I got a letter last night from the East of England Development Agency (EEDA), notifying me that our Research Grant application had been funded. This is a huge deal: I started CamStent with a few classmates in 2006, and for three years we’ve been looking for funds to finish our research. The company is based on a unique polymer coating with resistance to biofilm attachment. If it works as we think it will, it could have a big impact reducing infections associated with stents and catheters.
The EEDA funding is for almost 200,000 GBP, enough to fund the prototype development and microbiology research,ending with a performance characterization of the complete system. The amount includes matching support from angel investors as well as government funding: we’re grateful to everyone for the vote of confidence and the chance to move the business forward.
The grant comes with a condition that I get a valid UK work permit, a process already underway, and that I commit to spending more time in Cambridge directly managing the project. I’m delighted to do that. I’m also making the rounds of my accountants and lawyers to let them know that my life is becoming further complicated. It seems like I should be able to pick one country, one company, to make a go of it, but this is going to be fun. Hopefully it won’t be too expensive.
A couple of years ago, we won a 20K GBP award to fund market research, our first support for the new company. My VC friends said it was a great start, but I should look ahead towards putting another zero on the next award if we really wanted to make things go.
Proudly, we have.