Eykona Technologies

Background

Chief executive officer – Growth, international expansion and new market development

Eykona Technologies Ltd was spun out of the University of Oxford in 2007, having developed a cutting-edge 3D scanning technology.

With a focus on the Medical sector, the business developed a hand-held imaging solution that could be used by Healthcare professionals in the clinical assessment and measurement of wounds.

This pioneering product combines a camera with a software package and whilst its uses in woundcare are significant, the solution also has a versatility and considerable market potential in other imaging applications both in the UK and overseas.

Having completed a round of refinancing and restructuring, Eykona’s leadership team had created the ideal platform to pursue further growth with a view to a possible exit within three years.

Key to the success of their growth strategy would be the appointment of a new CEO who could deliver the company’s vision and drive market penetration in diverse territories and application areas.

Through one of Eykona’s investors, MTI Partners, Intramezzo was engaged to find a world- class, entrepreneurial candidate with a background in the early stage MedTech sector and experience of at least one previous exit.

The successful individual would be required to run a dual strategy of direct and indirect sales and would, therefore, need to be a strong negotiator, well-versed in selling capital equipment to the international Healthcare market, with the vision to explore other verticals.

“Intramezzo delivered a strong list of potential CEO candidates to a tight specification. We are delighted with the outcome and have a world-class candidate in place”

Richard Henderson, Managing Partner, MTI Partners

What we did

This was a challenging and exciting opportunity, requiring very specific skills.

The new CEO had to be a proven leader with a successful track record of contract negotiation and licensing, combined with experience of launching an international operation.

Intramezzo drew up a detailed specification to form the ‘working document’ for all parties, covering strategic and operational requirements, role interdependencies, required competencies and high performance behaviours.

Our research team then set about investigating the key markets most relevant to our client. After identifying, approaching and profiling the target candidates, Intramezzo submitted a shortlist of four exceptionally strong potential CEOs.

A rigorous interview process followed, culminating in the client appointing their preferred candidate: Stuart Mead – a proven entrepreneur and CEO who had grown revenues for his previous venture, Touch Bionics, from £0-c.£10m and established the US as a primary market

What Stuart did

Stuart was appointed in December 2012, joining a business that was focused on the Medical Device market.

Eykona’s technology was impressive and highlydeveloped but it would take time to commercialise it as a medical solution, due to the inherently slow pace of the Healthcare industry.

Stuart recognised that it would be a while before the product would make money and began exploring other potential applications that could be pursued alongside the business’s efforts to penetrate the Medical sector.

The concept of marketing the Eykona technology as a general purpose, hand-held 3D scanner (to be used by Game Developers, Animators and Artists, for example) prompted Stuart to take the solution to Kickstarter. Here, the marketplace could be tested and the interest from potential buyers, investors and collaborators could be gauged.

The new product was subject to a vigorous rebranding and PR exercise and it was taken to Kickstarter under its 3D scanning trading name, Fuel3D.

The initial aim was to raise $75,000, offering early customers the opportunity to buy the scanner for less than $1,000 when products begin to ship in 2014. Within 36 hours, the $75k target had been exceeded and interest grew from there.

To date, more than $325,000 has been raised through Kickstarter, with buyers from more than 20 different countries. Stuart has also received interest from several VC firms and has been approached by a US defence contractor about the technology.

Whilst the Fuel3D product is making a very immediate impact, Stuart has also been developing the market for Eykona’s medical device. Under his leadership, the business has won a supply chain contract with the NHS and signed several international distributors. In fact, the product is now in use in 25 UK health clinics, as well as in the US, France, Germany, Norway and Australia.

The results

“MTI selected Intramezzo because of its impressive candidate database, contacts and knowledge of the venture and growth ecosystem; and not least because of the quality of its leadership and executives.

Intramezzo delivered a strong list of potential CEO candidates to a tight specification. This was done very efficiently, within 8 weeks, in less time than we expected and we were kept wellbriefed throughout. Communications were swift, accurate and effective.

We are delighted with the outcome and believe that we have a world-class candidate now in place.”

Richard Henderson, MTI Partners