Keeping the dream alive | Breakthrough Funding

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Keeping the dream alive

They say that hope springs eternal, which is why we’re delighted to see the Sinclair C5 back for another spin around the track.

Back in 1985, Sir Clive Sinclair let the world in on his slightly eccentric dream – an electrically assisted pedal cycle that he believed would transform the way we travel on a daily basis. The one-person wonder was launched with much fanfare to an unsuspecting public in January. By August of that year, the Sinclair C5 was out of production and into the history books as one of the world’s most notorious technological flops.

More than 30 years later, Sir Clive’s nephew is giving the C5 a second bite of the cherry. Convinced that his uncle’s ill-fated idea could actually work in the 21st century world of cycle lanes, shared space and traffic calming, Grant Sinclair is launching a modern take on the concept. The IRIS goes significantly faster than the original C5 – reaching a white-knuckle 30mph – and it looks a lot sexier too, but will it find a market in the 2010s that it failed to find in the 1980s?

Techie types have long speculated that the C5 wasn’t a terrible idea per se, it was just a bit before its time. Back then, people simply weren’t ready to run the gauntlet of Britain’s roads while squatting below the level of a lorry’s back tyre, but today’s road designs and infrastructure could offer a safer, less daunting commute. 

Whether the IRIS defies history and takes off, or follows its predecessor into a spectacular nosedive, kind of doesn’t matter. What’s really uplifting here is the spirit of optimism and adventure; the ability to not only dream, but to take another look at old ideas and see how they might be tweaked, nurtured or bludgeoned into a different shape to fit the world we now inhabit. Dreaming big and being unafraid to pursue our passions, however weird and unlikely they might seem to others, is something us Brits excel at and we just love it. 

We’re lucky in that we get to see innovation in action every day and there’s plenty going on, believe us! If you’re following your dream and forging your own path in technology, food tech, manufacturing or engineering, give us a call on 0800 772 0800 and tell us your story – we’d love to see if we can help you get the support you deserve. 

By the way, food tech heroes have a chance to shine with the brand new and very exciting FoodTalk Awards 2017 – check it out here

There's more you should know