Shapers: Alexander de Carvalho & Daniel Korski

Show aired on 2nd February 2019

Transcript

Elliot Moss
Welcome to the Jazz Shapers podcast from Mishcon de Reya. What you are about to hear was originally broadcast on Jazz FM however music has been cut or shortened due to rights issues.

Good morning, this is Jazz Shapers, I am Elliot Moss. It is where the Shapers of Business come together with the Shapers of Jazz, Soul and Blues, I know you know the drill. My guests today I am very really pleased to say are Alexander de Carvalho, I am going to be calling him Alex, and Daniel Korski who will stay as Daniel, Founders of Public, a company helping start-ups transform the public sector through technology. As ex-special advisor to David Cameron and having worked for the UN and the Foreign Office in Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan, Daniel has long been passionate about delivering better public services. When he met Alexander, whose background is in private equity, they shared a frustration with the slow Government uptake of new tech. Daniel and Alex set up Public, a London-based venture capital firm in 2016 to give more digital entrepreneurs access to the UK GovTech market which they estimate will be worth £20 billion by 2025. As Daniel says, ‘Getting more start-ups to solve public problems will allow new technologies to deliver better, cheaper and more easy to use public services’. That sounds like a good idea doesn’t it? Gentleman, hello. Thank you for joining me. Good morning.

Alexander de Carvalho and Daniel Korski
Good morning.

Elliot Moss
Let’s start with you, Alex. Just tell me a little bit about what it is that Public is, what it does and why you and Daniel decided to go for it, to create this new thing.

Alexander de Carvalho
Sure. I mean, I guess as you said in your introduction we came together with a real shared frustration that technology and Government were not meeting in a place to drive innovation, to transform the way citizens and the state can interact. From my perspective, I spent a lot of time after private equity and start-ups and I was just looking for a understanding about how to get into the public sector and how to start explaining the power of technology to people with insight within Government which is when I was serendipitously introduced to Daniel who obviously from his background knows a lot about Government and we sat down for lunch, ordered the same thing as it turned out, and from that meeting took it further and I think what we’ve strive to do now is create an understanding on both sides of this chasm that start-ups can sell to Government and Government should look to start-ups for the innovation that they desperately need.

Elliot Moss
What did you order, Daniel that day? Do you remember? It’s important to me.

Daniel Korski
It is, it is and I’m trying to remember…

Elliot Moss
You can’t remember it now.

Daniel Korski
…It’s terrible, it was it some kind of fish salad?

Elliot Moss
It was a salad.

Alexander de Carvalho
It was a poke bowl.

Daniel Korski
You see he remembers. He’s good like that.

Elliot Moss
Now that upsets me already for him, that he remembers.

Daniel Korski
No, he’s good like that though.

Elliot Moss
He is good. Now, tell me Daniel, obviously you came from within the Government machine, many years working with David Cameron, previous Prime Minister. Being inside of it, what did you observe?

Daniel Korski
I mean, I think the Cameron administration that I was a part of was an incredibly modernising reforming one and it was trying to say, look the world has been totally transformed by technology, how do we bring some of that thinking, the dynamism, the energy into Government, how do we break with the bad old big ways of yesteryear? So, I think we started off on a very important journey which was to kind of break off relationships with large, big incumbents that weren’t really delivering for the state and ultimately, citizens. But I thought that the journey was incomplete that there was only so much one could do inside Government because at the end of the day, if you want new players to have a chance at transforming public services, those players also need to be in a position to do so, they need to have the money to do so, they need to have the where with all, the understanding, the insight, and I sort of felt that we had gone as far as we probably could inside Government and it was now time to come and build up the market because if you think the answer is more competition and new players in the market then it only really works if that market is ready and equipped to deliver new kinds of services.

Elliot Moss
My sense is also that Government by definition is bureaucratic, it doesn’t mean to be but it’s big, there’s many things to do, it’s complicated in the 21st century running countries, running different states, there’s just so many moving pieces. There aren’t many entrepreneurs in Government, Daniel, not that I’ve met. I mean many years ago I interviewed actually Lord Young who was referred to I think by David Cameron as ‘The Dude’ and he had his own office, and you probably crossed over at that point.

Daniel Korski
A very good friend of ours.

Elliot Moss
When did you… I figured he would be. When did you figure out that you were actually pretty entrepreneurial yourself?

