Inspiring women insights

Women founders tell us about their spinout journeys

Professor Rachel Oliver

Company: Poro Technologies Ltd
Position in Company: Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer
Academic background: MEng and DPhil University of Oxford

Profile photo of Rachel Oliver

“The key to a successful spinout is having the right team in place.”

Dr Florence Gschwend

Company: Lixea (Formerly Chrysalix Technologies)
Position in Company: Co-founder and CEO
Academic Background: PhD in Chemical Engineering from Imperial College London, MRes in Green Chemistry from Imperial College London, BSc Chemistry from University of Basel

Profile photo of Florence Gschwend

“During my PhD I also looked into alternative career paths, including entrepreneurship and thought – this is fun, why not?”

Dr Jessica Bruce

Company: Run3D
Position in Company: Founder and Manager Director
Academic Background: PhD in Biomedical Engineering from Oxford University, Masters of Engineering from Oxford University

Profile photo of Jessica Bruce

“Toward the end of my PhD I began to question why the technology I was using in my research wasn’t accessible to real people.”

Dr Chiraz Ennaceur

Company: CorrosionRADAR
Position in Company: Co-founder and CEO
Academic Background: PhD in Mechanical Engineering from University of Technology of Compiègne (France)

Profile photo of Chiraz Ennaceur

“I always wanted to start my own business and I wanted the freedom that comes from having your own company.”

Dr Cici Muldoon

Company: VeriVin
Position in Company: Founder and CEO
Academic Background: I studied physics and finance at Princeton University, I hold a PhD in experimental Atomic & Laser Physics from Oxford University, and I have also completed the WSET Diploma in Wines and Spirits.

Profile photo of Cici Muldoon

“My biggest loves in life are physics, wine, classic cars and ballet. Somehow I managed to marry the first two!”

Dr Michelle Barbour

Company: Pertinax Pharma
Position in Company: CEO and Founder
Academic Background: I did my Undergraduate at Oxford, in Physics, and then I moved to Bristol in 1999 to do my PhD in Biomaterials Science. Bristol is such a fantastic city I've stayed there ever since; I post-doc’d for a few years, and then got a lectureship at the University of Bristol in 2005.

My main research interest is multifunctional biomaterials, materials which have some kind of enhanced functionality, particularly antimicrobial functionality.

Alongside my spinout activities I’m also still an academic, and am based at the dental school in Bristol. My research group collaborates with academics and clinicians across the medical, dental and veterinary schools, as well as engineering, physics and chemistry l and I also teach undergraduate students about dental materials.

Profile photo of Dr Michelle Barbour

“At the time I was thinking of spinning out, my principal motivation was to see the technology that I had developed get “out there” into the real world.”

Dr Amy Varney

"Working for a spinout is very rewarding. The best part of it has to be the breadth and variety of work. No day is the same and that can be exciting and challenging."

Profile photo of Amy Varney

“Make sure you know your technology/science inside out and be effective at communicating it to both experts and non-experts.”

Dr Olivia Champion

Company: BioSystems Technology
Position in Company: Co-founder and CEO
Academic Background: BSc in Applied Biology from Cardiff; MSc in Clinical Microbiology from Queen Mary and Westfield, University of London; Doctorate in Molecular Biology from The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Profile photo of Olivia Champion

“You definitely have to be resilient to be a spinout founder and you have also be able to cope with lots of different things going on at the same time.”

Brittany Harris

"Stand your ground, know that you are the expert in the space you are talking about, and just keep moving forward."

Profile photo of Brittany Harris

“Stand your ground, know that you are the expert in the space you are talking about, and just keep moving forward.”