Nabeel Mahmood and Phil Koblence are joined in this episode by Afonso Salema, CEO of Start Campus. Afonso is responsible for the development of the SINES Project by Start Campus, which aims to create one of the largest sustainable European data centers in Sines, Portugal.
Prior to Start Campus, Afonso spent 15 years in investment banking in London, New York, and Madrid, covering the renewable energy, energy and infrastructure sectors. The Nomad Futurist team asks Afonso what led him to this industry in the first place.
“When I went to college I studied industrial engineering and then I specialized in power – and I was excited. I was excited how networks develop, how you need to think holistically about entire countries and systems to make it work. And then how the small pieces turn into the big pieces and make it work.”
Afonso began in the corporate world and eventually ended up as an entrepreneur. Nabeel asks how that transition has felt.
“I’m loving it to be very blunt. But, it’s naive to think that it’s a single-person journey. If you think that you’re about to conquer the world, and only you have the vision to do it alone, forget it.”
Nabeel asks, “Where do you think the industry needs to go and what should we and our listeners be looking out for?
“You need more disruptive people. You need more people challenging the status quo and how things are done. If you keep on just following the trends, you only get marginal improvements.”