Founders: Eric Sukumaran, Alec McLaurin, William Stormont, Aparna Shrivastava, Tiffany Handley
FETTL bundles multiple renewable energy projects in several countries into one large investment and is developing a blockchain based technology to securitise the returns from these projects, and founder Eric Sukumaran states that this will help to finance and de-risk renewable energy projects in sub-Saharan Africa.
Eric is a former investment banker who also worked as an advisor to the British government on infrastructure development and climate treaties. He described how he has always maintained a ‘deep interest’ in the renewable energy sector, and conversations held with fellow students during the MBA sparked the idea of using cryptocurrencies to improve outcomes for large scale renewable power facilities.
‘A dinner companion happened to tell me of a friend in Europe who had bought fruit packing factories simply to use the excess electricity to mine cryptocurrencies,’ he said. ‘It made me immediately think of the excess power most energy production facilities produce. Several conversations later, and FETTL was born. I would never have had the idea, the validation or the skills needed to make FETTL a reality without the Oxford MBA.’
Founders: Lyn Johnson, Mariya Chetyrkina, Ryan Farrell, Sara Sparhawk
West 10th is an online platform where women who have left the formal workforce can market their everyday talents and skills to their local communities.
Lyn Johnson was the CFO of a financial advisory firm in Los Angeles before she enrolled at Saïd Business School. During her MBA she developed a strong interest in how business can be used as a force for addressing social issues – particularly gender equality.
‘I come from a conservative community where the expectation is that women will leave the workforce when it’s time to raise a family or care for their parents,’ said Lyn. ‘I watched many of my friends and neighbours struggle with coming back to traditional full-time employment even after only a few years away.’
‘At Oxford I met Mariya, who is also passionate about this issue, and Ryan, who had the skills we needed to craft the right message,’ continued Lyn. ‘We all came from very different backgrounds, but we share a fundamental belief in the idea and the mission.’
Lyn described the Oxford MBA experience as ‘invaluable’ in the formation of the startup. ‘Saïd Business School is where most of us met, and where we were able to meet with faculty advisors, pitch to investors and participate in accelerators. Most importantly, our fellow students gave us the confidence and inspiration we needed to take this risk.’