An innovative product development company, formed out of a student project at Imperial College Business School has been awarded the prestigious 2018 Queen’s Award for Innovation.
MagmaTech Limited*, which is headed up by alumnus and Managing Director Ben Williams (Full-Time MBA 2006) was recognised for its low thermal conductivity wall ties which received the highest accolade that any UK organisation can achieve for product development and innovation.
“This is a proud day for our company. To be recognised in this way with the UK’s leading innovation award is a great achievement and a brilliant platform for the future,” said Ben.
Ben launched the business over 11 years ago after completing his MBA at the Business School. “MagmaTech was formed out of my student project as part of the MBA Business Plan competition. Then as part of my dissertation, I looked at how the Zero Carbon building regulations would impact UK construction. This lead to looking at areas for where new products would be needed. Thermal bridging was identified and the business was started after the MBA.”
"My MBA helped prepare me for launching my own business, by allowing me time to explore new ideas and plan in a safe environment."
This is not the first award for Ben, having also won the Building Exchange (BEX) Innovation Award in 2008 and Oxford University Business Plan Competition Winner in 2006. The business has since grown and now produces five different wall ties/connector products and has worked on building projects for the University of Leicester and Cambridge University.
Discussing the challenges faced along the way, Ben said: “The list is quite long! Survival until products were ready to sell was the main one. There are always new challenges though! My advice to anyone thinking of starting their own business is not to overthink it! Start early and generally the plan evolves as you are doing. The naivety of youth helped me.”
For now Ben is looking forward to his visit the Buckingham Palace to receive his award and continuing to grow the business onwards and upwards!
*MagmaTech develops and manufactures thermally insulating fixings and structural connections designed to remove thermal bridging from super insulated buildings.