Meet the founder: EBar

EBar – founders from our Aberdeen Accelerator – has impressive ambitions to change the way you are served beer at some of the country’s biggest events.

Since graduating from our programme in 2016, we caught up with Sam Pettipher, Managing Director of EBar, to see where the company is now and hear about his exciting plans.

Tell us a little about you and your business?

Having worked for many years in the renewables industry I moved to the north east to undertake an MBA at Robert Gordon University. The course was intense, so I took a well earnt break to watch a Six Nations rugby game one weekend. Whilst watching the game I missed the winning try because I was waiting in the queue for the bar. That minute of frustration was my lightbulb moment, and I set myself the mission to improve bar service at events.

I founded EBar with a university classmate, we had formed a strong understanding of working together and we knew each other’s strengths and more importantly, weaknesses. After starting the company in August 2016, we set about to change the way beer is served at events. As a result, we developed the EBar - a self-service beverage dispensing machine that pours the perfect pint in seconds.

You were a founder on our Accelerator programme, cohort 4. What have been some of the milestones EBar has reached since?

Since we have:

  • Built our first and now second generation EBar units
  • Raised over £225,000 in private funding
  • Deployed the EBar at some of the UK’s biggest venues
  • Opened a workshop and grown our team to include mechanical engineers and product designers working on both a full time and part time basis

At Elevator we encourage individuals to embrace failure, as we believe you cannot succeed without it. What challenges have you faced in your journey and how have you overcome them?

It is tough building a physical product. Just when you think you have considered everything the smallest thing changes and you are surrounded in a myriad of options. Building a start-up can be lonely, it involves late nights and more determination and grit than you can imagine. Personally, it has been quite hard to not have much certainty about what we will be doing or where we will be in the short to medium term.

Finally, there is raising money! It is something that most founders have to do, and although I have been through the process before it doesn’t make it any easier! It takes a long time to raise money and in the meantime the company has to survive, and thrive.

What advice would you give to others looking to join our Accelerator programme?

I would suggest upcoming entrepreneurs prepare thoroughly by really thinking about the various components of their business. Be ready to be robustly challenged and don’t get defensive if someone questions an assumption. Sometimes founders can think they have all the answers, and this makes it very difficult to get value from an immersive and learning experience in an accelerator. I would also suggest really working to grow your network, reach out to fellow entrepreneurs who all are experiencing similar challenges to you.

Perhaps, most importantly, get away from your laptop and go have coffee with customers – really understand their needs!

What's next for EBar?

We are currently undertaking our second investment round through a crowdfund - our campaign can be found on https://www.seedrs.com/ebar. From this we plan to build several EBar units and deploy around venues across the UK.

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