What’s it all about?
Cheap, abundant, low carbon energy. Looking at a Deeptech that has huge and literally game-changing capabilities. There has been much excitement, investment, and some key milestones in Nuclear Fusion in the last year. This week I have not one, but two guests, a Fusion founder and CEO, Dr Nick Hawker, and his investor, Dr Robert Trezona of Kiko Ventures. This is such an exciting space, and things are happening now that give rise to great optimism we can achieve Fusion power within a couple of decades. In the meantime, let’s get as much solar and wind in the ground as we can, but here could be cheap, abundant, safe, baseload.
About Nicholas Hawker:
Nicholas is the Co-founder and CEO of First Light Fusion. Nick’s research into fusion began in 2007 as part of his Master’s thesis, where he worked at the University of Oxford with Yiannis Ventikos. This work continued into a DPhil, where he performed hydrodynamic simulations of shock-driven cavity collapse. These simulations showed that cavity collapse leads to inertial confinement of the gas inside the cavity and revealed that extreme states of matter could be reached, possibly entering the regime for fusion. To explore the concept of energy generation via this process, Nick and Yiannis co-founded First Light Fusion Ltd in 2011. Nick also spent three years tutoring at Lady Margaret Hall during his studies. After finishing his DPhil in 2012, Nick joined First Light Fusion as CEO and CTO, and continues to oversee the technical vision of the company.
About First Light Fusion:
First Light Fusion was founded by Professor Yiannis Ventikos, Head of the Mechanical Engineering Department at University College, London, and Dr Nicholas Hawker, formerly an Engineering lecturer at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford.
The company was spun out from the University of Oxford in July 2011, with seed capital from IP Group plc, Parkwalk Advisors Ltd and private investors. Invesco and OSI provided follow-on capital. The business has grown from a research-focused university project to a fully-fledged company that has developed not only a strategy for how to make fusion energy work, but also a sustainable business model based on the technology.
The team comprises experts in relevant scientific and engineering fields plus the management experience necessary to address the challenges which lie ahead. The company has been able to attract a world class advisory board, meaning it can benefit from decades of relevant experience to help it streamline the path towards realising its vision.
About Robert Trezona:
Rob is the Founding Partner of Kiko Ventures, a £400m climate tech VC headquartered in London. Rob joined IP Group in 2011 to set up its cleantech division, and it has since become the leading early-stage cleantech VC in the UK. Rob has been in venture for over 15 years, starting his investment career at the Carbon Trust, where he was Head of R&D. Prior to Carbon Trust, he was a strategy consultant at McKinsey, and he continues to partner with McKinsey’s Sustainability Practice in his investment work.
Rob started his career as a scientist working on materials for hydrogen and fuel cells in the 2000s working on both PEM and SOFC. He was one of the first employees of Ceres Power and led the fuel cell team that created the world’s first steel-ceria cell. In 2012, he returned to Ceres as an investor, leading IP Group’s turnaround and setting the strategy that turned that company into a billion-pound success story. Rob is also a Commissioner of the Energy Transitions Commission, a leading international think tank dedicated to providing objective techno-economic analysis on the transition to a zero-carbon world. Rob has a Triple First and PhD in Materials Science from Cambridge
About Kiko Ventures:
Kiko Ventures is the cleantech platform for IP Group, a £1.5bn listed venture capital company that sources evergreen investment capital from the public markets. Kiko is set out to tackle the world’s most pressing challenge with an approach to venture that’s fit for purpose as well as profit. An approach that marries financial returns with environmental impact and aligns our incentives with the entrepreneurs we invest in. By deploying permanent capital that provides the flexibility and freedom to invest with conviction across every stage and sector, we back businesses and breakthroughs that will support the return to a regenerative world, moving towards a future in which people and the planet can thrive in perpetuity.
About Hyperion Executive Search:
Hyperion are a specialist executive search firm working with some of the most innovative cleantech companies in the world, helping to find extraordinary talent to enable their growth and success. Partnering with leading cleantech VCs, as well as directly with founders and entrepreneurs in the sector. With our clients we are transforming business and growing a strong and prosperous cleantech economy.
If you want to grow your team, or move forward your career, visit www.hyperionsearch.com, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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