Oxford nanoSystems develop innovative coatings to improve two-phase heat transfer surfaces. The technology uses a low cost, low temperature process which can be quickly and easily implemented in components post-manufacture. The coatings enable the production of cheaper, lighter, and more efficient products which consume less fuel, limit environmental impact and reduce manufacturing costs. With improved energy efficiency, the nanocoating technology is applicable in cooling and refrigeration systems.
After several years developing the technology and minimising risk in the business, the company was still faced with growth challenges. To address this, two solutions were identified; seek funds and a winning strategy of effectively managing their technology.
Oxford nanoSystems sought the guidance of Oxford Innovation and funding manager Eileen Modral at Oxford Investment Opportunity Network (OION); developing their funding proposal to be investor ready and subsequently pitching at the angel Network. A successful pitch for equity funding resulted in a cash injection of £1m from an angel investor into the business.
Oxford nanoSystems has also received a funding grant to conduct an IP audit under the Innovate to Succeed programme under Enterprise Europe Network. This helped the company to emerge from development to full commercialisation and manufacturing of current and future products.
As a result of the external coaching interventions, Oxford nanoSystems has moved from its incubated premises at Harwell Campus to its own offices and manufacturing plant in Abingdon, Oxfordshire. This has also seen an increased headcount from 3 to 16 employees, with a structure in place to actively manage its intellectual property. Overall there has been a remarkable shift from a ‘state of owning technology’ to a scaling business with customers.
‘‘The support that Eileen and Oxford Innovation gave us was invaluable in getting our IP and business strategy to a stage where we were able to go out and secure investment. Thanks to their help the company has grown considerably, is beginning small scale manufacturing here in Oxfordshire and is in a great position to be able to now offer our technology to the market’’.
Dr. Alexander Reip
Chief Executive Officer, Oxford nanoSystems.
Client business: Oxford Nanosystems
Coach: Eileen Modral
Category: Raising finance & IP audit