Background

Team

jens

Jens Tholstrup

Executive Chairman
Jens is Executive Chairman of OION Ltd, Development Director SQW Group and Senior Advisor, Oxford Economics. Previously, was Managing Director UK, Oxford Economics, Executive Director, Oxford Analytica and Executive Director UBS. Jens holds a MA in PPE and an MSc in Economic History, both from the University of Oxford. Jens is a trustee of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) and Chair of Governor’ of St Clare’s. He is NED of Advanced Oxford and Venturefest Oxfordshire. He has been an active investor for many years and is a member of the investment committee of two UK charities.
richard

Richard Cooper

Managing Director
Richard has been working with early stage companies for the past twenty years, both in the UK and Australia in both a funding and business advisory capacity. Having developed two early stage software companies himself, he has advised on hundreds of early stage companies to develop their growth strategies and raise them funding as a result. This allows Richard to be able to identify companies with strong growth potential and advise them if needed. Richard has an MSc in Marketing from the University of Leicester and post graduate qualifications in applied finance and project management. Richard also has a CFA Certificate in Investment Management and the foundation course in Private Equity from the Australian Venture Capital Association.
eileen

Eileen Modral

Investment Manager
Eileen is a finance specialist who combines over 22 years’ experience in fundraising and international business development for Oxford Innovation with her support of angels within the OION network. Eileen is on the selection panel for the OION angel network and a Board Member of Venturefest Oxford. She concentrates on technology companies with a strong barrier to entry including MedTech and precision engineering. Eileen is passionate at supporting entrepreneurs and uses her expertise and passion for start-ups to mentor and support local technology driven accelerator/incubator businesses focused on impact, diversity and sustainability whilst investing in companies with social impact. Eileen is FCA regulated as SMF17.
emma

Emma Kenny

Investment Manager
Emma focuses mainly on assessing businesses for the Oxford Innovation EIS Growth Fund but is also involved in OION angel network activities. Emma has experience in the corporate world gained at Mars Confectionery, McKinsey, Kingfisher and Vodafone, and as an entrepreneur having founded and scaled an international consulting business. She has spent the last 5 years advising, coaching and investing in early stage businesses, including working as a Deal Lead on a Europe-wide programme designed to increase the participation of women in Angel Investing. Emma is NED of a number of early stage businesses and also of an Oxfordshire housing association. She has a degree in Natural Sciences (Psychology) from Cambridge, and an MBA from London Business School.
steve

Steve Piercy

Investment Network Manager
Steve has more than eight years’ experience of working with early stage companies. He splits his time working with both the Oxford Innovation EIS Growth Fund and OION angel network. He’s a key point of contact for companies who are successful in receiving an offer to pitch at a Showcase. Steve also has experience in Marketing having previously worked within the Faculty of Business Marketing department at Oxford Brookes University. He has a BA (Hons) Business and Management degree and holds the Investment Management Certificate (IMC) from the CFA Society.
david

David Crichton-Miller

OION Board & Investment Committee Member
David is Chief Executive of SQW Group (OION’s parent company) and a specialist in subjects relating to innovators and entrepreneurs. SQW Group is uniquely qualified to find and support innovators and small businesses being both a UK market leading operator of innovation centres and incubators and also a UK market leading provider of business advice and support to small business. David’s background is in corporate finance at Morgan Stanley, as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company and as an entrepreneur who raised venture capital to start (and successfully exit) his own business. He has also been and still is an advisor to a wide range of businesses as well as an investor in early stage businesses.
kate

Kate Wright

OION Board Member & Compliance Officer
Kate works alongside David as Chief Financial Officer at SQW Group within which role she has a particular focus on risk and compliance management. Prior to joining the group in 2016, Kate held a number of senior finance positions in high-growth SMEs – from early-stage to established AIM-listed companies – during which time she was instrumental in securing three successful exits, one of which – for a highly innovative diagnostics business – was to a US-listed multinational. Kate qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Deloitte during which time she specialised in working with technology-rich SMEs across the Thames Valley including leading the advisory work on two successful IPOs. Kate’s belief in the power and importance of supporting early-stage businesses in order to accelerate their growth and realise their potential led her to her current role working with SQW Group.

