The Interview Series: 008 - Tadashi Kubo, Japan-UK
Tadashi Kubo is a founder and CEO of H24E Innova (Cambridge, UK) / a co-founder and CFO of Laser Linx Inc. (Kyoto, Japan), companies commercializing a breakthrough hydrogen generation technology developed at Kyoto University in Japan. Tadashi just graduated an MBA programme at Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge and while attending the programme developed the project and co-founded the companies. Prior to this Tadashi had over a decade of experience in business development and project finance in renewable and conventional energy, infrastructure, oil and gas, and petrochemicals mainly in Africa, Latin America and Asia. (www.h24einnova.com)
What does your Company do? /What is your Project about
We have developed a novel laser that splits even seawater into hydrogen more efficiently than the current system: electrolysis. We aim to grow economic expansion of renewable energy through decentralized power solutions. Hydrogen has ca 4 times higher energy density than batteries and refueling time is within 5 minutes, so suitable for higher frequency usage with little downtime.
Why are you doing this, what is driving you?
Because I grew up like this, having passion about climate change and I have 12-year experience in business development and project finance on renewable energy.
What is your background? How did you end up doing this?
I am Japanese and just graduated an MBA programme at Cambridge Judge Business School, the University of Cambridge. I worked at an investment and trading conglomerate for business development and project finance on renewable and conventional energy, oil and gas, infrastructure and petrochemicals, mainly in Africa, Latin America and Asia. I have work experience in Angola, Brazil and Japan. I became aware of the potential of hydrogen technology and through a friend of mine met Emeritus Prof. Hirao at Kyoto University and inventor of the technology.
What does success look like?
Disrupt the existing hydrogen industry by our patented technology and expand low-carbon society via affordable hydrogen throughout the world.
What is your biggest challenge that you have to overcome to make your company/project a success?
Commercialization from a lab-based prototype and lower the costs, as solar and wind power have done over the past 20 years.
Do you have time to do anything else? What do you do outside work to keep sane?
Yes, I study a lot here at Cambridge Judge Business School and often go jogging and do boxing at a university boxing club. I also love capoeira (Brazilian martial arts that combines dance).
What would be your biggest tip to aspiring entrepreneurs
Having a sense of ownership and intend to solve it by myself. Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.
And finally… what keeps you awake at night?
Training in my room, coffee and red wine