Daniel Korski
I think that I probably realised early on, after having tried to change lots of systems and policies and organisations that I probably wasn’t yet an entrepreneur but I probably wasn’t an intrapreneur, that the way I wanted to bring about change was in a very kind of entrepreneurial way which is to say, look for solutions that don’t exist, look for connections that aren’t yet there, look for ways of examining a problem from a totally different perspective. You started saying that Government is known for entrepreneurs, I mean, the reality is Government is responsible for lots of very important things and has to be very deliberate about it spends money, making sure that the delivery of services is equitable, that people aren’t cheated just by dint of where they are from or who they are. These are important weighty, you know, priorities and as a result you have to kind of operate a system in a certain manner. But I do think that increasingly as our society as changed, and as this becomes more focussed on dynamism and entrepreneurship in the private sector, so our public sector is changing too and people inside the public sector look to the private sector and they say ‘Ooh that’s another way of working, well increasingly how can we work like that’.

Elliot Moss
Now, Alex you mentioned that you have a number of businesses in your cohort. How often does the cohort change? Is it annually or do you just keep a bunch of businesses in there for as long as they need to be?

Alexander de Carvalho
So, we take on ten to fifteen companies every year. We work with them actively for six months and then more in a alumni style approach for a further six months while we reset, improve and set up ourselves for the next intake. So, right now we’ve done that twice, we are right in the process of opening applications for the third cohort in the UK.

Elliot Moss
And people always ask, you know, what will it take to get invested in? You’re the investors. What do you look for? What are the simple two or three things that are always top of the list of criteria?

Alexander de Carvalho
Yep. So, I think it’s worth stepping back and, you know, we talk about start-ups. We work with companies that use technology to improve public services and what has transformed in the last five/ten years is the way in which one can build a tech company nowadays. It is not, I think the word start-up is sometimes misdiagnosed by the public sector and by investors at large, that you know, these are companies that are building on really secure infrastructure that can deliver really innovative features in a really fast and effective way both from a cost perspective and an outcome perspective and so when we are looking at companies we are obviously starting at who are leading these companies, people remain the most important part of any company, and then we are looking at the absolute opportunities that those companies are looking to solve and if you have a very large opportunity to be solved by very smart people, using the latest technology in a smart and sensible way, that is an incredibly good business case to back.

Elliot Moss
Now, some of that is qualitative, Daniel, in the sense of people and opportunity can be diagnosed in a quantitative way but it’s also a gut feel isn’t it and from what I know of you, you are a relatively gut feel but you worked in Government as we have already established so you need data. Where do you naturally go as a partnership? Who kind of goes ‘yeah I like them’ or is it a very similar process that both go through from a thought perspective?

Daniel Korski
I think it’s, I think we have a very unique partnership in that we both have our respective areas of expertise but we also invite each other onto each other’s territory and we are not very, as it were, proprietorial about, you know, what we are doing, you know what I am doing and what Alex is doing. I guess I spend more of my time thinking about where the public sector is going, where those opportunities are and not just in terms of what is a live opportunity now but, you know, what can we imagine Government needing over the next two, three, five, six, eight years and I think, when you say Alex you spend more time trying to figure out how the companies that we are working with could fill that space, what kind of technology they need to kind of provide, what kind of people they need to build that business…

Alexander de Carvalho
I rely on Daniel and a few other people on our team, Max, Hannah, to really get an understanding of what is coming down the pipeline per se on the Government side and then with the part of our time that is really focussed on understanding start-ups, Ed, Mark and Andy our CTO, we start looking really at, you know, how are these companies playing into the opportunities that our more Government sided friends can see and that combination is very important. But sort of back to your question on judging people, I think we let everyone in the team come to a perspective on do we want to work with these people because, you know, what we embark on is a twelve month active programme of working with people and if that bond isn’t there, that gelling isn’t there, it never is going to be there. And I think one of the things that we have been successful in is bringing a lot of opinions to the table and managing from an investment, from a funnel of 400 plus companies that we see every year, finding those ten or fifteen entrepreneurs that we really want to back and work with.

Elliot Moss
As you are speaking, it’s clear that you take this very seriously, in a good way, and I read a quote, and for those people listening who don’t know you are part of the Heineken family and you had from a very young age, you have a role, I think you were a Director still in the business?

Alexander de Carvalho
Yes.

Elliot Moss
And the quote here from, I think it was The Standard last year, ‘The Heineken role is a huge responsibility. It made me grow up faster than other people’. You are a young guy, I mean both of you are young guys, but is there a, where’s the fun? I mean you’ve got, obviously, a hell of a lot of responsibility just even with, you know, by virtue of where the family is, but this itself looks like a serious business. Do the two of you also have a giggle?

