A lesson in being dogmatic towards your beliefs and embracing chance opportunity

Victor Christou is the CEO of Cambridge Innovation Capital, he relates his story from career academic to entrepreneur and why his future switched from one to the other. His career began at Oxford when creating innovative materials in the laboratory, this led him to recognise the business potential of developing technologies.

In this podcast Victor talks us through his venture, from the creation of Opsys in 1997, a pioneer in mobile OLED display technology, up to his exit, 5 years on. He explains the acquisition of IP was paramount because of the erratic nature of the companies progress and how important it was to remain agile and opportunistic in his approach. The intellectual property became the value driver within the business and was realised at his exit, unlike the investment made in production. He explains how the experience taught him life lessons, none more important than to adopt an holistic perspective in order to improve interpersonal dynamics, embrace an opportunity and agile tactic and to preserve the vision of the founders.

Today, victor looks for transparency in his investments, recognising the need for a relationship based on honesty.

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Victor has considerable experience on both sides of the investment table. In recent years he has focused his attention on technology investing. Immediately prior to CIC, Victor was at pan-European venture capital investors Wellington Partners, where he was a Venture Partner in the Tech Team. Before that Victor founded Opsys, an organic electronics business focusing on OLEDs and was a member of the team that sold Opsys to Cambridge Display Technology (now owned by Sumitomo Chemicals). Victor has a BSc and PhD in Chemistry from Imperial College, London and was a Sloan Fellow in the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University. In the early stages of his career, Victor was an academic at the University of California at Berkeley and then at the University of Oxford, where he was a Royal Society University Research Fellow and Junior Research Fellow at Balliol College. Victor was the Royal Society of Chemistry Entrepreneur of the Year in 2002.

Produced by Mark Cotton, Twitter.

Podcast links:

Victor Christou

Cambridge Innovation Capital - builds high-growth technology and healthcare companies companies.