I have often seen him working in the Centre, and for the past couple of years he has been giving me regular progress reports on his patented invention. These updates have been an alternating mix of positive and negative news, as hurdles appear and then are overcome. Or amazing opportunities arrive, but then disappear again.
Throughout this roller-coaster of events, Alistair has remained positive, and bounced back from setbacks (an essential ingredient for an entrepreneur). He has also taken a flexible and pragmatic approach to commercialising his invention (another necessary requirement â€“ but sadly rather too rare for inventors).
For the last few months I have been waiting for permission from Alistair to talk about his invention on my blog, and now he has given me the green light. I am excited because Playback Rewards has the potential to be our biggest success story so far, by far.
Alistair started working on his ideas for revolutionising television advertising at the Centre at the beginning of 2009. He filed his first patent later that year, which was granted in February 2011. He then worked for months, almost on a daily basis at the Centre, developing, researching and refining the commercialisation of his invention.
In late 2010 Alistair ran out of money for his patent. But managed to persuade Stephen Fry to put in a little to keep the project on the road. As you can see from the video Stephen recorded ???, he liked Alistairsâ€™ ideas and wanted to help. Then on Christmas Day 2011 his company was mentioned in an article in the Sunday Times.
Five months later Playback Holdings Ltd won a place in the semi-finals of the CISCO BIG awards, where it stands the chance of winning $100,000 for the business. Alistair feels that which everyone should know about this amazing programme.
As part of his entry for the CISCO i-prize competition Alistair has made a video Magic in your pocket which explains how the service would work.
On 6 July Playback Holdings Limited starts its Series A fund-raising via an Financial Services Authority (FSA) approved crowdsourcing platform called Seedrs. This innovative investment method allows ordinary people to invest between ÂŁ10 to ÂŁ100,000 in any of the start-ups on its platform.
The full story behind Playback Rewards, and where they are going is on their website www.playbackrewards.com.