British product designer Emily Brooke crowdfunded her first product in 2012-a laser light designed to make cyclists more visible on roads. Brooke’s company Beryl (formerly Blaze) has since raised $15.5 million. Beryl not only sells its patented Laserlights to customers around the world but has cycle-scheme partnerships in London and New York. It is also pioneering its own smart-bike technology to collect data on cities. Brooke was awarded an MBE in 2017 for her services to Transport and to the Economy.
1. Best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Be a female leader, don’t try to be a man. Your differences are also your strengths.
2. Worst piece of advice you’ve been given?
Don’t get distracted trying to work with TfL right now…
3. What would you tell your younger self?
Go for it and go for it now. You’re in a better position to start a business young and early with comparatively fewer demands, and you already have all the experience you need.
4. What excites you most about the future of your industry?
Urban mobility is one of the worlds greatest challenges with rapid population growth and urbanisation. It hugely affects the economy and more importantly the wellbeing of our people and planet. The way we move in cities today is very different this year to what it was last year and it will be even more different next. It’s changing fast and we’re at the cutting edge of it!
5. Who or what is your biggest inspiration?
My Mum. She was a seriously savvy young business woman and worked incredibly hard to build our financial stability as a family.