Starting a business wasn’t so much a ‘light bulb’ moment for Rory McManus but rather the result of years of hard work, a strong determination to run his own business and a little help and support from Invest Northern Ireland.
“I have always wanted to succeed in life and early on in my apprenticeship I realised that one day I would own and run a composite engineering company,” explains Rory. “After I finished my apprenticeship, I learned as much as possible in the four main fields of marine, aerospace, composite tooling and design. I then spent seven years in employment to refine these skills. When I had saved enough money and had confidence in my ability, I decided it was time to start out on my own.”
Rory’s company, Tide Master TT Ltd, which manufactures composite plastic tidal turbines which harvest the kinetic energy of tidal ocean currents in return for low cost, clean and renewable energy, with no impact on the living marine environment, was formed through the restructuring of Fulmar Boats and Mouldings another company started by this innovative entrepreneur.
With assistance from Invest NI and Warrenpoint Harbour Authority, Rory was able to move his manufacturing plant to new premises in Warrenpoint Harbour. The new premises were capable of facilitating the scale of his new project, and the harbour’s infrastructure allowed Rory to bring the project to export markets.
Despite Rory’s enthusiasm and experience he found there were gaps in his own skills set that he needed to address to move the business forward.
“through running my own business I learned that it takes more than being excellent at your work to successfully manage a business. I also realised that it takes more than one person to bring your products from concept to market.”
Being accepted on to Invest NI’s Propel programme gave Rory the boost and supported he needed to overcome his problems and help him structure the business to a commercially viable stage.
“Tide master has the opportunity to become a global player in the tidal energy market,” says Rory. “All of this success has been achieved through the help and guidance from Invest NI. The project could not have been made possible if not for the invaluable business skills and confidence I gained through the Propel programme and the guidance provided during through the one-to-one sessions with business mentors.”