This week's case study centres on one of our great
pre-seed portfolio companies, CertusBio.
We chatted with CEO Matthew Jones, who discussed everything from where the technology came from, his role in the business and how Powerhouse has helped CertusBio transform into the commercialised technology company it is today.
What is CertusBio?
"CertusBio is a lab-on-a-chip biosensor technology company that provides interference-free wastewater monitoring solutions to large-scale industrial processors. Our technologies help processors meet the global resource & energy efficiency megatrend ensuring that they remain competitive in the market.
Industrial processors are constantly seeking ways to counteract effects from rising demand and increasing competition for raw materials and energy.
The use of CertusBio’s technologies allows optimisation of the relationship between resource input and product output and introduces significant energy savings for industrial processors leading to increased efficiency and reduced environmental impact.
CertusBio has two main areas of focus, the dairy processing industry where the ability to trace raw material losses during high-volume processing is critical and the wastewater treatment industry where optimising energy usage for the treatment of municipal and industrial wastewater is vital for cost efficiency."
Where does the technology come from?
“Our biosensor technologies were developed by Lincoln Agritech Ltd, a research & development company owned by Lincoln University. Lincoln Agritech deliver leading edge science and engineering knowledge & technologies into environmental, primary, processing and new material applications.
The biosensors were developed from two grants for scientific research made by the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment.”
(Wastewater treatment plants)
What is your role in the business?
"During my work as an investment analyst for Powerhouse Ventures I came across the two apparently unrelated biosensor technologies that had been developed at Lincoln Agritech.
My role was to shape the biosensors into an investment opportunity by working with future customers to understand their needs for new technologies to increase resource and energy efficiency.
Once the need for the technology was confirmed I became CEO of the company and implemented a lean-start up approach to build a team of contract scientists and engineers to develop the biosensor technology from the lab bench into the industrial processing arena."
How was Powerhouse involved in CertusBio?
"Powerhouse have been involved in CertusBio from the very beginning including providing initial investment and helping to secure a repayable loan from the Callaghan Innovation - Technology Incubator Support programme."
(Continuous wastewater monitoring at dairy processing)
In the past 6 months how has Powerhouse helped CertusBio?
"Powerhouse has recently helped CertusBio complete our first external capital raise by assisting in the preparation of investment documents and connecting the company with a network of investors. The recently completed capital raise will enable CertusBio to complete our reference customer trials in the dairy industry and lead to the first sales of our technology."
(A close up photo of their lab-on-a-chip biosensor technology)