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David Townsend

Town Rock Energy Ltd
Aberdeen, Scotland

David Townsend graduated from the University of St Andrews in June, 2013. He then won the renewable energy category of SIE’s Young Innovators Challenge, which enabled him to establish Town Rock Energy, Scotland’s first deep geothermal energy consultan

60-Second Interview

Who was your biggest hero when you were younger?
My biggest hero when I was younger was Joe Simpson. The true story of his survival against all odds during a severe mountaineering accident, in his book Touching the Void, inspired me to believe that human willpower and perseverance can overcome any obstacle.
What initially attracted you to enterprise?
Being my own boss and deciding my own schedule.
Can you tell us about the first £10 you ever made?
The first wage I earned was for sorting the recycling and mowing the lawn for my parents at the age of 9. I still do, but I no longer get paid for it.
What has been your biggest challenge so far with your business?
Focusing and prioritising my time and energy when constantly faced with a thousand things to do, and maintaining a healthy work/life balance.
Who is it that keeps you going through any tough times?
My parents, who are a constant inspiration.
What is it that gets you out of your bed in the morning?
The knowledge that every day could be an adventure.
How do you define success?
Success is making a plan and following it through to completion. My plan is to help drive the world forward into a carbon-neutral and sustainable future. Every time I convince someone of the urgency of climate change is a small success.
Where do you see your business in 5 years’ time?
I see my business producing carbon-free affordable energy from the ground, and enabling a national transition from gas central heating to renewable heating systems.
If you could give your “teenage self” one piece of advice, what would it be?
Don't smoke, don't be cocky, don't talk in class, and always be yourself. Don't categorise yourself, and don't listen to others that try to. Do what you are passionate about and you will find a way to make a living out of it.
If you could have any 1 person on your business contact list who would that person be and why?
Richard Branson, not only because he is hugely successful at everything he does, but because he is using his influence and wealth to create positive change that the world needs.