"SETsquared have been an invaluable source of information, networking and problem solving, not only at the beginning, but on an ongoing basis. They will find someone to listen and advise, making no issue insurmountable."
 
Christian Maul, CEO, RedLux
 

Fast facts 

  • Start date: 2005
  • Website: www.redlux.net
  • Market sector: engineering
  • Location: Southampton
  • Investment raised: not disclosed
  • Number of employees: 10
 

SETsquared support

  • Investor readiness
  • Investment Showcase
  • Business review panels
  • Student interns
  • Networking

Company overview

RedLux develops ultraprecision metrology and automation solutions, including non-contact 3D measurement systems, which have historically been used to measure wear on orthopaedic components such as artificial hip and knee joints. The technology is evolving to encompass a wider range of applications in optics, aerospace and automotive.
 

What was the vision for the company and what problem were you aiming to solve?

"I used to work for a company that undertook precision measurements on flat surfaces. Occasionally, customers would ask us to accurately measure spheres, preferably without contact. We couldn't do that, nor could any of our competitors, and I decided it would be a good idea to try and address that problem – which became the basis of RedLux."
 

Company successes

2005: received £110,000 grant
2006: first measurement of hip joint – head
2007: first measurement of hip joint - cup
2008: received £20,000 grant
2008: first commercial system sold into orthopaedics market
2010: secured investment from private individual
2010: first commercial system sold into optics market
2012: moved to new premises
2013: doubled staff this year to meet demand
 

SETsquared support

"When you start a company it tends to be a lonely task, and there aren't many people you can talk about business with. I'd never run a company before, and SETsquared was an environment where I could ask questions, meet people to help and network."
 
"I attended an investor readiness course at SETsquared, which helped me to refine our business plan and proposition, so that they would be attractive to an investor. The course was basically an introduction to what an investor wants to see and what sort of process they go through when they're looking to invest in a company."
 
"I also attended events, including SETsquared's Investment Showcase in London. The events help prepare for investor pitching because you have the same sort of conversation again and again, and the practice is good."
 
"The investor readiness course and the events helped me to secure investment in 2010 from a private individual."
 
"I took part in business review panels run by SETsquared, where we took a business issue that needed resolving and discussed it with a few people round a table who had the right sort of experience. I would present to them about what's going on at the company and they would comment, and it has been a very useful learning exercise."
 
"The panels provided a forum where I could discuss issues that would usually be discussed at a board meeting in a larger business – which would of course otherwise not be possible when the company was just one person. It's like a board of directors as and when you need them."
 
"SETsquared has arranged for us to have student interns from the University of Southampton. This is essentially a long job interview, and is a good way to find staff – it's difficult otherwise to hire someone straight from university without a track record. The first student intern has since joined us as a full-time employee and a second one has just started his internship."
 
"Networking through SETsquared has enabled us to meet other high-tech start-ups in a similar situation to us, with whom we can share experiences."
 
"David Bream is the person at SETsquared that I've had most contact with. His background is in sales and mine is in engineering, so he complements what I'm doing well. David is experienced in this kind of business, and is available to help when needed."
 
"Large companies have got a finance department, a marketing department and so on, but small companies don't – you're on your own. Whenever I needed someone in those areas, SETsquared found me a person to help."
 

Future plans

• Development programme to expand product portfolio.
• Strategic alliances to drive sales and develop markets.