Start-up behind revolutionary bladeless wind turbine to launch crowdfund drive

Nicolas Orrelana and Yaseen Noorani

A Lancashire invention set to revolutionise the renewable energy market is set to launch a crowdfunding campaign ahead of launching to market.

O-Innovations is a Lancaster start-up firm that has developed a new bladeless wind turbine designed to generate energy in urban environments.

It was started by Nicolas Orellana, whose concept for a wind turbine designed to harness the erratic nature of wind in urban areas and airports won the James Dyson Award in 2018, a competition designed to give inventors and problem solvers a platform to launch their innovations.

Following the award win, Nicolas joined forces with Yaseen Noorani, who helped develop the technology, as well as with Dominic Chippendale, who joined the company in 2019 to help commercialise and eventually distribute the product.

The company has close links with Lancaster University, who put Dominic and Nicolas in touch with Access to Finance Lancashire, which has supported the team and helped it gain angel investment from a small group of investors, as well as an Innovate UK grant, which had a combined total value of £160,000.

The company has used this money to develop its concept into a fully operational product, O-Wind, which it is now preparing to launch to the market.

Dominic Chippendale said: “The team at Access to Finance Lancashire helped us with vital parts of gaining investment, such as valuing our company and product, and how to begin the process of raising finance.”

Access to Finance Lancashire is funded via the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund and by Lancashire County Council. It offers expert financial support at no cost to eligible businesses and gives Lancashire companies access to a team of finance and funding specialists to help them find and secure investment.

Dominic added: “We’re now at our final stage of releasing O-Wind to the market. We want to launch a crowdfund, giving people who have been involved in the development process of the product up to this stage the opportunity to become shareholders. We have interest from a large network of enquirers and we aim to go live by the summer.”

O-Wind will be released in the UK initially, but the company plans to release internationally in the future, using partners.

Dominic said: “Our technology can also really benefit foreign markets. We want to see our product in the hands of organisations which have the ability to take O-Wind global. We believe the best way to do that is through distribution partnerships.”

Mark Gibbons, senior Access to Finance specialist, said: “O-Wind is a truly innovative product with the potential to revolutionise the capabilities of wind energy. We’re proud to have supported O-Innovations and looking forward to seeing this product on the market.”