Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in sustainability but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Fabrice Testa, Co-Founder and CFO of Maana Electric, located in Foetz, Luxembourg.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Maana Electric is a deep cleantech company that uses its proprietary In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) technologies, originally developed for the space industry, to produce solar panels directly from desert sand (or mining/construction waste streams) using its containerized TerraBox system. The Terrabox fits in standard-sized shipping containers and can be installed and removed from the site, thereby eliminating supply chains. In other words, the TerraBox is a moveable solar panel factory, using locally available raw materials and electricity as its only inputs. Our clients are utility companies, solar developers, and installers.
Tell us about yourself
I'm a serial tech entrepreneur. After the sale of a satellite service company, I was looking for a new challenge. Then, I met Joost van Oorschot, who had the initial concept of Maana Electric. I was immediately attracted by the vision to help the net energy transition on Earth and also become in the future the utility company of the solar system.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment was to meet extraordinary people in all my ventures, build teams of up to 200 people and develop talents to form new leaders. That's the most important when you are a leader yourself.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Creating a business is hard! You face naysayers and setbacks. But you must persist despite difficulties. A business owner must be extremely mentally tough to resist the emotional rollercoaster, which is the best image I can give about the life of an entrepreneur.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Do you have a really strong value proposition for solving a big problem, and do you have an unfair market advantage?
- Is there a market big enough for what you want to sell? Is there some urgency to buy this?
- Do you have a team and a rock-solid plan to execute your business?
- Is now the right time to start that venture?
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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