“I’m not an environmentalist, I’m just trying to save the planet”

~Karl Feilder

In 2011, Karl pioneered commercial biofuel production in the Middle East when he commissioned the UAE’s first licensed biorefinery in Dubai. The facility uses local waste cooking oils and transforms them into a clean, green ultra sustainable fuel which can run in any diesel engine without any modifications. Today, it’s the largest biorefinery in the GCC, and Karl’s direct actions to mitigate climate change have resulted in 10.5 million tonnes of CO2 savings.

Over the past three years, Karl has pioneered the use of Internet of Things (IoT) sensors in the biorefinery to innovate a real-time cloud-based fuel tracking and management system. Adding to the many accolades Karl and Neutral Fuels have won, Neutral Fuels was recently awarded a place on the Mohammed bin Rashid Innovation Fund Accelerator (MBRIFA). It is one of just seven companies chosen from hundreds of applications representing 29 countries.

Karl has built and sold five companies (the first to Microsoft and the last to DHL) and led two more to their Initial Public Offering (IPO). Karl is now preparing Neutral Fuels for an IPO on the London AIM stock market in 2024, and coaching other start ups at Hult International Business School.  Recognised by the World Economic Forum as a Technology Pioneer, Karl holds an MBA, a B.Eng (Hons) in Industrial Engineering and German language, and is writing his PhD thesis on “Psychological profiling of start-up teams.” He is an international conference speaker, and the lead vocalist for Dubai based classic rock band Sandstörm.

Enjoy the show!

Posted on April 30, 2019

Show Notes:

  • 01:30 – On being an entrepreneur for all his life, he was just born to be an entrepreneur

  • 04:45 – First startup in the UK and selling to Microsoft

  • 05:45 – How Microsoft courted them to sell

  • 07:15 – Joining a biker gang post exit

  • 11:00 – His multiple ventures and IPOs following the biker gang years

  • 14:15 – The founding of the Neutral Group

  • 15:15 – What is the Neutral Group?

  • 23:30 – Getting a fuel production license in the UAE

  • 25:45 – Opening more facilities in other countries in the region

  • 27:15 – The different types of fuels they produce at Neutral Fuels

  • 30:30 – The challenge of building a great diverse team

  • 32:45 – “Never meet your heroes”

  • 35:00 – On being a lead singer of a rockband

  • 38:45 – How Dubai is perfectly suited for an entrepreneur like Karl

  • 41:00 – How redtape is seen as an opportunity in Dubai

  • 42:30 – On the merits of making time everyday to think

  • 45:15 – The benefits of discovering what makes you happy

  • 55:15 – His ‘non-words of wisdom’ wisdom to share

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