Alexander de Carvalho and Daniel Korski
(laughing)

Elliot Moss
There’s your answer. But do you know what I mean? I mean, in there is a serious business but there must be moments when it’s ridiculous.

Daniel Korski
Well he’s going to giggle over the fact that you called him young and not me.

Elliot Moss
He’s obviously younger.

Alexander de Carvalho
Responsibility can go two ways, right? You can either have fun with it and enjoy it and embrace it, or you can be crushed by it and it doesn’t fit everyone. I guess I am lucky that I enjoy responsibility.

Elliot Moss
You wear it well.

Alexander de Carvalho
I do better when I feel responsible for things. If I feel less responsible, I get a little bit bored. But it is not to say that that sort of level of responsibility is everyone’s cup of tea. I have just embraced it and enjoyed it. What works to enjoy it, I think, is the best way of putting it.

Elliot Moss
That’s well put. Stay with me for more from my Business Shapers, Alex de Carvalho and Daniel Korski. They are coming back in a couple of minutes, by popular demand. That’s my demand. But first, we are going to hear a taster from the next News Sessions podcast which can be found on all the major podcast platforms, it’s Paddy O’Connell again with the help of Mishcon de Reya, exploring the world of the gig economy.

There are many ways for you to enjoy all our former Jazz Shapers and indeed to hear this programme again. You can ask Alexa to play Jazz Shapers and there you can hear many of the recent programmes or if you pop Jazz Shapers into iTunes or your podcast provider, you can enjoy the full archive. But back to today’s guests, I promised them earlier, here they are Alex de Carvalho and Daniel Korski, Founders of Public, a company that’s helping start-ups transform the public sector. Daniel, in previous iterations of your life, you were in Government as I said but you also have been abroad in war-torn areas, you worked with the Late Paddy Ashdown who I know you formed a very strong relationship with, you worked with some incredible people. What’s like moving from the spotlight and big names and things that affect everybody that we read about, to something which has still got some publicity but is different, you are now in the trenches a little bit more, there is less of a spotlight on you and you are kind of having to, you know, really hustle around and fight a bit every day? Has that been a sea-change for you?

Daniel Korski
It’s definitely been a sea-change, I mean you go from working on things that are nationally, and sometimes even internationally, important but at the same time you have the security of a salary and the comfort of a structure around you. You go from that to something which is nationally unimportant and entirely irrelevant internationally but it is existential to you because you have to build up everything around you, you know, when Alex and I started this journey, you know, we didn’t have anything as most entrepreneurs find, there weren’t phones or printers or laptops or offices and if you come from organisations where you are used to that, you kind of have to go on a journey to build that so you go from something that is nationally important but secure for you personally to something that is nationally not important but absolutely existential to you and so that’s the sort of ship you have to get used to. I think I always needed to find something that was about more than just, you know, making money. You know, I’ve been committed to, you know, public service all my life and I struggled with the idea that I would leave Government and then go and do something, you know, wholly in the private sector and so I think the creation of Public, I think for both of us was the perfect marriage of, you know, a private sector, you know, instrument with a public sector purpose and so that allowed me to kind of maintain some of the values and priorities that I had in my previous life.

Elliot Moss
And for you Alex, obviously much more in the private sector, you hadn’t had that, you know, the background that Daniel has had, your Co-Founder I believe in Doctify as well.

Alexander de Carvalho
No, my wife would kill me for saying that, so I was there when it started.

Elliot Moss
Oh, okay, good. What an honest man.

Alexander de Carvalho
Certainly not a Co-Founder.

Elliot Moss
Okay, so you have been an investor in that business?

Alexander de Carvalho
Yes.

Elliot Moss
Was it like bootstrapping? What’s it been like to get the phones connected, the printers and all these other things? How has that been for you?

Alexander de Carvalho
I guess the more interesting part which people don’t talk about often is how many no’s you get, that the most interesting part. If you come out of an organisation and start a new one and no-one says it’s going to work. One or two will believe in you, again and again. A few people will believe you here but then you will get a hundred that will never works or there’s no way you’ll break up a procurement process or Government will it takes too long to buy from start-ups and over time I think, you know, we committed to banging our heads against the wall until either they fell off or we were grey haired and grumpy, you know, we are making small inroads and proving the naysayers wrong and helping the yay-sayers, you know, make a return on their belief in us.

