Where do the ideas with the power to change the world come from?
A challenge set
Where do the ideas with the power to change the world come from? For our chief technical officer Ian Tansley, it began with a tantalising problem. Vaccine refrigerators in off-grid situations relied on solar power, and an essential component was a rechargeable battery. Yet these batteries were costly, unreliable and hard to replace in remote locations. Could he somehow do away with that essential battery?
Ian had a postgraduate degree in product design and an incurable curiosity. He also had thirty years’ of experience in emerging technologies and years spent working on sustainable development in Africa and Asia. Experience that showed him technology pushed to the limit in the most challenging of climates — and gave him an invaluable insight into the strengths and failings of the systems we relied on.
Ian knew there had to be a better way. Then walking one day in winter past a lake in the mountains near his home, he mused that beneath the ice on the surface fish would be swimming happily. He was reminded of the physics of water that gave the unique properties that made this possible. And he had an idea.
On the side of the angels
Ian was introduced to entrepreneur Peter Saunders whose vision and success in building businesses had led to him becoming a business angel.
Peter already had a portfolio of businesses in which he invested and nurtured, and was named UK Business Angel of the Year. His achievements in both business and public service had also seen him honoured by Queen Elizabeth II and consulted by 10 Downing Street.
All this paved the way for something bigger in business. Something that would impact the world we lived in. Something like this seemingly impossible idea of Ian’s.
So Peter set about creating the conditions for success, financing the research & development, and building a team of executives with the experience and seniority to get Sure Chill to the world – changing lives today and creating a better tomorrow.
Sure Chill receives Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Award
Sure Chill was the proud recipient of a $1.5 million award from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The award was to help speed the development of a passive vaccine cooler that would allow vaccination programmes to reach children living in some of the remotest places on the planet.
Announced “The most innovative new cold chain technology of the year”
Sure Chill was named as the award winner at the prestigious Global Cold Chain Forum in Boston, USA. The award, which received entries from around the world, was judged by a panel of industry leading experts from Merck, Novartis, US Pharmacopeia and others.
Sure Chill CEO accompanies PM on African Trade Mission
Sure Chill’s CEO, Nigel Saunders, joined the Prime Minister on a 4-day tour of South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya meeting with leading businesses, policymakers and entrepreneurs in order to build new investment, trading and export ties between the UK and these emerging markets.
Prime Minister, Theresa May said: “The ambition and commitment to driving change that Sure Chill showcase is exactly what I want to see from British businesses, and I am pleased they are joining me on this important visit as the UK looks to deepen its partnership with Africa.”
Sure Chill wins Barclays innovation award
Sure Chill received recognition for its innovative cooling technology after winning the UK Eagle Lab Innovation category at the Barclays’ annual High-Growth & Entrepreneur Awards. The awards celebrate entrepreneurs’ success, leadership and positive impact on society.
Large installation projects begun in Senegal and Pakistan
Sure Chill’s vaccine refrigerators were chosen for health centres and hospitals in large scale projects across both Senegal and Pakistan. With our fridges being installed across the countries by local engineers trained in-country by Sure Chill’s own expert R&D team.
Sure Chill receives Board of Trade Award for exporting success
Presented with a Board of Trade Award (BOFTA) by International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox MP in recognition of their exporting success.
The BOFTAs celebrate businesses who have made an outstanding contribution to international trade by championing free trade through exporting, bringing investment into the UK or demonstrating an innovative approach to entering international markets.
Sure Chill secures a £4m investment
Investor The Garage Soho which focuses on building global brands has invested £2m in Sure Chill – the first investment of this kind in its portfolio – after seeing the potential to grow the company into a global brand. It was attracted by how Sure Chill is disrupting the refrigeration market and interested in its social impact.
Novastar Ventures, which also invested £2m in Sure Chill, is a Kenya-based venture capital fund manager dedicated to finding and supporting the next generation of entrepreneurs designing and executing innovative business models to profitably serve Africa’s mass markets. Novostar invests Sovereign Wealth Funds from major European Governments as well as Banks.