In 2012 we completed the spinout and Bellrock Technology Limited was 'born' as a standalone company owned predominantly by the founders of the business but also by the University. Bellrock provides software that helps electricity utilities improve the performance of their high value capital equipment whilst operating and managing it more cost-effectively and maximising its long-term value. It counts among its clients and supporters household names such as EDF Energy, Electricity Northwest, ScottishPower and SSE. That's quite an impressive list for such a young business.
Fast-forward three years to this Autumn and we've just completed Bellrock's first major equity investment. Coupled with grant funding, the company has secured well over £600,000 from ESM Investments, the University of Strathclyde and Scottish Enterprise. As part of the deal it's also gained a range of experienced investors from senior executive backgrounds in the energy and enterprise software industries. Bellrock plans to expand both internationally and to support other industries, such as oil and gas, manufacturing and transport, and the investment deal will help it to do that.
Congratulations to the Bellrock team - it's been a real privilege, and great fun, to have been involved with them for the last four years and we're looking forward to supporting the team on the next phase of growth. The timing of the Bellrock investment was particularly apt because it tied in very nicely with the 2015 Converge Awards at the end of last month when we found out who we'll be advising this year as part of our ongoing Converge sponsorship. The winners were announced at a gala dinner where John Swinney MSP, the Deputy First Minister, was the keynote speaker. This year's winners are a diverse and impressive group and include (1) from the University of Edinburgh, a business that will design, build and supply scientific sensors that can precisely detect and measure, single photons – the tiny building blocks of light; (2) from the University of Aberdeen a business that will create the next generation of drugs for the treatment of disease; and (3) from the University of Strathclyde, a business developing a revolutionary personal attack alarm.
I hope that in a few years from now I’ll be reporting that we've just completed equity investment rounds for each of those businesses too.