Dr Paul D Atherton

Dr Paul Atherton is a successful, serial, technology entrepreneur who focuses on start up companies from UK universities.

He co-founded Queensgate Instruments in 1978 whilst studying for a PhD in astrophysics and was Managing Director from 1987 until its sale in March 2000 for more than $200M.

Paul was Chairman of C2V (Micro Gas Chromatographs) until November 2009 when it was acquired by Thermo-Fisher.

He was founder and Chairman of Midaz Lasers until July 2012 when it was sold to Coherent Ltd.

He was an Angel Investor in Natural Motion and supported it through 5 investment rounds until its sale to Zynga for $527M in February 2014.

Paul was a Non Executive Director of Imperial Innovations from 2004 until 2014 helping it raise several hundred million pounds for investment in UK technology start ups.

Paul is Chairman  of Sussex Place Ventures – the London Business School Venture Fund.

He is co-founder of  Nexeon Limited (silicon anodes for Li-ion batteries) and is Chairman of its Scientific Advisory Board.

He is  Chairman of Phase Focus Ltd Ltd (Lensless live cell imaging) and is a Director of Infinitesima Ltd (high speed AFM for wafer inspection).

Paul is Chairman of two recent imperial College spin outs : FungiAlert (microbial discovery in agri-tech) and MyDelica (use of psychedelics in mental health).

He is the Founding Director of the Imperial Venture Mentoring Service – IVMS- which provides experienced mentoring to early stage tech start-ups originating from Imperial College students and staff.

Paul sits on the Board of UCL Business as an Independent Non Executive Director.

Paul has a PhD in Physics from Imperial College and an MBA from the London Business School (of which he was a Governor for 6 years).

He was made a Fellow of London Business School at the annual graduation ceremony in July 2013, and became a Fellow of The Institute of Physics in April 2016.

In September 2018 Paul was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering.

In January 2021 Paul was awarded the Alumni Entrepreneur prize by Imperial College London. 

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