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Find Out How Capricorn Power is Using Technology to Combat Climate Change with Their Scale-Up
By Lauren Fowkes
It’s time for another installation from our “Perfect Pitch Show” where Brandon Burns, Head of Community – Runway Virtual, interviews small business founders / entrepreneurs about the secret sauce to their successful start-up journey.
In this article we break down the inspirations and methods utilized by Co-Founder of Capricorn Power, Geoff Andrews. Geoff has been passionate about technology and the environment from a very young age and enjoys the challenge of finding and implementing new technologies. He is a pioneer in combating climate change with technology to conserve resources and find alternative solutions of energy production. He has been in the business of energy conservation for a number of years and has chosen to share some of his experiences, incentives and the upcoming plans of Capricorn Power.
We hope Geoff’s vision will help raise awareness to our regional communities about the various possibilities in the way of energy consumption and conservation. We believe his advice will provide valuable to small business owners and aspiring founders and provide some tips and tricks to the scene.
What Does Capricorn Power Do?
We asked Geoff what Capricorn Power was and what they have to offer. Capricorn Power was built to modernise the way heat can be used to create power. Geoff and the team work together and through dedication and perseverance they were able to create their product, the Barton Engine. The Barton Engine was designed to convert waste heat into energy and do so at a fraction of the cost of similar products on the market. This product allows for consumers and business owners to create clean energy on their own premise that won’t cause disruptions to any other business operations. The Engine was built, and the concept proven in Geelong back in 2018, and thus they were able to bring their product to the market.
Capricorn Power and their product is environmentally friendly and safe and has won various awards, most notably the 2018 Australia Technologies Competition (New Energy). These are big accomplishments that Geoff and his team have been able to achieve thanks to their team of dedicated individuals who are all share a common goal. Teamwork is imperative to their success and in discovering new ways in which they can further their technologies. Ultimately their goal is to provide a way for businesses to create their own clean energy from the heat waste they produce.
For a more technical analysis of what the Barton Engine does and what Capricorn Power strives to achieve, visit their website which will be linked at the bottom of this article.
We asked Geoff how he handles the costs that goes into an endeavour such as this one. Geoff advised that to begin with they used a lot of their own funds to get their business up and running. He believes that the longer you can get by using your own funds the better off your business will be. Fundraising, though necessary, can take away from needed time to focus on your product or your idea and give it the time it needs to flourish. His experience has shown him that a lot of scale-ups spend majority of their time trying to fundraise rather than trying to keep up momentum for the company. It is vital to be able to balance both, and thankfully Geoff has used his time at Capricorn Power to further his fundraising skills.
Geoff also talks about Capricorn Power's small team and how having a condensed number of staff helps you reduce the costs of running a business. He knows it is important to ensure you have all of the staff you need but that being able to expand in a sustainable way is important to maintain your resources. A close-knit team of like-minded individuals has helped Capricorn Power ensure they have the necessary knowledge to further their growth and business without needing to spend unnessecary costs on extra wages for more staff. He stresses that it is impreative to be on top of who is in your team and how many people are needed in order to keep cost of wages down and therefore allow you some extra budget. Of course everyone needs staff, but if you spend your money wisely and on the right people then your business will propser.
Mistakes Can Be Rewarding
Geoff has over 30 years in business and as such he admits he has made some mistakes. He says the biggest challenge he has faced is putting the right people in the right positions, and this is an area he has made some errors in. Finding the perfect person for a business and a role is hard, and we are sure this is an area in which all business owners can improve. Geoff states that we tend to find better fits for our sports teams than we do for our business teams and we are sure that many of our regional businesses had experience struggles in trying to find the right person for them.
Geoff shared with us one story that really resonated with us here at Runway HQ. He talks about a business he was involved in years ago, one that unfortunately no longer exists, and described his difficulties connecting with the Board of Directors. At the time, Geoff thought that the problem resided with him and took it upon himself to attend a course to better his relationships with them. In the end, this was a cost that Geoff has admitted seemed like a mistake at the time but has definitely paid off as he has furthered his career. He was able to learn and further develop his skills and meet people he may not have had the chance to meet otherwise. Geoff described this as a rewarding mistake, and though it took years to pay off it was definitely worth it.
Biggest Achievements and What Now for Capricorn Power?
Geoff is the proud father of two now adult sons, and he believes they are to be his biggest achievement though it is not necessarily business related. It is wonderful to see an established Entrepreneur still take the time to connect with his family and those around him and consider that to be his greatest achievement. We hope to convey this to our regional communities and remind them that they are not alone in their ventures.
Capricorn Power has reached a large goal of theirs in taking a new theoretical thermodynamic cycle and making it work where others had tried and failed. As mentioned before the company has won various rewards due to their efforts. Geoff shows us that it is important to persevere through the tough times, even if it’s another company that has attempted this before and was unable to reach their goal, this doesn’t mean you won’t reach yours. The Barton Engine is the perfect example of a rewarding outcome.
Geoff hopes to continue to expand Capricorn Power and the products they are able to provide. They have established that their product works, and from here they want to make a commercial sized engine that can work reliably and continually for larger corporations and businesses. Geoff outlined his ideal customer as someone who has an industrial site that produces a lot of heat waste (such as a processing or water treatment plant) or someone who has the means to create heat from their waste (such as wood waste). He also pointed out that he loves to work with businesses who are equally motivated in creating clean energy and wants to help save the environment.
Geoff would love any businesses of like-minded individuals to reach out to him and his company. He welcomes any advice from environmental experts and is open to warm introductions from those of you out there who want to help him make a difference!
Capricorn Power’s website includes some Frequently Asked Questions and introductory videos to their vision and what they do. We highly recommend for anyone interested in this field to take a look and reach out to Geoff.
Find Geoff Here: