Spotlight on: Moises Barbera Ramos
Moises Barbera Ramos is a recent Physics graduate and soon to be master's student. Last year, he was awarded the Enterprise Fund to support his start-up, Drill Surgeries Ltd. We caught up with him to find out how the funding has helped kick-start his business and what he has been up to since graduating.
You’ve been awarded the Enterprise Fund two times. How has the funding helped you with your project?
These awards have helped me to start. Some will say that to be an entrepreneur all you need is an idea, and they are right (but only in part). It does no matter if you have a £1 million or a £1 billion idea, if you don’t act and create something people can see and believe in, then an idea it’s just that, something trapped in your head.
With the Enterprise Fund we could act, putting into practice all our months of research, designs and start sharing our project with the world. We want to improve how operations are performed at hospitals, reducing radiation impact in non-invasive surgeries.
Thanks to these awards, we knew there were more people believing in our work and since then, we have been set as a Limited Company, we are reaching feedback from surgeons at hospitals all over the UK and Spain to tailor our product to their needs, we have set our office and laboratory at the heart of Liverpool and have developed the first working demo of our prototype.
Despite all the funding we still need to keep growing our company further, we wouldn’t have reached this point without the trust from the Enterprise Fund.
What other opportunities available at the University have you used to help your business grow?
Following the Enterprise Fund, I was later selected to represent the University of Liverpool, out of 1,000 candidates, in the Santander Universities Entrepreneurship awards. This achievement helped a lot consolidating the work we are doing at Drill Surgeries Ltd. as well as providing access to an accelerator program full of content.
Another great opportunity came across when my project got the attention of the EMERGE accelerator program by LAB by Capacity in partnership with the University of Liverpool. During those four months we attended talks from experienced specialists in a wide range of subjects covering from marketing to investment and operations management. This exciting opportunity was also full of one-to-one meetings with professionals to help us bring our project further and concluded with a pitch session presenting our inventions to a panel of investors.
You’re currently undertaking a placement at CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research). Tell us about this fantastic achievement.
At high school I used to listen my teacher talk about sub-atomic particles and how all physicists go to this amazing place called CERN to do their researches and experiments aiming to find out more about the Universe around us.
It was then, while listening to my teacher, that my interest in science sparkled when I was just 14 years old. That year, I had the chance to visit CERN during an open days’ session and while admiring the biggest of the machines built to detect the tiniest of the particles, I knew I wanted to be a physicist and come back to work at CERN.
Seven years later, I have accomplished my dream. Now, I am developing simulations of real events while analysing data recorded from the LHC (the largest particle accelerator in the world) to try to correct flaws and improve their efficiency. Being part of the 7% of applicants that got accepted, from all around the world is, without doubt, a great honour and the result of hard work and determination.
You must be very busy with your studies, business and internship. How do you balance your time, and do you have any advice for students thinking of doing the same?
Being an entrepreneur during University is stressful and requires a lot of work to start and grow your project further, but nothing will teach you more than building your own way through the world, you will be facing serious conversations with people who are older and more experienced in life than you, you will encounter many problems that won’t let you sleep at night and you will be rushing to meetings during the lunch breaks.
Last semester, right after I finished a final exam, I found myself running to a four-hour meeting with investors to talk about my start-up to then, go back to the library and continue revision for the exam I had to sit the following day.
This is not an easy path but is the path we, us that want to make the most out of this world, choose to follow, and that is the motivation that should resonate in your head when you feel like giving up, you are not alone.
The Enterprise Fund supports students and recent gradautes with entreprenuship ideas. Applications are open now - to apply and find out more, click here.