What is the most rewarding aspect of your role?
It is a real pleasure coming to work - it is not really like work at all. All the staff at Oxford Technology are scientists/engineers and we are all interested in science and what the scientists with whom we interact are doing. We all work in an open plan office and there are almost always interesting conversations going on. We are well known in our niche (investing in science start-ups in Oxford) so we get a steady stream of people (maybe 500 per year, of which 100 are possible investments) coming to us, almost always referred to us by people in whom we previously invested. Meeting these people and hearing about what they are seeking to achieve is a real pleasure. Most are young, extremely bright and super enthusiastic.
What's the most challenging aspect of your role?
" ...the maths says that investing in high-risk high reward science start-ups under the SEIS scheme should deliver large returns to investors and we can now see this beginning to happen for real."
How do you see your role changing in the next 3-5 years?
There will be no changes. It is a great pleasure to do what we do and it delivers excellent returns to our investors. We have an office in China, staffed by a Chenjie Ma who has an engineering degree from Oxford (and so understands both English and Chinese culture) and I hope this will grow over the next five years. The aim of this office is to help our investees sell their technology into the large Chinese market more quickly than might otherwise be the case.
What's keeping you up at night?
I am glad to say that I sleep soundly.
What makes your firm stand out?
What do you look for when investing in a business?
What industry journalist/commentator do your regularly follow?
I read New Scientist each week, and Luke Johnson in the Sunday Times. I get my information by spending my time talking to scientists and then working closely with those in whom we invest to help them be successful.
What is the best piece of advice you've taken?
People Behind the Product is an interview series produced by CoInvestor that highlights the key people themselves behind the wide range of tax-efficient investment funds you can find on our platform. By showcasing the fund managers behind the product, we aim to provide greater insight to the expertise in the market and in doing so, help advisers and investors learn more about the tax-efficient sector.
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About Oxford Technology
Since 1983, Oxford Technology has specialised in making and managing investments in start-up and early stage technology-based businesses with high growth prospects. In total, they have made more than 150 investments in technology start-ups. Almost all of them are within an hour’s drive of Oxford, so that they can be actively involved to help.
The investment team are all scientists or engineers by background, and understanding the technology is the starting point for any investment that they make.
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