important. My advice is to engage with 2-3 mentors to help to steer you in the right direction.
How has the Canberra Innovation Network helped you?
The Canberra Innovation Network (CBRIN) have really supported my career in innovation. Last year, they nominated me to represent Australia at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in India. They have also facilitated my participation in Trade Missions and Investor Showcases in Singapore and Silicon Valley, which opened a lot of doors for my company, MCi. The team at CBRIN are dynamic and we are lucky to have them supporting Canberra technologies to thrive in global markets.