Elliot Moss
So, how have you dealt with the nos because there have obviously been a lot of them? What have you done personally to process those and come out the other side?

Alexander de Carvalho
You need a good partner. I do not recommend starting a business alone often. You really need the, you know, the number of times we’ve come back and said that was a good meeting, that I’ve had a bad day and if you sort of net off the positives and the negatives you keep going. This is a tough space that we are operating in trying to break open the mind-set in Government that this is at the right place to find the innovation and also in the start-ups and the investors that back the start-ups saying that public sector, you know, a very large of GDP across all sectors of the economy is a place to be selling your business into and I guess the support that we give each other is actually very important. We may not say that enough.

Elliot Moss
Lovely. Look at that, they are going to do a fist pump. You can hug if you like, come on, bring it in. Little fist pump did actually happen there. Here on Jazz Shapers, how wonderful. Stay with me for much more from my Business Shaper, that’s Daniel and Alex, we are talking about partnership, start-ups, dealing with no’s and all sorts of really interesting stuff. Time for some music right now, it’s Bobby Hutcherson with Montara.
That was Bobby Hutcherson, we haven’t played him before I don’t think on Jazz Shapers, with Montara. I’ve just got Daniel and Alex in front of me, the Co-Founders of Public. This is a new space, a brave new world which of course isn’t that new, I mean the technology and digital has been around forever, we’ve been talking about you know, we had the first dot.com boom about 20 years ago and then there was kind of full start and we are going again. Ideas Daniel are at a premium. Where do you get yours from?

Daniel Korski
I mean you say it’s a new space, I mean…

Elliot Moss
I kind of said it with a bit of tongue in cheek.

Daniel Korski
Yeah, yeah, exactly. I mean the way we think about it is you know, we obviously didn’t invent public sector IT you know, that’s been around you know, from the 40s and onwards but I think what we were able to do was to help re-frame the sector as not just about public sector IT but about GovTech, a bit like Fintech and Adtech, like thinking about it as a sector that is open to the innovation that new players bring and I just think that’s very worthwhile remembering. I mean we say we didn’t invent GovTech but we probably made it sexy and I think framing things is incredibly important to allow for ideas to come in and for different kinds of people who may be thinking slightly different about old problems to have a chance to kind of make their peace.

Alexander de Carvalho
The Government use technology, they just happen to use technology that banking, hotels, taxis, restaurants used 20/30 years ago and because of the lack of pressure necessarily has been implied to Government to transform and improve and out compete you are left with legacy technology that is not delivering and as sort of citizen demands, budgetary pressures sort of come together in a perfect storm the only out is innovation and the only way of finding innovation is outside your existing supplier base who are less incentivised to spend money making things better for them.

Elliot Moss
And how do you ensure that you are at the cutting edge of that innovation that you are in? How do you ensure that you can spot the winners beyond the criteria we talked about because if we could all do that we would have invested in Amazon back in whenever it was they founded. We didn’t. I mean I didn’t, you know you can’t necessarily see but how… you have obviously got to try and do some of that?

Alexander de Carvalho
So the benefit for us is that this is a tough space as I said before and so there aren’t that many people looking at it still. We’d like more people to look at this space but we are able through our application process for our accelerator programme through all the companies that we meet inadvertently to see four, five, six hundred companies a year and really understand which ones could make a difference and so when we go and back one of those businesses and commit to working with them for six to twelve months, it is because we see something there and we see a contract sitting somewhere in Government which could be the difference between that business making X million and 10 X million a year.

Elliot Moss
Which means in a way Daniel, you have to also know what’s cooking properly in Government. It’s not good superficial knowledge of Government contracts is not enough.

Daniel Korski
No exactly.

Elliot Moss
Or rather the Government areas of application.

Alexander de Carvalho
Yeah I remember sort of some of the earlier conversations we had when we were introducing our respective kind of insights to each other, I remember at some point you said, could you just write down you know, how the Government works and I said I have to spill like 20 years of working and knowledge on to the page, I can do some of that but some of it is much more, is much deeper. And I also think it is important not to just look for what is, what the market currently thinks it needs. Our role is to say okay the market currently thinks it needs this but actually it needs to go on a long-term journey to a different direction you know, one example of a company we backed, called Penoctigan which works to transform the way you track ex-offenders and support them through the gate and to rehabilitate perhaps in future being able to create the technical you know, foundation for a sort of set of virtual prisons where you can you know, help them but also protect the population at large outside the walls of a traditional prison. Now Government is not going to tender right now saying you know, who can build us a virtual prison. It’s going to tender on a series of you know, more tactical contracts around you know, ankle bracelets. But the question is how can you build a business that then starts there and goes you know, the longer way.

