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RolaTube A technology start-up case study

10 January 2012 Quentin Compton-Bishop Co-Founder and former CEO RolaTube Technology Ltd 10-Jan-12

Copyright(c)1997-2012 RolaTube Technology Ltd/RTL Materials Ltd


Technology and Origins • Bi-stable Reeled Composite (BRC) • Invention stimulus – Remote inspection

• Inventors’ 1st attempt to commercialise in 1989 • RolaTube est. 1997 • Many potential applications 10-Jan-12

Copyright(c)1997-2012 RolaTube Technology Ltd/RTL Materials Ltd


Strategy

Plan

• Control the core technology & manufacturing knowhow • Remote inspection products • Joint development of other applications • License manufacturing & applications • Sell to biggest partner • License back other apps

• 1st product in 9 months • Raise 1st round of £1.5m (¥180m) • Hire top team • Develop hand-held probe • 2nd funding round • Develop volume manufacture • Develop core technology & products

10-Jan-12

Copyright(c)1997-2012 RolaTube Technology Ltd/RTL Materials Ltd


What actually happened • Started with £100k • 1st product & revenues within 7 months • BUT, no 1st £/¥m round • Technical challenges – Materials – Engineering – Expertise

• Years of contract R&D and fund-raising 10-Jan-12

Copyright(c)1997-2012 RolaTube Technology Ltd/RTL Materials Ltd


Lessons for spin-outs and TTOs • • • • • • • •

Focus. Find a scalable development path Money + Management. Then start operations Prove it works. Sales and revenues Universities can help. In certain areas Manage Founders’ expectations early Opportunity costs of start-ups Invest in IP. And exploit it in a timely manner “Events, my dear boy, events” (Harold Macmillan)

10-Jan-12

Copyright(c)1997-2012 RolaTube Technology Ltd/RTL Materials Ltd


RolaTube today – Military masts & remote inspection

 10-Jan-12

Copyright(c)1997-2012 RolaTube Technology Ltd/RTL Materials Ltd


RolaTube today – Pipes and linings

10-Jan-12

Copyright(c)1997-2012 RolaTube Technology Ltd/RTL Materials Ltd


13 Quentin Compton-Bishop, Warwick Ventures, Breakout 1