By @SimonCocking

What is your background briefly?

At my core, I was always interested in physics, chemistry, mathematics and computing from a young age and I was certain I would venture down one, if not a combination of those paths. With that, I completed a Bachelors in Chemistry from Trinity and went onto undertake a further degree in computer science and research in the biomedical engineering field in Maynooth University. It’s interesting how such a varied background has proven complementary to what I do today; building the next generation of intermediation systems between worldwide startups and consumers. I am currently head of engineering at RecoHero, a global web platform where users get rewarded to promote new smart wearable tech devices to consumers. I have been invested in StartUps since my early days in school, straight through to college and now I enjoy combining the aspects of science and computing to create meaningful businesses.

I have worked in pharmaceutical and biomedical research, IWG (Internet of Things and Wearable Group) in Intel and now lead a fast-paced startup at a global scale. In my spare time, I am deeply interested in cryptocurrencies, the artificial intelligence phenomenon and internet marketing. I invest my time learning about the latest innovations as it’s very important to keep up with trends in all different industries. I am also working on social entrepreneurship ventures, contributing to open-source projects in the development community and mentoring at Dublin Hackathons and Startup Weekends.

Does it seem like a logical background to what you do now?

I suppose I have a slightly unorthodox background coming from the sciences and now working in software engineering. However, logically I have aligned myself for this type of position and fundamentally delighted with my past experiences and where I am today. I think it’s important to pivot your career in order play to your strengths and interests as you see fit. Change is something I enjoy, whether it’s a complete industry change or picking up a new computing language, it broadens my knowledge and keeps things interesting on a day-to-day basis.

I decided to pursue software engineering as a career as it opens up endless opportunities. Technology is constantly changing and offers many interesting challenges in terms of Research and Development, but also in business. Technology is automating processes across all business strands and being able to harness its power is an incredible advantage when running or starting up a business. There has never been a better time to start a business, and with advancements in technology, the explosion of the next wave of tech companies is currently underway. It is a great time to be part of this tech era and be in a position to contribute through your own innovations.

1 min pitch for what you are doing now?

I am the Head of Engineering at RecoHero. We believe in challenging the status quo and thinking differently about how we operate in an outdated, dinosaur ecommerce industry. We focus on sourcing innovation around the world and making the purchasing process painless and user-friendly by automating our system and optimising and personalising the user experience through a quality-driven approach. RecoHero is a fast-paced global web intermediation platform between wearable IoT startups and consumers and provides a marketplace for the future of technology innovation.

I work with a talented team building the infrastructure and architecture of our system in order to connect tech enthusiasts to quality products from innovative startups worldwide. Furthermore, they are rewarded by helping their peers discover tomorrow’s innovations (Recommendation Heroes). We have extensive product plans in the pipeline including feature requests and broadening our scope of available products. It is certainly proving to be a challenging, exciting prospect and an innovative project to lead.

I am also heavily involved in the company’s business development, investor relations and all our in house recruitment. We are looking to continue our expansion and have been active at many startup events like TechDay in London and the Dublin Tech Summit in April 2018. I am also looking to connect with any IoT and wearable tech startups in Dublin and abroad who would like to become one of our partners.

Tell us more about Research and Development in IoT industry

The cost of developing a smart device can amount to more than 70% of the total startup costs. For a startup with limited funds, this leaves little capital available for mass production, marketing and customer support. At my previous position in the Internet of Things and Wearable group(IWG) in Intel, I saw first-hand the cost of resources involved in building the hardware, infrastructure right through to the final application. In an nascent industry where the future is difficult to predict, support for IoT Startups will always be a necessity.

Particularly when developing for essential industries like healthcare, where technology plays a crucial role, it’s important to support small startups not only via financial funding. Many incubators and accelerators such as Seamless and the Ericsson Iot accelerator help bypass barriers like complexities in the development process, often offering support in areas such as big data, device management and connectivity services.

RecoHero impacts directly after the development process. By providing a zero-risk communication channel for innovative startups to advertise, we help bridge the next obstacle in starting up; gaining access to the mass markets. We are devoted to supporting small startups around the globe and have just partnered with NoaLabs – a Hong-Kong based company supporting wearable IoT startups during the industrialisation phase – along with our current cohort of online IoT providers.

How does one become an industry leader in ecommerce?

In order to achieve success in a competitive ecommerce landscape, it is crucial that a number of factors align. Being the first to market is extremely advantageous. At RecoHero, we aren’t the first to make worldwide products available for purchase online, nor was Amazon, but we are the first to select, test and approve every product, to ensure customer satisfaction globally. Specializing and focusing on a niche audience has proven critical for us, and we have already discussed expansion plans into new markets in the future.

Adding creative supporting services to an e-commerce site automatically increases the value of the offered service. We offer same day dispatch, delivery from North America to Europe to Asia, furthering our startup’s international scope for business through our network of distributors. Adhering to consumers expectations for products must be complemented by offering similar high standard services such as an efficient checkout, high level of security and a transparent product policy.

How are you using IoT to support humanity?

We strongly believe that in an era where artificial intelligence and machine learning are growing at a fast pace, humans will gradually be replaced by machines on many jobs to reduce companies’ costs in the next few decades. This process has already started with automated accountancy software and Uber’s driver-less cars for example. Fewer jobs available, combined with an increasing average population over the years will lead to the growth of worldwide unemployment, which will eventually lead to less financial power for the majority of people.

Our primary focus is to gradually optimise our system and find innovative ways to provide enough revenues through the power of relationships and human connections, to build a better and secured future for all individuals.

Our intermediation platform is the foundation of this exciting journey. When building an innovative system such as RecoHero it is equally important to focus on the brand as much as the product. Establishing a trust worthy, notable brand in a competitive market and adding a quality-driven approach plays a vital role in the decision making process of the consumers when referred by our users.

Expanding a global network can be complicated and a lengthy process. By communicating and educating effectively, about the products and services, our users will be able to deliver the necessary information. RecoHero has built a passionate and knowledgeable community of technology early-adopters that have continued to grow with the company’s brand and retain our values when marketing our products.

Business Showcase : RecoHero

If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at [email protected] or on Twitter: @SimonCocking

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