Ronan Finnegan, co-founder of safer workplace company Spacebands talks to Business Matters about the inspiration behind their business, which has seen them become a finalist in the 2023 Business Champion Awards
What do you currently do at Spacebands?
As one of the co-founders at Spacebands I am responsible for product Development, Web Development, Business Development, Finance, Marketing and HR within the business.
We are building the team at the moment and hopefully many of these responsibilities will be issued to great team members very soon!
I am an Entrepreneur with a varied business background. I have a strong belief that anything is possible with enough time, dedication, persistence and optimism.
I have had a range of previous businesses: a social distancing tech company, a mobile app development firm (orDonate), a marketing agency (Search and Social), a hardware repair eBay business (buying and selling damaged phones and laptops), an attempt on creating a vegan protein snack brand (Tempe), an affiliate sim card channel, an arbitrage betting company, a waterproof wallet lifestyle brand…
What was the inspiration behind your business?
Spacebands started in March 2020. After gaining extensive press coverage and 1000+ customers globally with our social distancing device (including the NHS, MoD, Panasonic, Sony & Amazon), we are now pivoting to create a new multi-feature hazard alert system that will aim to change the future of workplace safety, well-being and insurance.
The brand-new wearable and SaaS platform (app and web-app) will alert for a multitude of hazards that aims to protect businesses by preventing workplace injuries, reducing staff sickness, enabling workplace wellness whilst collating a paper trail of live safety data points. Employers will be able to make informed decisions about their workplace safety and will be able to monitor workplace stressors whilst prompting employees to action wellness at work.
Privacy is at the forefront of development, all data will be anonymous unless the wearable user (employee) decides to attribute it to themselves manually. Effectively, an employee can decide if they want to track their safety and stress at work and if not, their company can still benefit from the company-wide dataset.
Who do you admire?
I look up to business owners who are able to build cultures that don’t ‘feel like work’. I read Let My People Go Surfing by Yvon Chouinard and it was a real inspiration for me.
Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently?
For the first two years of the business, Harry and I were self-funded, in hindsight, seeking investment previously would have sped up our growth, but nevertheless we are very grateful for our what we have achieved.
What defines your way of doing business?
I believe that I treat all interpersonal relationships in the same way. I am open and honest with all partners, employees and investors (I don’t put on a front), by which I believe that respect is mutually shared and this helps everyone. I often tell people that I don’t know the answer and am often told how to improve as a result. Life is for learning!
What advice would you give to someone starting out?
The only thing stopping you from starting is yourself. Put one foot forward and the next one will eventually follow. Learning can always be done if there is perseverance following it!