I then lived in America, in Orlando, Florida. There’s a town near Orlando called Celebration, which was built by Disney to be a sort of American version of utopia. The houses were given away in a lottery to people across the States. Believe it or not, in this utopia which looks a lot like a film set, there is a world leading cadaver lab, where you can do surgical training. I later set up a field services team in Paris, where I stayed for a few months. I then returned to Sheffield to do my final year in university. In March of 2021, I saw a Linkedin post that said it was hiring an engineer to work on a start up in Sheffield working on alternative proteins. I was like, “Wow, there’s five of these in the country, and one of them is in Sheffield?”. So, I applied.
It turned out I knew some of the people involved and got the interview – and 15 minutes into it, I was told I had the job. That company was Unicorn Biotechnologies, a company run out of Sheffield Technology Parks, and I worked there for two years. I was their first employee. My job title was “Founding Engineer to the Americans”, mostly because it sounded fancy.
A great deal of the initial funding came from America, where it’s much easier to raise the capital required for tech projects. Then, around this time last year, I decided I wanted to start my own thing. I wanted to work on biosecurity. With my co-founder Andy, we did some research into respiratory protection for pandemics such as Covid and found that the world is not protected enough from these risks. With that in mind, Amodo Design was started as a sector agnostic design consultancy, with us going full time in early 2023. In the engineering world, consultancies are not like they are in say, the management or political world, where it’s about providing strategy. Consultancies in the tech space physically create the real world designs which have been invented elsewhere, by academics or otherwise, with the consultancy actually making the product and transferring it to market. As the consultant, you are essentially an outsourced manufacturer.
The leading tech consultancies in the UK are generally in Cambridge. But we didn’t want to live in Cambridge. We wanted instead to become like a Cambridge consultancy of the north; in the same way the consultancies in Cambridge fed off the colleges there, working with spinouts from the university, we felt we had a similar resource in University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University. We liked the community in Sheffield and felt the possibility for growth was big in this part of the world, where we can give local engineers a great start to their careers.
We’re also working with SMEs in the city to help them design products. Most of the time with companies of the size we’re talking about, they wouldn’t be able to create new products without a consultancy like Amodo Design. It’s nice to feel like you can make a difference and in a place like Sheffield, that feels constantly to be the case. We have a team of eight that will become a team of ten in a few weeks’ time. This year’s revenue is guaranteed to be at least a million – that’s before having sold anything yet, just off what we have already in the pipeline. From there, the sky’s the limit