Featured . Oxford businesses triumph in nationwide scale-up competition
Oxford businesses triumph in nationwide scale-up competition
Article by Edwin Karinga | 18.10.2017
A national competition held by Oxford Innovation to mark the company’s 30th anniversary, has seen science and technology businesses from across Oxfordshire scoop the top three prizes.
Building on Oxford Innovation’s success of supporting early stage businesses, the Scale Up Stars of the Future competition was setup to identify the most exciting new generation of high growth businesses.
Winner of the competition is Oxford nanoSystems, a company that’s developed innovative coating technologies, from its Harwell Campus base, that will improve heat transfer for components used in multiple applications. These include air-conditioning systems, industrial waste, transport and data centres.
Second prize was awarded to Green Sea Guard for creating a system to automate the measuring of real-time exhaust emissions emitted from ships. This data is used to ensure compliance with UN regulations and to help reduce coastal and riverside air pollution.
Third prize went to The Native Antigen Company (NAC) known for making the highest quality native antigens used by scientists researching viral diseases. Initially based at Cherwell Innovation Centre managed by Oxford Innovation, NAC has also played a fundamental role in the global fight to combat the spread of Zika virus and is about to launch its first assay products.
“During our 30 year history, Oxford Innovation has helped over 10,000 SMEs to create sustainable businesses and we are looking forward to creating more dynamic communities of entrepreneurs who can benefit from our support. The Scale-up Stars competition was created to identify the next generation of high-growth businesses and I’m delighted to say the calibre of entries from across the UK truly were outstanding. On behalf of Oxford Innovation, I’d like to congratulate all who were shortlisted and especially our very deserving winners.”
Jo Willett, Managing Director, Oxford Innovation
Competition winner, Oxford nanoSystems, is currently preparing for a round of funding as it looks to scale-up and work with multiple manufacturers to enter the air conditioning market, currently estimated to be worth $907 million.
Alexander Reip, CEO, Oxford nanoSystems, said: “It’s a privilege to be named winner at Oxford Innovation’s 30th Anniversary celebrations and it will definitely provide us with an edge when talking to investors. We are facing exciting challenges as we work towards commercialising our product and are fortunate to be located within Oxfordshire’s strong ecosystem, which has world-class and affordable facilities to support emerging technology companies. For the greater good of home grown talent and the UK economy, I hope that more counties across the UK follow suit.”
Second place, Green Sea Guard, is a virtual business with workers located in the UK, Denmark, Netherlands and Portugal. The company was founded in Oxford is predominantly staffed by a passionate team of volunteers with imminent plans to hire in addition to developing two new products.
Anita Bradshaw, Chief Operating Officer, Green Sea Guard UK and Managing Director of Green Sea Guard’s sales company in the Netherlands, said: “Reaching the finals of this competition is really significant for Green Sea Guard. We believe the visibility is good for our profile and will help us cement customer and supplier relationships, which are always tricky for start-ups. The support from Oxford Innovation, with all its resources, will be very important as we start to scale our business from its modest origins.”
Third place, Dr. Nick Roesen, Chief Scientific Officer and Co-founder of The Native Antigen Company, added: “We are overjoyed to come third in the Oxford Innovation Scale-up awards. There were many great companies featured at the ceremony, and it is a great honour indeed to be recognised amongst all that talent. I have no doubt that we will be returning to Oxford Innovation for further support and facility space as we continue to grow over the next few years.”
The three winners were announced at Oxford Innovation’s prestigious 30th anniversary event, which took place at the Blavatnik School of Government in Oxford on Wednesday 11 October. As well as exhibiting their businesses at the event, all three businesses will receive a tailored prize package of support from Oxford Innovation, Oxford Innovation Services and the Oxford Investment Opportunity Network (OION) worth between £2,500 and £10,000.
Oxford Innovation is the UK’s leading provider of innovation centres with 24 locations housing and supporting over 1,000 early stage businesses. Key to the success of thousands of entrepreneurs, Oxford Innovation Services provides practical support and advice, assisting high growth businesses on their business journey. The Oxford Investment Opportunity Network (OION) work with entrepreneurs to raise finance by connecting them with highly active potential investors who frequently provide commercial experience and contacts, in addition to vital capital.
The company was founded by renowned entrepreneurs Sir Martin and Lady Audrey Wood in 1987 as a subsidiary to The Oxford Trust and became part of SQW Group in 2007. For further information, visit: oxin.co.uk.