Head of Immense Barcelona and Chief Scientist, here is a chance for you to find out more about Immense Co-founder Didac Busquets.
Tell us a bit about Immense and what you do?
I am one of the founding members of Immense, we spun out from Transport Systems Catapult. We wanted to change the way simulation is done in the transport domain and look at new ways of exploring mobility services. We wanted to offer something new, more useful and easy to use!
What is it that makes Immense so IMMENSE?
I think it's the willingness we have, to go for the challenging objectives! In the transport domain there are lots of big players, we are the small fish and we have to fight against the big ones, but we are really good at that!
What were your passions growing up, what did you think you would be when you were older?
So I always had a passion for computers, my Dad was involved in Public Transport in Barcelona, he was always doing something related to transport. I remember one of my first computer programs was doing a journey planner for the subway in Barcelona on my own... as a hobby!
What would you say is the hardest obstacle you have had to overcome over the last couple of years with Immense?
I think it's moving from working for someone that tells you what you have to work on. To finding your own projects, assessing what the industry wants. It's not research anymore. At the Catapult you could try things and if it didn't work it was just research. Now it has to work because you have to pay the employees!
What personal habits and attributes do you think helped you to be a success?
I like to make things work, if I am faced with a problem, I will sit down and understand how I can solve it. I will discuss it with the team, and I think that we have lots of discussions which are really useful, and everyone gets to say what they think, thinking of different options, being open to working as a team.
What drives and motivates you?
I think the area we are working on is very exciting! We are trying to solve problems that have not been solved yet. Having done research for so many years, we have that motivation of, what can we do to make this problem easy to solve? How can we make it more applicable or more useful to people or society?
What advice would you give to other start-up companies?
Definitely know what the market is, understand who the other players are, who the competition is!
What has been the best bit of business advice you have been given?
I think having an open office and discussing things with other people. Different views of problems, different views of the world can really help! I really enjoy that, let's start with a problem, let's spend a couple of hours in front of a white board and not be constrained by 'this is how things have to be done'. Being flexible and being able to throw ideas around which more classical companies might think are adventurous.
What makes you different from other companies in the industry?
One thing, the different backgrounds that each of us have. Also, the idea that we want to change the ways things are done. Other companies would go for standard methods or standard algorithms, and we want to take the risk of trying new things. Disrupting the current state of the market.
How do you unwind when you're not working?
I have three kids, so I don't have much time to unwind! But spending time with the family, reading, whenever I have time watching movies. Anything science fiction or mystery, or fantasy!
What would you say is the most exciting tech/mobility development happening in the industry now?
Autonomous vehicles, the whole concept of autonomous vehicles, is really amazing! When that happens, it will be a big step forward for everyone
What do you think is the biggest challenge facing the industry at present?
I think in terms of autonomous vehicles, getting the trust from the public. Everything that involves sharing data, understanding there is a system that knows where you are, it can help you, but people can also see it as being very dangerous. What we're doing might help change people's opinions.
Who would be your three ultimate dinner party guests, dead or alive?
JRR Tolkien, because I love Lord of the Rings, Bruce Springsteen, because I have been to a lot of his concerts and Steve Jobs or Bill Gates - I would just love to know how they created those empires.
You can find out more about Immense and our exciting new beta launch here.