Olivia Champion on exclusive list of top 50 entrepreneurs
Our co-founder Olivia Champion was honoured to be part of an exclusive list, selected from over 1,000 entrepreneurs who have been supported by SETsquared during the last 15 years.
Our co-founder Dr Olivia Champion celebrated being announced as a Top 50 Entrepreneur for her pioneering work producing high grade insect larvae for research purposes with BioSystems Technology. The shortlist of nominees was selected from a list of 1,000 entrepreneurs that have been supported by SETsquared during the last 15 years, at a ceremony at the House of Commons. All of the nominees were acknowledged for reaching milestone achievements, including raising a substantial amount of investment, exporting products globally, achieving a world first or having a considerable impact on society. SETsquared supports high growth tech companies who have significant economic impact. Collectively, these companies have raised over £1bn of investment and created over 9,000 jobs. The shortlist announcement took place on 29 March 2017 - the historic day that Prime Minister Theresa May triggered Article 50 to leave the EU - serving as a strong reminder of the UK’s strength in technological innovation and entrepreneurship in the global market.
The company BioSystems Technology, which Olivia co-founded alongside Richard Titball, has been successful in developing standardised Galleria mellonella moth larvae called TruLarv™ for use by researchers. These larvae offer a cheap and effective way to carry out tests that would normally be carried out on mammals such as mice. After co-developed the technology underpinning the company, Olivia pitched for and won investment to commercialise the research and launch BioSystems Technology. Within the first twelve months of production she gained over 50 customers and began exporting to eight countries. TruLarv™ has now become an industry standard in research that investigates the effectiveness of existing licensed antibiotics, and has been used over 100 publications. Speaking of her success, Olivia said “I’m delighted to have been selected one of the SETSquared top 50 entrepreneurs. Our moth larvae are an ethical, cost effective product that can be used by researchers and where they have been use the number of mammals used in those projects has been reduced by up to 80%.”
To select the nominees, SETsquared was assisted by an expert panel of investors and innovation corporate leaders. The Top 50 Entrepreneurs include companies from a wide range of industries, including health, green technology and 5G and wireless communication. Simon Bond, the Innovation Director at SETsquared, said: “When I look back on the last 15 years, I am overwhelmed by the talent and achievements of the entrepreneurs that SETsquared has supported. They have brought world-leading innovations to market and these have been exported across the globe. SETsquared has provided support and a network for these entrepreneurs including access to mentors, experts, international markets and investors, and they are now out there doing SETsquared and the UK proud.”
Speaking of the success of SETsquared in supporting these companies, Michael Queen, an investor on the panel said “Creating a successful business requires talented entrepreneurs and a great idea but this isn’t enough. SETsquared acts as a catalyst providing support, logistics, training and mentoring to turn dreams into reality. Over the last 15 years, SETsquared has made a major contribution to building a dynamic technology-based business sector in the UK.”
The reception at the House of Commons was an opportunity for the entrepreneurs to celebrate their achievements along with MPs and special guests, as well as sharing stories on how they have successfully raised investment, exported products globally or had a major impact on their industry.