GFA: Can you shortly present your start-up and what inspired you to start it?
FdD:Point Twelve is the technology layer that enables the automated low-carbon certification of goods, at scale and across borders. Its IoT and software platform enables energy-intensive goods producers (esp. gases, fuels, chemicals, industrial materials) to easily and continuously certify their production as green. Our promise is for them to save 90% of time in the process.
The company was founded around a core interrogation: how can it be that low-carbon certification – a cornerstone of industrial decarbonization – still relies on such 20th century-inherited manual processes? What can be done so that industrial firms can easily monetize their decarbonization efforts?
GFA: Can you tell us about your journey as a female founder? What inspired you to start your own venture?
FdD: I am an energy transition nerd with the temperament of a business developer. I have only one way of executing: with drive and a passion often contagious! It wasn’t late in my professional path until I built the conviction that I would at some point have my own company. I am very grateful, however, for 9 intense leaning years within large corporate firms, esp. 8 years at E.ON in EU and the USA. These years allowed me to build a deep understanding of the energy sector as well as a vast network. All things I can leverage today as I embark the adventurous journey of being initially “the small guy in the room”.
“In moments of doubt, I like to remind myself that being an entrepreneur means remaining an active player in my own life – and that I can hardly lose at that game.” ~ Flore
GFA: How do you balance the demands of your personal life with the responsibilities of running a business?
FdD: I have two lovely children under 4. (and a dog!) So running a business on top does indeed take some organization. Balancing all demands is sometimes hard. Ultimately I see it comes down to a few things:
- Concretely: knowing what is really important or urgent; saying “no”.
- Knowing what you need and saying it, & empowering others to do so. “I need you to bounce back with me on this topic for 3 min” or – “Hey, I had a tough day – do you mind hearing me complain for 2 minutes?” or “ I need to be out with family from 6 to 8pm”.
- Adapting working mode to allow for asynchronous collaboration and decision making. Keyword: write! We are three parent-founders. We can’t wait for everyone to be in the same room to take a decision.
GFA: What advice do you have for other women and girls aspiring executive positions or start their own ventures?
FdD: As a woman in the 21st century, you are increasingly empowered to design your own definition of success and to go for it. Yes the world is full of pressing, sometimes contradictory injunctions. No we can’t have it all. But we are as free as we have ever been to choose how we engage in the world. So: find out what drives you. Find out what you burn for, define your ideal and have the courage to pursue it. There is a definition of courage by Jean Jaures I particularly like: “Courage means going to the ideal and understanding reality”
GFA: How do you stay motivated and overcome self-doubt in the face of challenges?
FdD: In moments of doubt, I like to remind myself that being an entrepreneur means remaining an active player in my own life – and that I can hardly lose at that game.
Our world changes so fast, we need to constantly adapt and anticipate, reinvent ourselves, turn challenges into opportunities – collectively and personally. All things at the heart of entrepreneurship.
Flore de Durfort, Co-Founder of Point Twelve Energy and trying to make this planet greener and more sustainable.