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As the co-owner of BusinessCloud Publishing Limited, I know all about failing to meet monthly targets.

Right now, for instance, I have grand plans for November which may not all come off in the time-frame intended. You have to ‘play the table in front of you’ – working with the current state of affairs – which sometimes gets in the way of strategic advancement.

I’m not the only person to struggle with this. “I used to beat myself up about not achieving monthly goals,” Adam Root, CEO and founder of sustainability company Matter, tells TechBlast. “I found I overestimated these.”

Matter is pioneering ​technology solutions for capturing, harvesting ​and recycling microplastics which are generated by our laundry and end up in the ocean. Founded in 2018, the company now has 19 employees and operates out of a warehouse in Bristol with an open-plan office and R&D facility. 

“At the end of the year you look back and realise that actually, we had overachieved on our goals,” continues Root. “I tend to underestimate what could be achieved in the longer term. 

“Having that reflection and realising what you can achieve in a year can give you and your team a real boost.  It is about understanding that it’s a marathon and not a sprint.”

He advises: “It takes time to build a company and to make a change, so be patient and don’t worry that some elements are taking longer – celebrate the small wins and keep that resilience.”

Matter has developer Gulp, a sustainable, long-lasting washing machine filter that catches up to 90% of all microfibres from every laundry cycle. 

Gulp from Matter

The company says Gulp can be installed ‘fuss-free’, with no changes to detergents and no new filters to buy. A Kickstarter campaign launched this month has raised £111,000, with 12 days still to run at the time of writing.

It has raised a total of £3.5m in seed and pre-Series A funding from Sky Ocean Ventures, Geneco, Katapult Ocean, British Design Fund, Elemental Excelerator and Builders Vision, and is currently raising a £10m Series A investment to commercialise its domestic product offering.

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Root was working as an engineer at product company Dyson when he was moved to start his own business.

“As a keen scuba diver I attended a series of talks organised by conservation groups in Bristol during the summer of 2017 about plastic pollution and the effect it has on our oceans. I left feeling shocked and horrified,” he explains. 

“I didn’t have a lot of money. I’d left my job and we were living with my wife’s parents. I applied for a £250 ‘will it work’ grant from The Prince’s Trust and used it to take apart a washing machine and create a filter that would be able to capture the microplastics from the water.

“That’s when I had my ‘eureka’ moment, as I found that my idea worked. From there, I went on to start Matter and we’ve been growing at pace ever since.”

He adds: “What I found really valuable was having a reliable support network around me. Naturally it can be very stressful to be a founder, having friends and family to lean on has  really helped me to  get through difficult times. 

Having the understanding that certain things can’t be changed and accepting that there will always be outside influences beyond your control has helped me along the way. And  keep in mind: where there is a crisis, there is often opportunity. Always try and look for the positives.”

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