News

oi growth fund

Oxford Innovation EIS Growth Fund Completes First Investments

The Oxford Innovation EIS Growth Fund has now completed its first two deals, investing £200k in to both Cognitant Group and FungiAlert.

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Peeling back the layers of OION’s financial year

During a year unlike any other, OION has continued to assist ambitious, innovative companies with 28 of them securing funding from the network.

impakt

Exclusive Transformation Bootcamp for Funding/Investment Readiness

Impakt It out of Oxford University Innovation solving the $7.4Trillion question on why 84% of business transformations fail. Bringing you an exclusive opportunity for the Business Transformation Bootcamps with tailored focuses, including the Transformation Bootcamp for Funding and Investment-Readiness.

oi growth fund

First EIS fund marks significant new milestone for Oxford Innovation

Oxford Innovation, the UK’s leading organisation helping ambitious entrepreneurs and innovators with advice, innovation space and capital, has successfully raised a £2million EIS fund for providing finance to the next generation of innovative businesses.

oi fund open

Introducing the Oxford Innovation EIS Growth Fund

Oxford Investment Opportunity Network (OION Ltd), is delighted to introduce the Oxford Innovation EIS Growth Fund, offering investors the opportunity to invest in a portfolio of promising technology companies with the potential to achieve significant tax-free capital gains.

flarebright

Autonomous Drone start-up, Flare Bright Ltd closes initial investment round

Flare Bright pitched at OION's September Showcase and have recently closed their round with investment from OION members.

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RAB Microfluidics secures £1.24m investment

Following their pitch at OION's July 2020 Showcase, RAB Microfluidics have recently closed their round with investment from OION.

innovation

Jens Tholstrup shares his thoughts on 'How Innovation Works'

OION Ltd's Chairman, Jens Tholstrup, explores Matt Ridley's latest book.

taylor vinters founders series

The Founders Series - Season 3 // Mikesh Udani

For episode 2 in Season 3 of Taylor Vinter's Founders Series, they'll be meeting a spin-off CEO whose revolutionary tech-based approach addresses a health issue that’s existed for decades.

taylor vinters founders series

Taylor Vinters - The Founders Series

Taylor Vinters Founders Series reveals how leaders of breakthrough businesses have identified opportunities in fast-moving markets and taken a disruptive, tech-based approach to make their concepts succeed. Sign up now for Season 3.

advancedoxford-oion-research

The impact of Covid-19 on early stage investing

We've been working with Advanced Oxford to find out how Covid-19 may change the levels of early stage investment within the knowledge economy.

taylor vinters

OION welcomes Taylor Vinters in new sponsor partnership

International legal business Taylor Vinters shows continued support for the innovation ecosystem in new partnership with Oxford Investment Opportunity Network (OION).

UKSingaporeInnovationDay

UK-Singapore Innovation Matching Day – opportunity for startups to pitch to global organisations

The Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) and its partners are organising an event on 13 May 2020 in central London for European startups to pitch to Singapore organisations.

Virtual Showcase

The Show must go on: OION’s most recent Showcase goes virtual

Following the recent developments and in the interests of all attendee’s safety, the decision was made to move OION Ltd’s March Showcase, originally scheduled to be held at Culham Science Centre, to an online only virtual event.

techspert.io

OION Fund portfolio company, techspert.io, closes Series A funding round

Congratulations to techspert.io who’ve just raised £3.76m Series A funding.

messly

Messly closes round with investment from OION members

Messly pitched in September 2019 with their professional network for UK junior doctors who they connect with recruiting hospitals and agencies through a tech-enabled hiring platform.

saltee

Saltee secures investment following pitch at OION Showcase

Saltee pitched their new direct to consumer, premium beauty sector sun care brand at the October 2019 OION Ltd Showcase held at the HB Allen Centre in Oxford.

jan2020

OION’s first Showcase of 2020 held at Cazenove Capital’s offices in London

The first OION Ltd Showcase of 2020 was a sell-out event with eleven impressive companies pitching for investment.

oion oan logos

Oxford Investment Opportunity Network and Oxford Angel Network join forces

Leading angel networks in Oxford merge to catalyse early-stage tech investment in the Oxford Cluster.

