RAB-Microfluidics

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Aiming to revolutionise testing and analysis services, RAB-Microfluidics is developing cutting edge ‘lab on a chip’ technology to meet real-time testing and analysis need of businesses that depend on heavy machinery.

Established by Dr Rotimi Alabi from The University of Aberdeen, RAB-Microfluidics offers real-time continuous testing and analysis of oils to businesses that rely on oils for various critical functions in their operations. The company’s customers are businesses that carry out testing and analysis of oils, operate heavy machinery or run Oil Condition monitoring programmes – so to name a few, their service could benefit business working in Oil & Gas, Power Generation, Aerospace and Defence, Maritime, Transportation and Waste Water Treatment.

By bringing the lab to the sample – rather than taking the sample to the lab – RAB-Microfluidics is making conventional protocols rapid and mobile. Ultimately its customers are moving from preventative to predictive maintenance – giving them the chance to diagnose early problems in machinery by monitoring the degradation from health indicators in their oils, and save money by doing so.

In April, Rotimi starts his RSE Fellowship (funded by the Natural Environment Research Council).

EC: Hi Rotimi, thanks for taking the time to talk to us today.  Tell us, what had the biggest influence on you when deciding to become an entrepreneur?

RA: It’s been my dream from early on in life to create a positive impact globally with what I do, and the best platform to create this impact is by solving problems faced by – and meeting the needs of – people and businesses.

I’m able to achieve these as an entrepreneur.  It’s what gets me out of bed in the morning and influences my entrepreneurial journey.

EC: What has been your biggest challenge as an entrepreneur (and how did you overcome this)?

RA: Haha, the answer to this question is ever changing. I have faced many challenges and still face them today. Each new day in the life of an entrepreneur brings a new challenge.

I’ve come to view them as an opportunity to do things better or find the easiest way to overcome them.  As challenges go, I had communication challenges at the outset of my journey.  Being from an academic background. I always thought like an academic and focused on speaking more about the technology rather than the impact of it and how to get my product to market.  I quickly learnt interest lies in commercialisation.

EC: What’s your biggest achievement to date?

RA: This too is ever changing and is what keeps my entrepreneurial life interesting! One day your biggest achievement is signing up a potential customer for field trials and the next it might be securing investment worth hundreds of thousands of pounds.  I’ve had the privilege of enjoying many up-days.  I think I’m now addicted!

EC: What’s your ambition for the business?

RA: Becoming a global company from the North-East of Scotland is my dream for RAB-Microfluidics. I want RAB-Microfluidics to continuously offer convenient solutions to the oil testing and analysis challenges faced by businesses around the world.

EC: How has Enterprise Campus helped you?

RA: Oh in so many ways.  Enterprise Campus part-funded my place in The ABVenture Zone incubator, and without this I wouldn’t have the opportunity to network very closely in the same space with other inspired entrepreneurs.

Enterprise Campus have afforded me the opportunity to benefit from the brilliance of business advisors who have tremendous experience in entrepreneurship, and have led me by the hand in terms of business development advice, and experience.

And the events they organise are also invaluable. Just the other day I went for an angel investor event organised by Enterprise Campus and now RAB-Microfluidics are in the process of discussing investment as a result of that event.

EC: What advice would you give budding student entrepreneurs?

RA: TAKE ACTION!

An Idea is only an idea in your head or shared with friends and family if you don’t act. You have to get up and test your idea, refine it and package it as a commodity that will solve a problem, meet a need and generate revenue.  It’s the only way you can make your dream a reality as an entrepreneur.