An innovative wind turbine from a Lancaster start-up is ready to take the market by storm.
A Lancaster start-up firm that has developed a revolutionary new bladeless wind turbine designed to generate energy in urban environments is preparing to take its product to market following support from Lancashire County Council’s Access to Finance service.
O-Innovations was started by Nicolas Orellana whose concept for a wind turbine designed to harness the erratic nature of wind in urban areas and airports won the James Dyson Award in 2018, a competition designed to give inventors and problem solvers a platform to launch their innovations.
Following the award win, Nicolas joined forces with Yaseen Noorani who helped to develop the technology as well as with Dominic Chippendale, who joined the company in 2019 to help commercialise and eventually distribute the product.
The company has close links with Lancaster University, who put Dominic and Nicolas in touch with Access to Finance Lancashire.
The support from the Access to Finance Lancashire team helped the company gain angel investment from a small group of investors, as well as an Innovate UK grant, which had a combined total value of £160,000.
The company has used this money to develop its concept into a fully operational product, O-Wind, which it is now preparing to launch to the market.
Dominic Chippendale, director, O-Innovations said: “The team at Access to Finance Lancashire helped us with vital parts of gaining investment, such as valuing our company and product, and how to begin the process of raising finance.
"When you are first starting a business, you do not have a strong network of contacts and Access to Finance was also able to provide that, linking us to potential sources of funding and support."
Access to Finance Lancashire, funded via the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund and by Lancashire County Council, offers expert financial support at no cost to eligible businesses. It gives Lancashire companies access to a team of finance and funding specialists to help them find and secure investment.
The funds which Access to Finance Lancashire helped O-Innovations to gain were used to acquire intellectual property rights in key international markets, allowing the company to further invest in research and development.
Now, with the product fully developed, O-Innovations is about to launch a crowdfund, the final stage in the company’s pre-revenue phase, allowing it to take the product to market.
“We’re now at our final stage of releasing O-Wind to the market,” Dominic added.
“We want to launch a crowdfund, giving people who have been involved in the development process of the product up to this stage the opportunity to become shareholders. We have interest from a large network of enquirers and we aim to go live by the summer.
“If people want to hear more about the upcoming crowdfund you can get in touch via our website or contact me directly.”
O-Wind will be released in the UK initially, but the company plans to release internationally in the future using partners.
Dominic said: "Our technology can also really benefit foreign markets.
"We want to see our product in the hands of organisations which have the ability to take O-Wind global We believe the best way to do that is through distribution partnerships."
Mark Gibbons, senior Access to Finance specialist, said: “O-Wind is a truly innovative product with the potential to revolutionise the capabilities of wind energy. We’re proud to have supported O-Innovations and looking forward to seeing this product on the market.
“There are a wide range of finance options available for innovative startup companies in Lancashire but it can often be difficult to fully understand which of these options is the most viable and what is needed to secure this."
"If you are assessing your company’s funding requirements, or looking to understand more about the available options, please speak to a member of our team."