David Phin is Co-Founder of Paragon Inspection Solutions, a technology company which is solving problems in high pressure environments. We spoke to him to find out how he got started and what the future holds for their innovative product.
How and why did you start in business?
I have always been interested in technology applications and working as an offshore inspection technician I was able to get a view into the heart of some of the engineering issues the oil and gas industry faces.
One of the issues that kept cropping up was the assembly of small, high-pressure connections.
According to the HSE, around 26% of these are assembled incorrectly.
We have been working on a suite of inspection tools to help solve this issue and bring them to market.
How did you get where you are today?
I entered work soon after school in Aberdeen, working as a technician before returning to Dundee to study petroleum engineering at college.
Soon after I headed offshore, I began working on Paragon’s range of inspection equipment.
It has been a busy time, but the journey has been really rewarding.
It is always exciting to find out about new technologies .
Who has helped you along the way?
On our journey we have had help and support from a range of groups including the Oil & Gas Technology Centre, the Royal Society of Edinburgh and Scottish Enterprise.
Elevator has been a huge help too.
The team has been able to provide us with access to specialists in the realm of start-up investment and growth, experts we might have struggled to contact otherwise.
Your biggest mistake?
Not starting sooner!
Sometimes it is difficult to sit back and
tell yourself you are not sure what to do, but the sooner you take the plunge the better.
The advantage with all the support is there is always someone there to bounce ideas off and give a bit of honest feedback.
What is your greatest achievement to date?
Probably the programmes and business accelerators we have been accepted on since we started the journey.
The help and support that comes from a lot of these programmes makes the application process quite competitive and it is always rewarding to see some external validation of what it is you are trying to do.
Hopes for the future?
In the long term we would love for the business to go global.
These components are used in all major industries worldwide so there is a massive potential market to tap into.
Short-term, it is all about getting some field trials and using those results to secure investment.
What is the hardest thing about running your own business?
I am not great with time management so the calendar on my mobile phone has become a bit of a bible for me.
Advice to wannabe entrepreneurs?
Make sure you have a passion for what you are doing, whether that is the product itself or the end goal you have in mind.