Elliot Moss
Let me just ask quickly as I know… I don’t want to pick up and then come back to you in our final chat but are you a patient person because it sounds like you would need to be? Not just to work with Daniel obviously, I mean… broadly to play that long game because this is a long game.

Alexander de Carvalho
I think you need to have patience and energy. I don’t think it’s enough to sit and be patient. I think you need to be patiently pro-active if that’s possible.

Daniel Korski
You are going to face a lot of set-backs but the patience is to continue to push, it sounds counter intuitive but we’ve got deep conviction that someone is going to make this happen and we hope that it’s us and so our patience is just how do we keep playing as opposed to getting frustrated. I think the opposites of patience is frustration, that’s not going to get you anywhere.

Elliot Moss
Hold that thought Daniel, be patient for a moment because I know we are going to go to a bit more music in a moment and then we are going to come back to you. We will go to you first Daniel and Alex as well so you don’t feel left out plus we will be playing a track from Shirley Horn, that’s all coming up in just a moment here on Jazz FM.

That was Shirley Horn with her take on the brilliant Mack The Knife. I’ve just got a few more minutes with Alex and Daniel, my Business Shapers today, Co-Founders of Public. Give me a flavour Alex of some of the specifics of the companies you are working with and the sorts of things that they are trying to impact.

Alexander de Carvalho
Sure. Like I said, I think anecdotes are always useful to explain a little bit about the power that this new technology can bring. I’ll just give two quickly; one is a business called Echo which allows you to have repeat prescriptions delivered to your door. At first instance great, convenient instead of having to go to the pharmacy to pick up my recurring prescription, it comes through the door. If you step back and go further, what is Echo as a platform then have? It has adherence rates because it can build a little bit of behavioural science into your App, say, did you take you drugs today, did you take the drugs, don’t forget your drugs. Very, very important. If you think about drug recalls, very expensive. Who is taking these drugs in this post code? That’s where the bad batch was delivered. Send put a push notification and you’ve solved the problem. So, what starts as a point solution becomes a public health answer very quickly when you use new platforms that are collecting data in an interesting way. One other business, and we’ve got lots and people ask in emails about what we are doing, free up access to your earned income in real time. Why is it that you get paid twelve times a year? Why can’t you be paid every day? You’ve done the work, you are sitting there. The reason you can’t is 1) because the company likes the float on their balance sheet and 2) because old payroll systems just haven’t upgraded themselves to allow for the seamless transfer of capital. We think we’ve developed and are working with a brilliant founder on a solution for that, integrating with open banking APIs and doing a bunch of other things so that suddenly if you have an unpayable bill in the middle of the month and 50% of families in the UK cannot afford an unexpected bill of £250 or more, why can’t you draw down a portion of that income that you have already earned that is sitting waiting as wages payable on a pretty highly secured part of the balance sheet of an employer. It’s a freeing up capital when you need it will avoid you going for high cost short-term credit which as we know is a huge drain on the economy.

Elliot Moss
Brilliant. As you said, you mentioned email but people can go onto the website as well now…

Alexander de Carvalho
Of course.

Elliot Moss
…and can see what other companies are doing. Beyond the UK, I know you did your first GovTech summit in, I think it was November of last year in lovely Paris, lovely in the autumn as well as the summer I am sure. What other plans have you got, Daniel for shaping this business internationally?

Daniel Korski
I think one of the key things we wanted to do was to convene the market in a different way and that’s why we organised the GovTech summit and we were lucky to be able to do it in co-operation with the French President but also with the attendance of the Canadian Prime Minister…

Elliot Moss
Shameless name dropping by the way.

Daniel Korski
…no, but I mean we have to show you that it was a real thing.

Elliot Moss
The French President. Did you have lunch with him? I think you probably did.

Daniel Korski
I’ll send you the picture.

Elliot Moss
Oh you did. Oh good. Unbelievable.