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Final OION Showcase of 2019 sees nine companies pitch for investment

The final OION Showcase of 2019 was hosted by OION sponsor, PwC, last week at their Frontier hub in the Reading offices.

jens tholstrup

Coffee and Danish with Jens Tholstrup of Oxford Investment Opportunity Network

OION MD Jens Tholstrup talks with Antony David at TechTribe about the early stage ecosystem in Oxford.

hb allen centre

Keble College’s new H B Allen Centre hosts OION’s October Showcase

Our October Showcase took place last week with eleven companies presenting for investment at the recently completed H B Allen Centre, Oxford.

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OION’s September Showcase held at Harwell Campus, Oxfordshire

Following a short break over the summer, our Showcase events resumed last week with the first of the Autumn series held in the new Visitor Centre at Harwell Campus.

lwe logo

Learning with Experts, Oxford EdTech Company, Raises £800k

Learning with Experts has just completed a latest funding round above target, raising £800k with an impressive group of High Net Worth (HNW) Angels, including members of OION.

somaserve logo

Success for Somaserve...

Somaserve has recently announced that it has secured the IP and global commercial rights to the PolyNaut technology and also the closure of its seed round funding in which a small group of investors, including OION, participated.

july19 showcase

Eleven companies present at joint OION and OUI Showcase

Last week, the Oxford Martin School on Broad Street hosted the latest joint Oxford Investment Opportunity Network (OION) and Oxford University Innovation (OUI) Showcase.

oms logo

Oxford Medical Simulation closes investment round with funding from OION members

Oxford Medical Simulation pitched at OION Ltd's London Stock Exchange Showcase in November and have recently closed their round with investment from OION members.

oxford trust

OION welcomes The Oxford Trust as new sponsor

OION is delighted to welcome The Oxford Trust as a sponsor of the network.

crypta labs logo

Crypta Labs raises investment following pitch at OION Showcase

Crypta Labs is developing the world's first portable quantum hardware security module to secure edge of network devices that rely on weak random numbers in their encryption protocols. We’re pleased to confirm that they’ve recently closed their round with investment from OION.

ukbaa finalist

OION a finalist in Syndicate of the Year category at the UKBAA Awards

We’re delighted to announce that we’ve been shortlisted for Syndicate of the Year at the UKBAA Angel Investment Awards 2019!

rathbones_may19

OION Ltd’s latest Showcase hosted by Rathbone Private Office

Eleven companies pitched for investment at OION Ltd’s most recent Showcase, held at the London offices of Rathbones.

pwc

OION sponsor, PwC, seeking ambitious businesses to test their ‘My Financepartner Digital’ Software

PwC have developed ‘My Financepartner Digital’ to allow you to login to your mobile or laptop and quickly see all the key performance metrics of your business (or businesses) without logging in to your accounting software.

perkier_foods_logo

Perkier Foods secures funding following pitch at OION’s London Stock Exchange Showcase

Perkier Foods, producers of healthy, free-from and plant based snack bars and breakfasts, have recently closed their £350k round with significant investment coming from OION members.

trinity

OION celebrates successes of the past year at Annual Dinner

Oxford Investment Opportunity Network (OION), now in its 25th year of connecting companies and investors, celebrated the occasion and the successes of the past year at the well-renowned OION Annual Dinner.

pwc

OION welcome PwC as newest sponsors

OION Ltd are delighted to welcome PwC who’ve recently joined as a sponsor of OION.

blenheim

Twelve companies pitch at OION’s Blenheim Palace Showcase

Twelve companies pitched for investment at last week’s OION Ltd Showcase held at the stunning Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, Oxfordshire.

oion

OION Dinner 2019 - Tickets now available!

