Ones to watch: promising companies we’re helping to get off the ground

Tania Villares Balsa

by Tania Balsa

We at Cambridge Enterprise are passionate about bringing great ideas that come from University research to life. In the last few months, we've supported many new companies as they get started. Here we're featuring a few that have really captured our interest in that time. Keep an eye on their progress: they all have the potential to change society for the better.

Cambridge Enterprise invest the University’s seed funds in new companies started by staff and students to enable the commercial development of University research. We offer a range of investment options to help develop these new ventures. Pathfinder investments of up to £20,000 can be made to help carry out market and intellectual property assessments and business strategies, and a Fast 50 offers up to £50,000 for work on time-sensitive projects and critical experiments that need investment delivered quickly. 

Echion Technologies Limited 

A spin-out from the Department of Engineering, Echion Technologies is developing advanced automotive Li-ion battery cells, based on disruptive technology, with potential applications including helping to make batteries in electric buses last longer. The team includes Dr Adam Boies, Dr Michael de Volder, and Jean de la Verpilliere. The company was accepted to participate in the Technology Development Accelerator Programme, run by the UK Advanced Propulsion Centre, and will collaborate with the Warwick Manufacturing Group Catapult for pilot-scale battery manufacturing over the coming months. Cambridge Enterprise awarded Echion Pathfinder investment in April 2017. 

Inkling Cambridge Limited 

Inkling is a spin-out from the Cambridge Graphene Centre, from the research group of Dr Tawfique Hasan. Graphene is known as the ‘super material’ because it is stronger than steel, more conductive than copper, and more transparent than indium tin oxide (used for transparent conducting films). Inkling has developed a process to produce dispersions of graphene from any commercial source, using a mixture of solvents. This means that the graphene can be formulated into inks or coatings, or be used to produce composite materials that have enhanced properties due to the addition of the graphene. This addresses a key barrier associated with the mass-market adoption of graphene – and gives these valuable properties of graphene the ability to be used in real world applications. Cambridge Enterprise awarded Inkling Cambridge Limited Fast 50 investment in July 2017. 

Flusso Limited 

Flusso is a spin-out from the Department of Engineering, founded in 2016 by Professor Florin Udrea, Dr John Coull and Dr Andrea De Luca along with Professor Julian Gardner from the University of Warwick to commercialise work on flow, pressure and temperature sensors that have potential applications in medical devices, smart energy (e.g. heating, ventilation, air conditioning) and industrial automation. Cambridge Enterprise awarded Flusso Limited Fast 50 investment in June 2017. 

If you’re interested in learning more about how University academics start companies, come along to one of our roadshow events to see how they did it.

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