Co-founder & Director of Technology, Graphium Technologies

Education

Swansea University. BSc in Material Science.

Cardiff University, MSc in Computing.

The Alacrity Foundation graduate programme.

Career History

After leaving Swansea University, Sean joined the Civil Service Fast Track Scheme to train in finance but quickly realised it was not for him. He became interested in project management and took a role at Interaction, an office refitting company, where he held the positions of Assistant Project Manager and Aftercare Manager.

The experience made him realise that he wanted to start his own business and he decided to undertake an MSc in Computing at Cardiff University before joining the Alacrity Foundation programme for graduates.

Upon completing the Alacrity programme, Sean co-founded Graphium Technologies where he is now Director of Technology.

He says of his shift into technology: “That was the best decision I ever made. Since I started coding, I have absolutely loved it, and I really wish that I had pursued it sooner. One of the drivers of going into tech was that I realised that I really wanted to start my own business and work for myself. Tech seemed like a really accessible way to do that, because you have all the tools there that you can build something of your own, without necessarily a massive investment to begin with.”

Achievements

Sean and his co-founders have successfully launched Graphium Technologies, supported by the Alacrity Foundation and with pre-seed funding from the Wesley Clover Group.

The company creates visual knowledge maps from documents. Sean explains says: “It enables our users to visually navigate the research landscape that they’ve got in their company. We also expanded the features to allow them to compare it with external knowledge as well.”

Sean and his co-founders set up the company based on their values. He explains: “We’re all in it more for the process and the opportunity to do this.  It was something that we’re all passionate about doing, and we want to build a product that is going to provide use to people and make their lives easier day-to-day. There are not many other positions that at our age we would have been able to get all this experience.”

Sean’s ambition is to be a serial entrepreneur. He says: “This is our first time doing this, but none of us want it to be our last. It’s a really fun and exciting thing to do.  It can be quite stressful, it’s most definitely not for everyone, but I would recommend it to anyone who’s got even an inkling of passion for entrepreneurship and who maybe one day wants to start their own business. The ownership of something that you’ve done that’s had an impact, is a really fulfilling feeling.”

 Advice

“If anyone is interested in coding, there is a wealth of information that you can use to self-teach a lot of what you need to go into, such as web development and building actual products.  A misconception that I had when I was going into my degree was that I definitely didn’t want to be a web developer, I wanted to build software, but almost all software that we use is on the Web now, that is a software engineer.  So, get learning web development, start building stuff that people can use.

“If you have any spark of entrepreneurship, have a look at programmes like the Alacrity Foundation.  They are out there, they’re not necessarily always that easy to find, but there a number of incubators and schemes that are looking to help people get their first steps into entrepreneurship. If it is something that you are interested in, it’s definitely well worth pursuing. There are steps, people and places that you can go to  for help with that to make sure that it’s something that you can achieve from any background, such as the Alacrity Foundation, it is really, really worthwhile.”

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