28 Jul 2015   |   Network Updates

Imperial Incubator celebrates billion dollar spinout success

The Imperial Incubator celebrated its spinout companies' extraordinary growth at a special 'graduation' event yesterday.

A hub for innovation and entrepreneurship, the South Kensington based Incubator provides office and laboratory space for science and tech based startup companies. In under a decade, 60 companies have grown within its walls, attracting £750 million ($1.2 billion) of investment.

The graduation ceremony, held on 21 July, celebrated the achievements of four companies that have outgrown the Incubator this year. These include image recognition specialist Cortexica, which developed the FindSimilar software used by retailers such as Macy’s and Net a Porter, allergy testing service Microtest DX, clean cold technology company Dearman, and lung disease drug discovery firm RespiVert.

All are moving to larger facilities for their next stages of development, with Microtest DX taking advantage of new incubation facilities at the College’s White City Campus.

Imperial’s President, Professor Alice Gast, presented awards to representatives of the four firms to mark their achievements.

Bright future

The evening also gave current and new companies based in the Imperial Incubator the chance to showcase their technology and products. These included Blocks, a student-founded company which has developed the world’s first modular smart watch, and Econic, which is developing catalysts that allow for the integration of carbon dioxide in the production of plastics.

Professor David Gann, Vice President (Development & Innovation) at Imperial College London, said: “It is extraordinary to see how much value has been created in the Imperial Incubator. The products conceived, jobs created and investment attracted are great news for Imperial, London and the world.

“The Imperial Incubator community is marked by its creative, collaborative and courageous nature. It is a special moment when a start-up or spinout graduates from its original institution. We are proud of our graduating firms, inspired by their leadership and excited to see what they do next.

“As Imperial’s start-up and spinout networks grow, we are enabling many more firms to join the community in purpose-built incubation facilities at our White City Campus. The next generation of Imperial-inspired firms have a bright future.”

Graham Hewson, Incubator Manager at Imperial Innovations, said: “The graduating companies tonight are bringing innovative solutions to challenges faced by their respective industries and have achieved tremendous success so far in getting their products to market. We at the Incubator are honoured to have helped these companies at such crucial stages of their development and wish them the best of luck in their future endeavours.

“Since its founding in 2006, the Imperial Incubator has hosted more than 60 companies, which have collectively raised £750 million ($1.2 billion) in investment. This signals both the quality of companies that join the Incubator, as well as the positive effects of incubation during the early stages of a business. These companies and their experiences have helped establish the Incubator as an innovation hub at the heart of Imperial College London.”

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