Parade Profile: Sam Linfield (BSc Physics 2020)

Posted in: Parade profiles, Science

With his carbon footprint tracker company ECOZE having recently won Graduate StartUp of the Year – with the support of Enterprise Bath at the University’s Innovation Centre – we caught up with physics graduate Sam Linfield to ask about his time at the University.  

A blonde man gesticulating whilst giving a speech in front of three posterboards.Why did you choose to study at Bath?  

From the start, I knew Bath was high-ranking for physics and had excellent graduate prospects. This aligned with my goal of using my physics background in a business context for a company whose value proposition I aligned with.  

I’m also very much into my sport and doing it competitively, so Bath's glowing reputation for sports – especially Team Bath – was a huge draw. I was big into my rugby and played to a good standard (I got offered a Scotland rugby trial for the U18s). Knee and shoulder injuries – which both needed surgery – ultimately kept me from playing for the University.  


Did you have a particular career in mind when you chose your course?  

I was unsure about a specific industry, but I was attracted to the fast-paced and competitive nature of business. I believed the problem-solving skills from physics could be applied to address major societal challenges being tackled by companies. It resonated with my view that logical thinking and deep understanding are key to solving any problem.  


Can you tell us about your experience of studying here? Any favourite memories, or places to go on campus and in the city? 

I truly have nothing but great memories studying at Bath. Despite there being so many students to cater for, I was amazed by the support provided while I progressed through the degree.  

Living in an Eastwood house during my first year was a highlight – my housemates have become lifelong friends. And, of course, the double pint deals at the SU on Fridays were always a hit.  


Describe your career journey since graduating.  

Post-graduation, I joined my family’s medical business which had expanded to First Aid training and sanitising supplies. The dynamism of business captivated me, especially in a small company where changes were rapid.  

Observing major companies grapple with sustainability, I recognised individuals as the prime force against climate change. Governments can only set minimum requirements; carbon capture and other sciences only fix a part of the problem, and industry and corporate pledges are far too slow.  

Most companies, locked in a battle for market share, are too hesitant to embrace eco-friendly practices unless they see consumer demand for it. This realisation led to the founding of ECOZE 

A blonde smiling man in a blue polo shirt holding a yellow certificate. He is standing next to an older smiling man in a blue shirt.
Sam Linfield accepting the 2023 Graduate StartUp of the Year award.

Tell us a little about your company. 

The first version of our ECOZE app is set to launch in early 2024. This release will introduce ground-breaking features that enable users to track their carbon footprint across all horizons of their life. Our technology will not only allow users to monitor their transportation and consumption habits but also their purchasing activities with exceptional, product-level detail.  

By leveraging the Data Protection Act 2018 and GDPR, we have the capability to collect purchase details from every retailer our users shop at. This means they can support eco-friendly brands and make informed decisions when purchasing products based on their carbon footprint.  

One exciting feature of ECOZE is its ability to highlight economic sustainability. Contrary to popular belief, going green doesn't always come with a hefty price tag. Our app embraces this prospect by guiding users towards the most cost-effective and sustainable purchasing decisions. 

In the larger scheme of things, ECOZE isn’t just revolutionising carbon footprint tracking, but also transforming the way people spend their money and how they view sustainability. By instantly tracking retail activity through loyalty cards and online checkouts, it seamlessly integrates into everyday life while promoting a sustainable future.  

As we move forward, our plan is to build strong partnerships with major UK retailers. This initiative will automate and expedite the tracking process, offering an effortless experience for our users. 


What is a typical day like in your current role?  

Initially, I laid ECOZE's foundation and developed our tracker app. Now, with a stellar startup team, my role is diverse: from liaising with potential partners and investors to supporting my team and strategising for ECOZE's global future. The remote work revolution means I don’t get out of the office much though!  


How did your studies help you to develop?  

Bath has a unique ethos that instilled self-drive in me. The university places an innate trust in its students, holding them responsible for their performance, while also offering a comprehensive support network for those who seek it.  

Despite its reputation as a rigorous academic institution with a longstanding history of excellence, I felt a profound sense of trust and encouragement from my peers and staff members. They believed I could meet the university's standards. This environment motivated me to push myself, rather than feeling external pressures to perform.  

Such self-motivation is crucial for a startup founder, and it’s embedded in the university's culture. The fact that lecture attendance isn’t mandatorily recorded further illustrates this trust.  

The direct nature of physics – from executing experiments to deciphering results – parallels the data-driven decision-making pivotal in modern businesses. Over the past decade, an iterative approach to build, measure and learn has dominated business decision-making, elevating data to becoming an invaluable asset.  


What advice would you give to prospective students thinking about studying your course at Bath?  

Physics is among the most versatile subjects, as the skills acquired are applicable to various aspects of life. The degree encompasses so many interesting components, and it's essential to nurture a genuine interest rather than merely completing assignments.  

To excel in challenging tasks, whether for a company or during your studies, a foundational interest in the subject is crucial; without it, mastery becomes exponentially more difficult. 

Posted in: Parade profiles, Science

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