Press Coverage

Thrive: Building the European vision of a Smart City – In conversation with Mark Nicholson, CEO & Co-Founder Viva

Monday, 4 January, 2021
Tell us about your entrepreneurial journey and why you founded Viva?

The journey started back in 2011, when I met my cofounders while designing, building and racing a solar-powered car. It was a student-run project, done in our spare time around our degrees – in which we raised £500,000, built a road-legal experimental vehicle which was 50x more efficient than a normal car, and took 20 people to Australia to race it. While that project didn’t lead to the success we wanted, it gave us the entrepreneurial bug, and so after a couple of years in “normal” jobs we got itchy feet, which led to us founding Viva.

Without that solar car project, we simply wouldn’t be here today – not just because we wouldn’t have met, but because we wouldn’t have learnt the critical lessons needed to get a company off the ground. Learning those lessons wasn’t always easy (we left £10,000+ of solar panels in dust on the road after an 85kmph crash!*), but they were formative.

* The driver walked away from the accident, without significant injuries

Read the full article on the Thrive website.