MIA WINNER TARGETS SIGNIFICANT GROWTH

The winner of the Merseyside Innovation Awards in 2015 is targeting significant growth over the next 12 months after raising more than £700,000 from investors last year.

Liverpool Chirochem, which builds chemical components used in drug development, is aiming to achieve revenues of £300,000 in 2016.

The company won the top prize at the 2015 Merseyside Innovation Awards after seeing off the challenge from its fellow finalists, University of Liverpool spinout Fusion Implants and industrial fume cupboard business FumeCare.

Chief operating officer Dr Paul Colbon said: "A lot of effort in the beginning was raising the money.

"Now we have established the research and development centre in Liverpool to continually improve the technology we have; that's rewriting the chemical recipe to make these building blocks.

"We've decided to do the production in China and have set up the laboratory close to Shanghai."

The company, which has been backed by a string of investors including Deepbridge Capital, Enterprise Ventures through the North West Fund, and crowdfunding through the Syndicate Room, employs three staff in Liverpool and ten in the Far East.

Colbon said: "This first round of funding will be used to fully validate the business. If we can get more customers and prove there is a real demand, that could lead to a second-round investment where you could scale up production.

"In this industry, the big revenues are in the future, and that's why lots of investment is required."

Winning the Merseyside Innovation Awards has given the company a great platform to grow, according to Colbon.

He said: "Many technology firms like us struggle to communicate what they do to a more general audience.

"It helps you to understand what you do and can help your business development strategy by perfecting your pitch."

The other sponsors are BBC Radio Merseyside, Brabners, Unilever, the Liverpool Chamber of Commerce, the Liverpool Local Enterprise Partnership, NatWest, the University of Liverpool Management School, MC Vanguard Corporate Finance, Mitchell Charlesworth, Village Software, WP Thompson, C-Tech Innovation, the North West Fund and Trustech Smart Ventures.

The sponsors are hosting two lunches for potential applicants to learn more about the awards and hear from previous applicants and winners. The first takes place on 2 February 2016 at Daresbury Science Park and the second on 12 April at Liverpool Science Park.

The deadline for entries into this year's awards is 30 April. For more information on the Merseyside Innovation Awards and networking lunches, please contact Cara Bartlett on 0151 255 2300.

Source: TheInsider 

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