Matt Ovenden – CEO & Founder
Matt is a serial entrepreneur, Chartered Mechanical Engineer with a Masters in innovation, who has founded, lead and grown a series of successful innovative businesses always on the forefront of emerging trends and technology and challenging the status quo for innovative outcomes.
Matt spent 7 years working at London Underground at the beginning of his career, which through a variety of high tech projects culminated in Matt becoming Head of Innovation & Technology across the organisation for 4 years leading a team of innovation project managers that all worked to drive new technology and solutions successfully into the old railway.
Matt then set up Bright Green Shoots Ltd in 2009, a boutique energy consultancy with bespoke energy solutions for blue chip corporates, and innovative energy systems and storage projects including multitudes of renewable energy and energy efficiency solutions. Matt spun out a successful wind turbine and wind farm business from this in 2011, which went on to develop dozens of wind turbine sites through the feed-in tariff bubble years in the UK, until that market was closed down sue to government policy changes in 2015.
From 2013 Bright Green Shoots became involved in innovative eco-island energy projects for remote off-grid islands, and moved on to design renewable energy microgrid systems for several high profile Caribbean Islands including Necker Island, and began working in collaboration with Sir Richard Branson’s organisation Carbon War Room to drive cleantech and renewable energy across the region and islands worldwide.
This lead to the formation of Matt’s next business Free Island Energy formed with an American business partner which was to focus on the off-grid renewable energy market, particularly on islands, building eco-islands around the world. Several years, many projects and an investment deal later, post-Brexit and the changing political landscape, Matt exited to set up a new business for new challenges in a new sector – and Borrow A Boat was born!
Matt grew up boating, and found himself on boats on a weekly basis from the age of 2 upwards. From waterskiing at age 7, and racing catamarans soon after on the East Coast of the UK, to many yacht flotillas and charters in the Med, boating regularly in Spain, and on the family yacht, Matt has always been boating and holds a deep passion for it, and when looking to get back to boating with his young family, became drawn to looking at the industry and economics involved, and thought it was about time someone really brought the new sharing economy to boating in the way that it should be done.
Matt lives in a cottage in the Essex countryside with his family and three young children, and can regularly be found sailing on the East Coast.