Metaboards appoints executive chairman

Metaboards Simon Harris

Oxford-based wireless charging business Metaboards has appointed Simon Harris to the newly-created role of Executive Chairman.

Simon has a track record, both as investment director and co-founder, in raising more than £40 million worth of funding for early-stage technology businesses and taking them to market. He joins the company at a crucial stage as it seeks further investment to develop a market-ready prototype of its charging platform.

The Oxford University spin-out is developing an all-in-one charging solution for small devices, often referred to as wearables or hearables. These are growing in popularity but currently need to be charged individually. The platform will end this inconvenient and inefficient process by allowing owners to place several devices anywhere on its surface. These will then be located by the company’s sophisticated algorithm and charged efficiently without the need for multiple leads and chargers.

The product exploits an extension of the NFC (Near Field Communication) technology which has moved from communications-only capabilities, such as allowing phones and watches to make contactless payment, to wireless charging for small devices.

Simon Harris said it this prospect of entering a market with huge growth potential that makes it exciting to be joining the Oxford scale-up business at such a pivotal time in its development.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to work with a business that is set to revolutionise how we charge the growing number of small devices people now own through the latest adaptation in NFC technology.”

“By 2030, it’s forecast that there will be the equivalent of over a dozen wireless devices for every person on the planet and charging each of these with a dedicated wire and charger will be impossible. The future of charging has to be wireless and Metaboards is well placed to be a pioneer and world leader in the field.”

Metaboards’ biggest investor to date is Oxford Science Enterprises. Principal Nick Dixon-Clegg welcomed Simon Harris’s appointment as an important step forward in the young company’s history.

“Simon has a proven track record in raising finance for technology start-ups and leading their growth, and so this is a very exciting appointment for Metaboards. It comes at a critical period for the business as it moves towards demonstrating to the market how its unique approach to wireless charging could enrich the lives of people by replacing multiple leads with a single charging solution.”

Simon is also chair of Cambridge-based Lambda Energy Ltd and an advisor to an Oxford-based investment house specialising in the energy transition.