Eduardo Duenas is a 34-year-old entrepreneur who started his own company, Metrica6, when he was working as a nanotechnology researcher for an international firm. He is an engineer with a passion for new technologies, travelling, meeting new people and engaging in thrilling experiences that later on enrich his creative work. He is a bit of a workaholic too.
We had the pleasure of having a talk with him and learning more about the success of his company.
Who is Eduardo Duenas?
Eduardo Duenas is a 34-year-old entrepreneur who started his own company 7 years ago, when he was working as a nanotechnology researcher for an international firm. Eduardo is an engineer with a passion for new technologies, travelling, meeting new people and engaging in thrilling experiences that later on enrich his creative work. He is a bit of a workaholic too.
How did you start thinking of becoming an entrepreneur?
It was all very natural. In 2012, I had a job I loved, full of new challenges every week and with a great team. However, during that time, I realized that I cared and talked to my teammates about anything but the technical implementations I was responsible for. I was already very drawn to customer engagement, new marketing trends, innovation in the workplace and many other subjects. Thus, I shared these ideas with some of my friends from college, some of which were also working or still studying. One day, a couple of friends were offered a huge opportunity in their own start-up and they encouraged me to follow their steps and start creating my own company.
All in all, in 2013, those friends from college and I were already an incorporated company, with several awards and patents and an innovative technology under development for smart water management for final consumers.
What is your entrepreneurial idea and what does your company do?
One of the things we wanted to achieve was to bring R&D and innovation closer to the consumer. Nowadays, when we think about research and development, it all still sounds like rocket science, but there is much more to it. Our philosophy was “Simply Engineering” (which is quite difficult to manage, actually): the aim was to make innovations simple and accessible to consumers. Now we are engaged in many international projects on autonomous stores, smart water management, urban electric scooter chargers and so on. It is all very exciting.
Besides, I am also a mentor and investor in different entrepreneur programmes, which allows me to share our success stories and mistakes with new start-ups. The feedback I received was so welcoming that in 2019 I decided to fund another company focused on the following activity: Owners Partners.
In what stage of development is your company and what do you think your competitive advantage is? Why?
We create innovative products and services for cities, corporates and start-ups. Each project is different. We are involved in many stages, from initial research to electronic engineering, testing, certification and final product design. We complement these activities with other business and marketing-oriented services, so the solutions we develop for third parties are not only functional, but also competitive in their markets.
As regards our own creations, WAISENSE is our flagship, an IoT technology for controlling water/energy consumption in homes, gyms, hotels, etc. We have been selling part of this internationally patented technology in Spain since 2018, and the next step is to establish new partnership agreements in Europe and abroad during 2021. One of the many competitive advantages of WAISENSE is the modular concept, which allows every user to customize its own installation depending on the benefits he/she wants to receive, just by combining the number and types of modules (IoT devices) needed. We support this selection via different channels, including our app.
Tell us a bit more about your team and your ambitions.
We are a strong and committed team of 11 people (and currently hiring), aged from 22-37, with many years of experience in the field. Experienced team members train newcomers on how to get into our work dynamics as quickly as possible. Workplace innovation is crucial for us as well: R&D is not only applied to products and projects, but also to employees, specifically to how they self-organize in a group and individually to make the most out of every challenge.
Most of the team members are from around the city where our headquarters are located. However, we usually work on projects with other teams from all around the globe.
How is the overall situation – in Spain and in the world - affecting your company prospects?
The magnitude of the pandemic took us by surprise a bit, as most companies I guess. Nevertheless, we have been able to turn the tables in our favor in this situation. Consequently, 2020 has led us to the best results in our history, creating new jobs and increasing our income by over 600% in comparison to 2019.
We were able to achieve this thanks to our lean management methodology, meaning that we are very agile when we need to switch priorities and projects. This led us, for example, to develop and commercialise our own urban IoT hydro-alcoholic gel dispenser for malls and public buildings in just a couple of months, while our other projects were put in stand-by.
What do you think about the COVID emergency and its social impact?
I think it is dramatic in many ways. However, from an entrepreneurial perspective, a big risk is usually a big opportunity too.
What is the impact that you and your enterprise want to have?
We want to become the standard for smart water management in smart homes, smart cities and smart farms, and get other innovations and technologies closer to the consumer. So far, we are turning ourselves into influencers, shaking the tree of many traditional markets where a fresh and updated view was due.
What is your inspiration and why?
That is a deep question, not easy to answer. I guess I have a somewhat bad feeling about the future for new generations, so I want to spend my time working on something that I expect will redeem us from our negative impact on natural resources and on other people as well. That was the reason for starting WAISENSE, and this motivation just grew stronger over the years with every new achievement. Last year, for example, we helped to save over 10 million litres of pure water just in Spain. Knowing that we are actually capable of encouraging a more sustainable behaviour in society, thus improving the quality of life of future generations, makes us feel even more responsible.
What would you recommend a young entrepreneur in your region in order to succeed?
Don’t stop trying. Don’t settle. Don’t fear what’s new and make the most out of every situation. It may sound cliché, but it is very true for me and for many other entrepreneurs I have mentored. There are a lot of great ideas flowing around every day and everywhere, but only a fraction of those are led by people who are actually brave enough to dare. In life, many times success is related to luck, but in business, only resilient entrepreneurs can be lucky.
What’s the impact of your activity?
We are currently working towards generating more sustainable and resilient cities and educating citizens, companies and governments to live and act more sustainably. For example, regarding our water saving technologies WAISENSE (NESS in Spain), we have made it possible for consumers to save over +9 million litres of water just in 2020, only by avoiding the typical wastage of water that we contribute to every time we want to use hot water but have to wait for it with the tap on. All our efforts have been recently acknowledged by the United Nations World Tourism Organization, that has selected Metrica6 as one of the two companies with a higher impact on the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals for 2030, specifically regarding Sustainable Cities and Communities.
How is Metrica6 creating shared value?
We like to think we are creating shared value in different ways, short- and long-term.
In the short-term, we can talk about how a better usage of natural resources like water helps us decrease overall water stress in a region, thus discouraging the appearance of droughts, water cuts, higher costs for agriculture, sanitation problems, etc. In the engineering and manufacturing processes of these and other innovative solutions, we count on local professionals and companies, leading to job creation and boosting local industries.
But in the long-term, we like to think we are also stating an example of how being innovative, sustainable and resilient can also be profitable in economic terms, so that other entrepreneurs and companies can join our philosophy. Through our communication and social media, we also train other professionals and the society in general, by giving tips on how nature-based solutions and innovations can make us happier and create a brighter future for all of us.
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