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Imperial Innovations Stock Market flotation

Wednesday 25th April 2007 @ 19:00

Non-Member: £12.00 ; Staff: £5.00 ; Student: £3.00


Susan Searle, Chief Executive of Imperial Innovations Group plc

Susan Searle, Chief Executive, gave the background to the development of commercial activities at the College, the formation of Imperial Innovations and the subsequent launch on the stock market last year raising £27million.

The key reason was for the College to be able to invest more at the start up stages thus retaining more of the equity and therefore levarage its position. You can see more about Imperial Innovations Group plc here.

She was joined by three entrepreneurs who gave their views of recent events and talked about the risks and rewards of their spin-out companies:

Dr John Hassard - Reader in High Energy Physics, founder of deltaDOT, a biotech company located in the Bioincubator and founder of Hydroventuri, a renewable energy company.

Dr John Hassard started by saying that he had decided to throw away his PowerPoint presentation on the way to the lecture hall and intended to "just talk." He spoke very powerfully of the vaste energy gap that would be created as the populations continued to grow and the demand for energy would soar as populations sought the level of development reached in the West. He said that we would have to be commissioning a nuclear power station somewhere in the world every two days for forty years in order to meet the energy need. Nuclear power was an interim solution. Nuclear plant used up huge resources and provided difficult waste. Uranium was a finite resource. He said that renewables were the only option and talked about his invention which used the pressure difference as water flows through a low head venturi to create energy. Its advantage was that it has no moving parts and can be sited in low flow streams and tidal basins. Click on links to read more about HydroVenturi and about DeltaDOT .

Dr Riccardo Bennet Lovsey - alumni of Cambridge and Imperial College, MBA Enterprise Fellow at Equinox Pharma Ltd a biotech company also located in the Bioincubator.

Riccardo gave an amusing talk about his awakening to the world of commerce from his life as a research student. He entered a commercial competition for entrepreneurs and came second. This gave him and his team a decent sum of money to work further on their ideas. It also gave them a taste for competitions in which they continued to reach the finals but never the top spot. He said that he thought wanting to win had made him continue. Competitions helped to hone his skills and also provided a good revenue stream and a fast learning curve. He felt it was important for students to appreciate the possibilities of commercialising research but recognized that the driving force of those scientists who were most interested in research were far removed from those that wanted success in business.

You can read more about Dr Riccardo Bennett Lovsey on his homepage and about the company Equinox Pharma Ltd here.

Danny Green - former Venture Capital investor has worked with Imperial Innovations on a number of projects before becoming CEO of BioCeramic Therapeutics , a biomaterials company located in the bioincubator.

Danny spoke about his previous experience of exploiting new technologies in the medical sector and of the professionalism, competence, experience and friendliness he had encountered at Imperial Innovations. He spoke about the need to be innovative in the formation and development of companies. Bioceramic Therapeutics was presented for funding not only with a first generation concept but a second far more powerful technology thus making the company more commercialy viable. BioCeramic Therapeutics is developing materials based on glass with components that make it more bone-like and which accelerate the deposition of the required bone-ralated minerals. The next generation of "smart" materials which mimics the natral structure of the frameworks that surrounds the cells in our body in such a way that cells naturally grow into the lattice framework.

After a flood of questions and the opportunity to talk to the speakers over a glass of wine about 25 members and guests went on to Hugo's for a late supper.

Venue: Sir Alexander Fleming Building