Gareth Jones, Welsh ICE

Gareth has experienced the frustrations of getting start-up moving first hand. Unable to get the support he needed for his start-up from traditional business support schemes he saw that it was the community of young entrepreneurs who were most forthcoming in offering each other support. This helped develop his view that there was another way to help generate and support entrepreneurship in a much more sustainable manner than at present.

Outside ICE, he is engaged with a number of activities including a role on the boards of Cardiff Start, Cardiff University‘s Impact Accelerator, tech start-up Properr, social enterprise RecRock, and has been involved with the boards of the Cardiff Capital Region‘s Innovation Committee, the RSA‘s TaffLab project, Venturefest Wales, and is a Big Ideas Wales Role Model.

Lone wolf or team player?

I think a balance is necessary. I like to come up with ideas alone, but then have them assessed and tore apart before being rebuilt with the rest of the team.

What gets you out of bed on a Monday morning?

Mostly not wanting to let people down who I’ve booked slots with! I’d quite happily start late and work late, but often don’t have the choice!

Morning or night?

I’m more of a night owl, but being in the office before everyone else and getting stuff done helps you feel super productive going into the rest of the day.

Apple or Samsung?

Apple… I’m increasingly getting sucked into their ecosystem!

What’s one quality you think an entrepreneur needs to possess?

Resilience. If you have to endure on a daily basis what being an entrepreneur throws at you, then you need to be able to do it knowing that you will survive and get through it.

Winter or summer?

Spring – a time of renewal! If I can’t get away with that, then summer, being able to spend as much time outside as possible is great.

What would you say to your 16 year old self?

Be happy being a weirdo. I spent so much energy trying to work out why I didn’t conform that I didn’t realise it was an option to not have to.

What is your greatest achievement?

In terms of cumulative satisfaction, it has to be ICE. It would be hard to pick out one moment in there, but every time we grow a little more it feels like we are really making an impact.

Big night out or quiet night in?

As with anything, the balance is important, but a big night out with the right friends can put such a smile on my face.

What do you do in your spare time?

A mixture of everything from gardening, video games, and reading, but most of my spare time each week is taken up by peripheral work activities, and that isn’t so bad.

Tea or coffee?

I’m quite strategic with my use of coffee, so I’d say tea as my preference.

What inspires you?

Big challenges – and being told they’re impossible.

Indoors or outdoors?

Outdoors – preferably wandering aimlessly around a new city.

What's your favourite part about your job?

The people. I get to meet some wonderful folks, and when you spend so much time with people who are committed to making a big impact, it really gets your energy levels up.

Home-cooked meal or takeaway?

Home-cooked, every time.

What is your favourite film, TV show or Podcast?

I love the podcast Improv4Humans, I think entrepreneurs, if not most of us, can learn a lot from improv comedians. In terms of TV, I tend to put mindless comedies on if the TV is on, such as Arrested Development or Always Sunny.