Spotlight on University of Strathclyde

At its heart is the Strathclyde Entrepreneurial Network (SEN), which comprises the University’s extensive investment, commercialisation and enterprise activity, and reflects its commitment to identifying and supporting innovation.

SEN is dedicated to helping students, staff and alumni to launch new business ventures, commercialise research and develop entrepreneurial skills, helping them develop tools for success.

Strathclyde’s successful track record for spinning out and licensing has generated more than £45m in royalties and created more than 60 spinout companies, including Cascade Technologies and Smarter Grid Solutions.  Over 40 of these spinouts are still trading, and have a cumulative annual turn-over in excess of £130m at present.

Strathclyde has generated over £3.75m from spinout exits.  

A recent exit was the 2016 acquisition of the University spinout mLED, a world leader in the design and manufacture of micro-LED solutions for Wearables, to virtual reality firm Oculus VR.
Strathclyde began to formally invest in seed and subsequent spinout funding rounds in 2012.  To date, the University has invested in 13 of its spinouts.  

3F BIO, which is developing methods to make proteins more sustainable, concluded a £6.16m fund raise in which the University participated – its  share of the funding round was its largest single investment commitment to date.

Early this year, Strathclyde implemented a new stage-gated process to better identify opportunities for commercial support and move them more effectively through the pipeline to start-up or spin-out.  
One such opportunity is ClinSpec Dx, which is developing serum diagnostics for brain cancer and other diseases.  The company has recently had its Health Economic study published in the British Medical Journal.

SEN also has a growing reputation for supporting the formation of start-ups, having helped launch more than 178 companies since 2005.  SEN has a pipeline of nearly 100 new entrepreneurs looking to commercialise their ideas.

The University’s Rising Star programme identifies potential high growth opportunities and fast tracks them through an accelerator; assisted by SEN’s Enterprise Partners from the entrepreneurial alumni community, who have given their time and energy to assist these young businesses.  In addition to professional advice, the programme also offers up to £10k in monetary and in-kind support.
SEN-supported businesses can also access finance through the Strathclyde Entrepreneurs Fund (SEF), which aims to address the funding gap that early-stage companies often face when seeking investment.  SEF provides equity up to £50k alongside external investors to University-related enterprises.

The Fund has recently completed investments in four companies started by entrepreneurs who studied at the University:

  • Estendio is developing Present Pal, a presentation support software which enables users with dyslexia to deliver a more confident and prepared presentation.
  • Power A Life is an ethical mobile accessories brand which provides a solar light to children in developing countries for every product sold.  Power A Life has been supported by Strathclyde since its director and founder, Jeremie Warner, was an undergraduate architecture student.
  • Drinkly is a platform that allows customers the ability to order over 600 products from its partner off-licences, delivered chilled to their home, office or sent as a gift.  The business was started by former Strathclyde student, John Robertson who graduated in 2000 with a BSc in Mathematics.
  • Teqnox is developing a product to limit the risk of injury from a horse-riding accident through the use of a flexible, easy to adjust and maximal protection body protector.  Its founder Carmen Cummiskey spent five years at Strathclyde studying Sports Engineering, Design Manufacture, and Engineering Management.

For more information on Strathclyde’s investment, commercial and enterprise activities, please contact:
Gillian MacAulay, SEF Manager (
Stuart Mackenzie, Commercialisation Infrastructure Manager (
Catherine Breslin, Commercialisation Manager (
Fiona Strang, Commercialisation Manager (
Fiona Ireland, Head of Enterprise (

Posted on Friday, 21 September 2018