Dr Andrei Dragomir, University of Southampton academic and founder of the Aquark Technologies start-up business has been accepted onto the latest Seraphim Sprint Camp Fellowship Programme. Dr Dragomir is supported on Space Camp by the national SPRINT (SPace Research and Innovation Network for Technology) business support programme, in which the University is a network partner. This opportunity will help Aquark Technologies to accelerate the commercialisation of its new cold atom quantum technology solution.
Seraphim Space Camp is the UK’s leading accelerator programme dedicated to rapidly growing space technology start-ups in a wide range of industry themes. Its 10-week Fellowship Programme began on 20 April 2020 and will provide Dr Dragomir with strategic advice, mentoring and training on developing a market opportunity for its new quantum technology and preparations for potential venture capital investment.
Aquark Technologies is a spin-out company from the University of Southampton. Its aim is to enable the mass market adoption of quantum technologies into everyday life by producing the first simple, plug-and-play, cold-atom quantum device on the market, which will be the size of a match box. The company’s main focus is on the vacuum chamber and novel optical geometry that sits at the heart of its devices, which allows the miniaturisation of most quantum technology-based systems.
Andrei Dragomir, part of the Quantum, Light and Matter (QLM) Group at the University of Southampton and CEO of Aquark Technologies said: “This is a pivotal time for my company as I’m focused on transforming my ideas from academic research to a business environment. My primary objectives at this point are to target and secure seed funding to enable me to start the practicalities of the business and product development cycle, and to leverage engagement with some of the major players in the space sector to gauge the potential fit for my product in the current marketplace.
“The support from SPRINT, Space Camp and the University makes me confident that I can bring my start-up business to market in the near future.”
Rob Desborough, Partner Seraphim Space Fund & CEO Seraphim Space Camp added: “The Fellowship Programme provides us with an opportunity to engage with UK academics at the leading-edge of space technology and help them to discover how to develop their spin-out ideas into venture backable businesses. Andrei and Aquark Technologies is a great example of the attributes we look for, ground-breaking tech and great ambitions!
“Exploring technology transfer opportunities for academic start-ups can be a real challenge and that’s why working in partnership with SPRINT has been really beneficial. They have a wide network of UK university contacts and a real understanding of how programmes such as ours can translate to high growth business opportunities.”
Ross Burgon, Head of the national SPRINT programme commented: “SPRINT is rooted in helping UK start-ups and small businesses to realise the opportunities of engaging with university expertise and the wider UK space sector to accelerate their product development and commercialisation strategies.
“Our partnership with Seraphim Space Camp enables us to offer business support to Space Camp companies and alumni and now help Space Camp to identify academic research areas that fit with their programmes. We’re delighted to be supporting Andrei and Aquark Technologies on the Space Camp Fellowship Programme and look forward to continuing to grow our collaboration with Space Camp.”
Watch Andrei talk about his work here