Interview with Nick Christy, 2011 Postcode Lottery Green Challenge winner
- By Helen Craig -
- Jun 14, 2012
The Postcode Lottery Green Challenge is now open for entries, so I caught up with last year's winner to find out more about his experience.
Name: Nick Christy
Company: CINTEP Pty Ltd
Length in role: 3 years
Loves: Problem solving, happiness, friends and family, music
Hates: Negative people, traffic, short termism
Recommends: Learning to love failure - you will try more, do more, learn more and be happier if you stop worrying about failure.
How has your business changed since winning the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge?
It's grown significantly. There are now 4 of us working in the business and this may increase by up to 5 more people by the end of the year. We also have much more credibility when we make contact with other organisations for the first time. This makes it much easier to build partnerships and start conversations with potential customers.
So tell us about your product – why did it win the prize?
We make recycling shower systems that cut water and energy consumption from showering by 70% without reducing enjoyment.
I think we won for a number of reasons:
- Simplicity of concept - I think it's easy for people to understand that if you can safely and hygienically immediately recycle your shower water that you will use much less water and energy.
- Significance of the issue - Showers are the biggest use of drinking water within a house and the second biggest consumer of energy after space heating and cooling.
- Relevance - Both water and energy efficiency are increasingly important today and our shower tackles both simultaneously
- No sacrifice - We offer lots of benefits with no sacrifice on the part of the user. Our showers cost up to 70% less to run with no cold water on start up; unlimited hot water for when you have guests; a pause function if you have to shave in the shower, personal presets so you don't have to fiddle with shower controls and a remote control if you have teenagers who won't get out of the bathroom!
As Richard Branson said in his message to The Green Challenge, "if we are not going to consume less, we need to find ways to consume differently," we believe we offer something that is simultaneously much “less”, but also different and better - I think this is why we won.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs thinking of applying to the competition?
Get on with it! There is nothing to lose by applying, other than a few hours to complete the application. If you get selected for the finals you get to meet other like-minded entrepreneurs, advisers, journalists and thinkers who all want you to succeed.
Even if you don't get selected for the finals, the discipline of answering the questions asked on the application form will force you to ask questions about your business that you may not have thought about previously.
Apart from the €500,000, what was the best thing about being involved?
The learning experience and the people. Just going through the processes of the competition will teach you new ways to look at what you are doing. To step away from 'the product', which it is easy to obsess over, and look at the product in the context of the market, the customer and global need.
The people involved are also fantastic. I really believe that at least two previous winners and two other finalists from last year could go on to be the next Richard Branson's, Elon Musk, Steve Jobs or Bill Gates. Incredible minds doing incredible things.
What are you plans for the future?
Focus on executing the business plan - if we could get just 5% of the UK population using our shower we would save 1.3 Million Tons of CO2 every year and enough water every year to fill the QE2 Reservoir in Sunbury 3 times over.
We think your water recycling shower deserves a place in the Big Red Box, what else do you think should go in?
Thank you! I think the Internet deserves to be in the Big Red Box for all the paper, fuel and CO2 it has saved.