When we began crowdfunding in December 2019 we had no idea how 2020 would work out. We were hoping for support, which we received a huge amount of, and the financial backing to be able to launch our first full scale project. We had ambitious plans for 2020 to be a productive year, and the first few months certainly were.
We completed our raise on Crowdcube in January 2020, overfunding by nearly double our target thanks to over 700 investors. Within two weeks of our raise being completed we had three members of our team in Mexico, setting up a base and beginning meetings arranged by our local counterparts. All of this was in an effort to keep up the brilliant momentum we entered 2020 with. Over the next month and a half we made steady progress, settled into Cancun, and began discussions with both our first client and the vital government agencies (including the governor of Quintana Roo) that will be supporting us in our mission to save coastlines and restore coral reefs.
By the time COVID-19 filled the news cycles we were in a relatively good position to begin work. And then the world ground to a halt. Borders began closing, businesses shut their doors and our own team members had to make their way back to their respective countries (one of whom left on the last possible day for flights from Mexico to the US). Back in London we were already prepared for our team to work from home, and so overnight we were all working from home. Despite our best efforts, one of the team returning from Mexico moved home into a house with an NHS worker and contracted COVID-19 so was out of action for nearly a month, thankfully now making a full recovery.
The changing work situation and evolving pandemic has switched our immediate focus, but it has not slowed our momentum. During the last few months we’ve been streamlining and refining models and process and driving further discussion with clients. We view this quarantine as a comma and not a full stop.
Overall, it has become clearer than ever how important our work is, with a heightened attention being paid to climate issues and solutions. During this COVID period, we have been able to really assess what we are doing to ensure the health of this planet, and our part in the fight against climate change. From this we have maintained our commitment to the work we do, now more than ever we need nature based, smart solutions, that put people and the planet first.
After this break from our blog we have also realised how vital it is to be a part of the conversation on science and the environment. We are a team of smart, passionate individuals, but what use is that if we don’t use our passions to inspire and educate others. This is why we will be relaunching our blog this month. We hope to be bringing you in-depth analysis of current data within our field, tips and processes for the software and systems we use, and inspirational stories of people making the most of these times. Our blog should be a place that amplifies the voices of those willing to share knowledge and build a better world together. Because of this we are looking for contributors; if you have an environmental or ocean based story you want to spread, get in touch at email@example.com.
We would be remiss if we did not mention the Black Lives Matter movement at this point. CCell fully stands with the statements and demands of this movement. For full transparency, our core team is white and well aware of our need for diversity within the office. We rarely advertise for jobs, but instead pick from amongst those who have taken the initiative to approach us. It is not only exceptional talent that we look for, but we want people who are passionate about making the world a better place. So we would encourage anyone to send us their CV, and over this year we will be directly reaching out to organisations such as BBStem, and other organisations focused on inclusion such as Women in Stem and Dyslexia Box. This ties in with the relaunch of our blog as we would like to raise awareness of cutting edge environmental science and technology and the voices that make it possible. Sadly, at present we’ve frozen all recruitments as we carefully manage our finances through this uncertain time. However, we are now actively encouraging submissions and pitches for blogs, which we can support with a small payment for each article we publish. Please get in touch if you have any questions on this.
To learn a little more about CCell, and the work that we do, we encourage you to also read these three amazing articles:
CCell Renewables and Vicor collaborate to power new coral reef growth, where we discuss the nitty gritty of our electronic requirements.
Breaking Waves, a wonderful feature by Cécile Faure in L’Echo in which our CEO Will Bateman covers the hurdles and triumphs of CCell’s creation of a wave-energy capture device which will be used to power remote reefs.
We look forward to reading all your pitches and blogs, and to furthering the conversation on science and engineering.