A month after winning the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge 2011, we asked Nick Christy how he's doing now and what has been happening since his trip to Amsterdam.

How did you experience the week leading up to the Green Challenge and the event itself?
The week before was a huge rush. I think I had 6 or 7 days between finding out that we were finalists to actually flying to Amsterdam. In that time we had to prepare the presentation and make travel arrangements so I didn't have too much time to think about it until I actually arrived in Amsterdam.

 

The week of the event was really well organised and the support we were given to prepare our presentations was very helpful and confidence inspiring. The whole Postcode Lottery Green Challenge team and the other contestants were such a nice group of people that, although it was a competition and there were some nerves, the whole week was very enjoyable.

What was your first thought after hearing you were the winner?
I'm not sure to be honest. Suddenly there were lots of people on stage, so many cameras and microphones, I don't think that I was so much 'thinking' as responding to questions.

What happened in the days after the Green Challenge?
Immediately after the awards - everyone else, the jury and the other contestants went back to the hotel and had a party ... I went to bed early as I had to be up early for the TV interview on Koffietijd !

Nick Christy on Koffietijd 2011

On Friday, the day after the awards, I went to the TV studios outside Amsterdam to be interviewed by Pernille on Kofietijd. The TV crew were really friendly and explained what would happen and after the rehearsal I just enjoyed that whole process. I met some of the other guests and enjoyed watching and listening to their interviews.

On Friday night Richard Branson sent me a congratulations message on Twitter which was seen by his 1 million plus followers, which is when the emails started! I think I had 500 emails in about 4 days from people and companies expressing interest in the recycling shower.

On the Saturday I formally offered jobs to my two engineers and then started the process of talking to shower manufacturers and retailers about the product.

Did you get a lot of media attention?
Yes !

The day of the awards ceremony I was interviewed by The Guardian (UK), The New York Times, Venturebeat, and a number of other magazines and newspapers.

The day after the awards ceremony the whole back page of 2 papers was a picture of me.

Nick Christy paper 2011

I've also been interviewed by my local paper in Brisbane and by a Venture Capital Network called GrowVC - that's now a podcast on iTunes. There will be more interviews next week when i get back to Australia.

Have any new opportunities come your way yet?
A lot. The key thing is to work out which to pursue. We are a small company and it would be easy to be distracted by all of the offers. We are in the process of working through those which most closely match our strategy and we will aim to develop these formally between now and the end of the year.

What is the first thing you will be doing with the Water Recycling Shower now?
Making it a commercially available product. The second thing will be to build distribution networks in many countries so that people can buy it and use it.

Will the general public be able to buy it in a couple of years? (often heard question!)
Before then we hope. Our current aim is to commence sales in at least one country, probably two, by Quarter 1 2013.

What did you take away from the Green Challenge (except a rather large cheque)
Confidence, support and friendships.

  • Confidence that we are developing a worthwhile product and that our strategy is correct.
  • Support from key individuals and organisations who will help us in the coming years.
  • Friendships with the other contestants, previous winners and all of those at The Postcode Lottery and Green Challenge. This was one of the best experiences of my life.

 


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