Fireside Chat – with Robotics Expert Darren Foster
Darren is the most down to earth honest to goodness great Australian bloke! He’s always finding ways to help startups and founders to make there way through the ever-shifting sands of business because when you hear this guys story nothing can stop him, he’s as solid as you get.
Darren is so passionate about what he does also finds time to help startups as a Global mentor for SandTracks mentoring and is Member of the Board Of Advisors at Queensland Robotics Cluster. He is unstoppable!
He designed and built his first prototype in Seattle USA with Artemis Intelligent Robotics Systems
But the big question is; how does a Lawyer by profession become a commercial diver and start a submersibles robotics company?
You will find out his story in this candid Fireside chat with Darren where he tells his story. And you know, after hearing this story nothing will stop you because this guy, he has been through the eye of the storm with is a startup and he tells all. This is what resilience is made of!
He’s been around the world literally with his startup trying to get investors and to do some research and validate, understand the competitors for his concept in the early days of his startup. This bloke has done it all.
Darren is also got a wicked sense of humour so when COVID hit he hit the supermarket as the Pandemic diver to make people smile again, in his diving gear!! That is the kind of bloke Darren is, he will always make you smile. Check out this video he did in his home town Airlie Beach Australia (yes that’s right the right in the heart of the great barrier reef).
Tips & Takeaways
We put together a 3-minute video of some takeaways but we always recommend you take the time to watch the full interview. Simply because it depends on where you are as an entrepreneur or founder as to what you take away, there is so much more for you to gain from this interview with Darren. So take the time to check it out.
Some other takeaways from our team
1. Hit a ceiling due to competition becoming more aggressive causing a pivot strategy. A large contract was needed and the combination of hardware and software needed to stand out – was able to increase the reliability of data from less than 1% accuracy to over 98%.
2. Another lesson in the discovery of what the client really wants versus what we have already
3. Looked to other industry opportunities for validation of the idea – found very little but was able to piece it together.
4. Filling a need for commercial divers – knew the space already – divers do not like inspecting things like pylons
5. Constant adaptation of machinery for the task at hand – diversification and technology – eg could not realistically have a battery pack on board in 2013.
6. Issue of IP protection
7. Learned as a business person the importance of getting clients to pay upfront and how to network
I am sure you can add to the list and would love to hear them. If you have any questions for Darren he is always open to answering them so the best place to find him is in the Sandtracks Virtual Coworking he pops in often.
Our team is here for you…
We have a great a global team here at SandTracks and we are super proud of the team mentors we have in our virtual business incubator SandTracks CLUB.
The SandTracks business incubator is where we have access to 25+ mentors from all industries around the world, these guys are experts in their field and people who have built great businesses and most of them are in their own startups so they are in the trenches with you, they know what it’s like to build something from beginning to end. Join Us in the SandTracks CLUB NOW open for applications.