Brian McCaul, QUBIS
The Fund presents the opportunity for alumni and qualifying investors to make an impact investment in spin-0ut companies formed to commercialise scientific and technological advances made at Queen’s University Belfast ("Queens"). To support the Fund’s pipeline, consideration will also be given to Queen’s Student ventures and spin-outs from partner Universities participating in the Queen’s administered NxNW ICURe Programme. The NxNW consortium encompasses Ulster University, University of Edinburgh, University of Liverpool, University of Sheffield, University of Manchester, and the University of Leeds.
Key Individuals - Brian McCaul is the CEO of QUBIS and also Director of Innovation at Queen’s University Belfast. Having worked both within technology transfer environments and as an entrepreneur with his own start-up companies, Brian’s experience prior to joining QUBIS includes: co-owning an aerospace manufacturing business based in the UK and Poland; co-founding an innovation software company in the UK and Netherlands; establishing the Innovation Commons – a community and shared platform of university Technology Transfer Offices bringing entrepreneurs to work on early-stage projects, and working on numerous national knowledge transfer initiatives as Chair of the Association for University Research and Industry Links (AURIL).
Brian is supported by a team of experienced investment professionals with backgrounds in private equity and entrepreneurship.
High / Adventurous. Capital at Risk
Early stage university spin outs
2.5 return after 7 years
Not a reliable indicator of future income.
CURRENT STATUS - OPEN
Open to new investors. The fund closes 30 June 2021. The minimum investment is £20,000.
The objective of the QUBIS Innovation Fund is to invest in a portfolio of early stage high-growth companies from Queen’s University and other UK based universities on the North by North West (“NxNW”) ICURe programme, funded by the UK innovation agency Innovate UK. Queen’s University, as the lead partner, facilitates the ICURe programme to be a customer discovery pathway for identifying the most commercially promising opportunities, and to assist them through the Spin-Out stage.
The Fund will aim to invest in a portfolio of early stage start-up companies in order to provide a portfolio of SEIS and/or EIS qualifying companies to Investors. The QUBIS Innovation Fund will seek to fuel the commercialisation of University Spin-Out companies from QUBIS and NxNW ecosystems. These early-stage companies from leading UK universities often address problems at the heart of society. Such companies will often have a national and international economic impact. The result will be a professionally managed source of funding to exponentiate the growth of maturing projects within the QUBIS ecosystem.
The pipeline of opportunities will predominantly come from the Queen’s University ecosystem. The Fund’s pipeline will also consider Spin-Outs from partner universities participating in the North by North West (NxNW) ICURe programme. The programme includes Ulster University, University of Edinburgh, University of Liverpool, University of Sheffield, University of Manchester & University of Leeds. Exceptional companies from other leading UK universities can enter the ICURe programme and will therefore be eligible for inclusion in the Fund. The Fund also reserves the right to consider outstanding alumni and student ventures as potential Investee Companies.
The preferred route for commercialisation is to enrol promising concepts onto two commercial development programmes, the Lean Launchpad and the Innovate UK NxNW ICURe programme. These programmes are used as customer discovery pathways to establish the commercial viability of intellectual property by exploring whether there is a genuine market opportunity that a Spin-Out company can target. The Fund will consider promising companies from these programmes that exhibit market potential.
The Fund will not be bound to a specific sector but, will rather focus on the potential disruptive impacts of commercialised research. Historically, QUBIS has a track record of commercialising research from data analytics, cybersecurity and life & medical sciences however the current QUBIS portfolio includes successful Spin-Outs from various sectors.
Liopa spun out of Queen’s University Belfast in 2016. The company is onward developing and commercialising research carried out within the university into Visual Speech Recognition (VSR) , effectively automated lip reading.
Fusion Antibodies is dedicated to the discovery and early development of antibodies to help bring about a positive change in the healthcare industry.
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