Swansea University and xénos partnership creates 18 spin-outs


Swansea University and xénos, the Wales Business Angel Network are celebrating the second anniversary of a pioneering joint initiative which is helping to create more new commercially viable businesses in the Swansea area.


The initiative brings the commercial expertise of xénos investors or ‘business angels’ together with the ideas and research of Swansea academics. By introducing xénos angels at a very early stage to evaluate business proposals, the University is able to identify and support work that has strong potential for commercialisation and the prospect of becoming high-growth companies.


Dr. Gerry Ronan, Head of Intellectual Property in the Department of Research and Innovation at Swansea University started the ‘Angel Clinic’ project in 2012 alongside Dr. Colin Lucas of xénos and business angel Peter Brooks of Ashgrove Management.


The clinic builds upon previous research conducted by the University of South Wales, supported by the Welsh Government and xénos, which led to pilot trials across a number of Welsh universities.

The impact of the scheme has been welcomed by the University, as Dr. Ronan explains:


“A detailed assessment of a commercial opportunity in its early stages by highly experienced and successful business professionals is invaluable to our academics and researchers. The input of such expertise has been a catalyst for a change in culture within the University and we have seen a tenfold increase in staff wishing to engage with the scheme."


Dr. Lucas of xénos who helped develop the initiative and was also involved in earlier pilots of the project, said:


“Swansea University has shown a strong desire to provide real benefit, advice and support to its academic members of staff. Working together has allowed us to demonstrate the value that our angel network can bring to the commercial development of ideas and intellectual property, and to the creation of new businesses.


“There is no shortage of world-class ideas and research in Swansea. Many of them may well provide exciting investment opportunities in the near future for technology venture investors such as Finance Wales as well as our own xénos investor angels. We look forward to continuing to develop this valuable association.”


xénos’ initiative with Swansea University joins a growing list of co-investment partnerships led by Finance Wales, including MoUs with Fusion IP for Swansea and Cardiff University and the recent MoU with Swansea University’s Institute of Life Sciences

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