The OION Annual Dinner has a reputation of being a great networking event. This year will be no exception as we return to Trinity College, Oxford on Wednesday 10th April.

centrica

First OION Ltd Showcase of 2019 hosted by Centrica at Windsor HQ

Ten companies from across OION Ltd’s three investment networks (OION, TVIN & OEI) pitched for investment, followed by networking and lunch.

alvant

Advanced Materials company, Alvant, secures investment following pitches at OION

Alvant have pitched at two OION Ltd Showcase events recently, first at the Saïd Business School, Oxford in July last year and second with an update at the London Stock Exchange in November.

sophos

OION Ltd’s final Showcase of 2018 held at Sophos HQ, Abingdon

Ten companies pitched for investment at last week’s OION Ltd Showcase, the final of 2018.

rootwave

RootWave receives investment following pitch to OION Ltd

RootWave pitched at OION Ltd’s July Showcase and as a result have recently closed their round with a £150k investment from OION members.

inovo_robotics

Success for Inovo Robotics

After pitching at OION Ltd’s Robotics and AI Showcase held at Culham back in January, Inovo Robotics have recently closed their round after accepting a £1.5m investment from a technology EIS Fund.

chain_biotech

CHAIN Biotechnology raises funding from OION Ltd for the second time

Following their pitch to OION Ltd members in May at Leander Club, CHAIN Biotech have recently closed their round with investment from a number of OION members included.

stock exchange

OION Ltd’s latest Showcase sees thirteen companies pitch at London Stock Exchange

Last week’s OION Ltd Showcase at the London Stock Exchange featured presentations from thirteen fascinating companies seeking investment.

bisham_abbey

OION Ltd’s first Showcase of the current series held at Bisham Abbey, Marlow

Following a brief pause for the summer, September 27th saw the first OION Ltd Showcase of the current series. Held at the stunning Bisham Abbey near Marlow, ten companies from a broad range of sectors pitched.

bookabees

Bookabees secures funding following pitch at OION Ltd’s May Showcase

Bookabees pitched to OION members at the May Showcase held at the Leander Club overlooking the river in Henley on Thames. Since then, we’re pleased to report that they’ve recently closed their round with investment from OION included.

rovco

Rovco named ‘Game Changer’ by the Offshore Renewables Energy Catapult

Rovco, after receiving £280,000 of investment from OION members as part of a £1.2m raise, have been named a ‘Game Changer’ by the Offshore Renewables Energy (ORE) Catapult.

july showcase

OION Ltd’s final Showcase of the summer series sees ten companies pitch for investment

OION Ltd returned to Oxford’s Saïd Business School last Thursday for the final Showcase before the summer break. Ten company pitches were followed by networking and refreshments providing investors with the opportunity to find out more from the companies of interest.

leander

Ten companies pitch at OION Ltd’s May Showcase hosted by Leander Club

OION Ltd’s May Showcase was held last week at Leander Club overlooking the Thames in Henley. Ten companies from across OION Ltd’s three investment networks (OION, TVIN & OEI) pitched for investment.

201718

OION Ltd completes 37 deals in 2017/18

Oxford Investment Opportunity Network Ltd had 37 separate companies receive funding within the last financial year. 19 companies were funded through the OION Ltd Angel Investors and a further 18 through the OION Fund.

labrador

Labrador raises funding through OION Ltd

Labrador pitched at the February OION Ltd Showcase kindly hosted by Rathbones at their London offices. We’re pleased to report that, since their pitch, Labrador have raised funding through OION.

march showcase

Twelve companies pitch at joint OION Ltd and OUI Showcase

The joint investment meeting held by Oxford Investment Opportunity Network (OION Ltd) and Oxford University Innovation (OUI) saw a mix of twelve companies pitch for investment - eight from the OION Ltd network and four from the OUI network.

music gurus

Success for MusicGurus

MusicGurus is the e-learning platform for the music industry, revolutionizing the way that music is learned and taught and providing leading publishers, artists, equipment brands and schools with the means to go digital.

rathbones

Latest OION Ltd Showcase sees twelve companies pitch for investment

Twelve companies pitched for investment at the recent OION Ltd Showcase, kindly hosted by Rathbone Investment Management at their offices in central London.

pireta

Smart textiles company, Pireta, secures £500,000 through Oxford Investment Opportunity Network (OION)

Following their pitch at the October 2017 OION Ltd Showcase, held at Centrica’s head office in Windsor, Pireta have recently closed their investment round after raising £500k from OION members.

culham

OION’s ‘Robotics & AI’ Showcase sees ten companies pitch for investment

OION’s first Showcase of 2018 was held last week in collaboration with RACE (the UK Atomic Energy Authority’s centre for Remote Applications in Challenging Environments) at Culham Science Centre, Oxfordshire.