Daniel Korski
Just to show you that it was a real thing. But, no but it was a big part of also saying, you know, the UK has been at the forefront of digitising public services and therefore there is an opportunity to, you know, lead in other markets and help great British companies get to other places so we are not just organising our summit in Paris but we are scaling our accelerator programme, GovStart in France, we are opening an office in Copenhagen, Denmark as well in order to run our programme up there and we have other plans to scale more internationally because we genuinely think the UK has been at the forefront of this sort of process of digitising public services and there is a great opportunity to scale and make public, not just the British business but generate European business at a time when it is probably valuable to have more people, you know, spreading themselves across, you know, across Europe rather than being confined on the island or on the continent.

Elliot Moss
Brilliant. And that’s a really important vision isn’t it? Whatever happens politically we are going to need much more of that. Gentleman, it’s been a real pleasure having you both. It’s flown by because there’s two of you, we need another hour. Just before I let you go, your song choice, and there’s a bit of a story here because inadvertently it seems like you’ve both chosen the same one.

Daniel Korski
It’s a bit freaky isn’t it?

Elliot Moss
That’s not just freaky Daniel, it’s, I’ve got psychologists we can bring in later. Tell me a little bit about what you’ve chosen, Alex and why.

Alexander de Carvalho
I was shocked when you asked us to suggest a song and I sent an email and Daniel sent an email and we had the same song so, Aretha Franklin, Say a Little Prayer, it’s the song my wife and I chose to walk down the aisle, I should say it was a short aisle in the registry office but, so we didn’t get to hear the whole song so I am looking forward to hearing it in its entirety. It just, we were looking, what shall we walk down the aisle to and this song spoke to us.

Elliot Moss
And for you Mr Korski?

Daniel Korski
I just think coming to the point that we discussed earlier, which is, you know, how do you cope with adversity? How do you cope with long sales cycles? How do you cope with the, you know, arrows and slings of outrageous fortune? And I think the way you best cope with it is just to be positive, to be energetic, to be uplifted and uplifting of others, and this song just speaks to that, it’s like it’s always morning when Aretha Franklin sings this song and the day’s going to be great.

Elliot Moss
Here it is, just for you both.

That was Aretha Franklin with Say a Little Prayer, the song choice of both of the Business Shapers I had in today, that’s Alex de Carvalho and Daniel Korski, the Co-Founders of Public. They talked about the importance of dealing with no and how you handle rejection and how important it is to have a partner in that scenario. Of reframing things, how innovation is new by definition and needs to reposited in order for it to actually connect and to work, and of being patiently pro-active, that critical balance between pushing but also knowing when to hold. That’s it from Jazz Shapers, have a great weekend.

We hope you enjoyed that edition of Jazz Shapers. You will find hundreds more guests available for you to listen to in our archive. To find out more, just search Jazz Shapers and iTunes or your favourite podcast platform or head over to mishcon.com/jazzshapers.

PUBLIC brings together experience from the public sector, technology and finance to help startups solve public problems.

Daniel Korski CBE is the Chief Executive Officer at PUBLIC. He has 20 years of experience in senior positions in government across the UK, EU and the US. Daniel was most recently Deputy Head of Policy at No. 10 Downing Street and Special Advisor to David Cameron. He was previously was adviser to the Vice-President of the European Commision and has previously worked for the UN and Foreign Office in Bosnia, Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen.

Alexander de Carvalho is the Chief Investment Officer at PUBLIC and a venture investor. He has had over eight years’ experience working in private equity and Austrian Bank Gutmann at the Alternative Investments department. He is also a non-executive director of Heineken.

Follow Daniel Korski on twitter.

“I was looking for a way to get into the public sector and explain the power of technology to people in government.”

“What we’re trying to do is create an understanding on both sides of the chasm.”

“If you want new players to have a chance at transforming public services, they need to be put in a position where they can do so.”

“I realised early on that I was an entrepreneur when I tried to change systems and policies. I want to bring about change by looking at things from a totally different perspective and seeking solutions that don’t yet exist.”

“There’s focus on entrepreneurialism in the private sector, the public sector is now looking into that too.”

“We’re not very proprietorial about what we’re doing. We spend time thinking about where the Government is going and how the companies we work with could play into future opportunities.”

“Responsibility can go two ways. You can have fun with it, enjoy it and embrace it, or you can be crushed. I do better when I feel responsible for things.”

“People don’t talk about how many ‘no’s’ you will get. Over time we committed to banging our heads against the walls until they either fell off or we were grey-haired and grumpy.”

“We are making small inroads. We are proving the naysayers wrong and helping the yaysayers make a return on their belief in us.”