Interview with Zero.1 founder Marc Fleschen
What is Li-Fi? Li-Fi, short for Light Fidelity, is a super-fast alternative to Wi-Fi and has been hailed as the future of wireless connectivity. The technology seems simple enough in concept: instead of transmitting information wirelessly through radio frequencies, Li-Fi uses the visible light spectrum, resulting in speeds that are potentially 100-times faster than current Wi-Fi technologies. When entrepreneur and investor Marc Fleschen came across Li-Fi technology, he jumped at the opportunity to apply the exciting tech for business and lifestyle and founded a Li-Fi company called Zero.1.
In this interview with Tharawat Magazine, Zero.1 founder Marc Fleschen shares the story of being an entrepreneur in emerging technologies.
Where did you get the idea to start Zero.1 and how was it achieved?
I discovered Li-Fi through my review of scientific journals and then I sought out a team to help me bring my vision to life. The origin of a Zero.1 is a story of passionate people and core competencies. As the story unfolded, I was quick to recognise its commercial potential for businesses and consumers. Once I discovered this potential, I began assembling an expert team.
I was joined by Julie Mclaughlan, a seasoned international business development and operations expert, and Cedric Mayer, widely recognised as a leading authority in Li-Fi technology. Each of the co-founders shares a passion and belief in this world changing technology and a commitment to providing Li-Fi led solutions for work and home. Today, the patents and technology that we have created through Zero.1 put us at the forefront of the Li-Fi story. We formally established the company at the beginning of this year at the Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Centre (DTEC).
If you were to give a Silicon Valley style “elevator pitch” (1-minute pitch of your product/company), what would you say?
Li-Fi will change the world, the way we work, play, and manage our daily lives. Li-Fi wireless technology provides endless possibilities for the Internet of Things, the connection between people and things.
Zero1 is at the very heart of this technology. We exist to promote the benefits bi-directional, networked, mobile, and high-speed transmission technology.
We have been working for several years to develop the technology and find ways to apply it in real-life settings and have developed ways to bring Li-Fi to life, providing experiential and management solutions for public, community, industrial, commercial, leisure and home environments.
What problem are you looking to solve with Li-Fi and what is the future you envision for the technologyn>?>
<p< span=””>>Li-Fi is a wireless optical networking technology that uses light-emitting diodes (LEDs) for data transmission, and this can be used for a huge range of</p<>><p>Compared to WiFi, Li-Fi has the following advantages:
- It is much faster
- It is more secure
>It is unimpeded by radio interference<li>It gives greater coverage than a single WiFi router
- It is eco-friendly
As the demand for energy, data> transmission, and high-speed communication grows exponentially, everyone must play a role in energy management, and Li-Fi enabled LED lights to play a vital role in the quest for sustainability.
What do you consider to be the greatest barriers in getting companies and organisations to adapt Li-Fi and what is your strategy to convert them?
Initially, there is skepticism that this new technology can do what it promises, but this is easily overcome when people see it in action, and we have many real-life case studies to draw on. As Li-Fi is dependent on a lighting network in existing structures, this requires some retrofitting and naturally some temporary disruptions to the physical environment.
The initial capital expenditure is higher than a traditional light, but the costs savings in running the systems easily offset this. LED lights are up to 80% more efficient than traditional lighting and energy consumption for a LED bulb is around 30 times lower than for a corresponding incandescent bulb.
What were the challenges you faced as an entrepreneur and what have you have learned so far from the experience?
I think that the key is passion: this passion keeps you going through the times when others may not be initially receptive to your ideas or when the practicalities of product development or expansion get in the way. In a way, passion is stubbornness, like refusing to give up on your idea and finding creative ways to overcome obstacles or challenges.
I’ve also learnt that one must identify the right people to make the journey with you – those that share your passion or bring a skill or expertise the business needs. Interdependency is not a weakness but a strength.
Why did you choose Dubai as the place to start your company?
It has an excellent infrastructure and is at the heart of the Middle East’s technological development. Dubai, and indeed the United Arab Emirates, has many times over proved itself to be an innovator and an early adopter of new technologies.
I have found
What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs and business leaders looking to succeed especially in the world of technology?
When it comes to new technologies, the world is a blank canvas, so remember not to limit yourself and your ideas just because it has “never been done before”. Be insistent, be tenacious and most of all, be passionate.
That said, the world of technology is constantly evolving so be open to new ideas, new ways of doing things, and the opportunities for positive collaborations.