University has been the perfect place for my young company to blossom

Today’s blog is written by alumnus Tim Brownstone who started a company while in his third year at Reading and is now a multi-award winning CEO.

profile imageSome of you may already be aware of my company KYMIRA as we were featured in Issue 5 of the Connected Magazine. For those of you who aren’t, I founded the company in my final year of my Undergrad (Animal Science, BSc Hons) at Reading. I used my dissertation research and some incredibly valuable lessons learnt in modules taught by the Henley Business School to launch a range of performance sportswear that uses infrared to enhance performance and accelerate recovery.

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Upon graduation, and with the support of the Henley Business School, I was a founding member of the student incubator on the UoR campus where we are still based today. The student incubator has been an invaluable resource for us as it has given us an environment to flourish and maintain access to many of the resources that the University has to offer. Our KYMIRA Sport products are now selling to customers around the world directly from the incubator and we are starting to gain traction with retailers such as Athlete Service who are based in Henley. Of our five employees, four have been sourced from the University, and half of the freelance designers we work with are also Reading alumni; it has been fantastic to give employment and work to so many fellow Reading Grads.

Being ambitious and loving the innovation side of owning a tech company, I wasn’t happy with merely creating a highly technical and award winning sports brand. So last summer, once again I looked to the University to see how I might bring my latest idea to fruition. image 2After a couple of months of tinkering with electronics (under the guidance of UoR engineering Alumni) I proposed a collaboration between myself and a Reading student (Philip Kunovski) who was about to start his PhD. He would lead our research as part of his PhD and become our CTO and in return we would provide funding for all of the resources he needed. This has been another excellent example of how being situated at the University has opened opportunities to us that we could never have taken advantage of had we been like so many start-ups and flocked to corporate offices – such as London or Green Park. As a thanks to the University we will be offering a 15% discount throughout August for our entire range at www.kymirasport.com, just use the code “RDU15” when you get to the checkout. They are perfect for any sport, day-to-day activities and in any weather conditions!

What’s coming up for alumni?

Things have been really busy in the alumni office at Reading for the past few weeks.

I have been working hard on the next issues of Giving Matters (our donor magazine) and Connected (our alumni magazine). They are due to be delivered to you at the end of September, but the design process means all of the content needs to be finished this week! We are very excited about these issues – there may be some sneak peeks in later blogs…

The Univeristy of Reading / Henley Business School annual House of Lords reception, London, 24.10.2014

House of Lords reception 2014

Carole has been getting the House of Lords event up and running. For those of you that haven’t heard about it, the House of Lords Reception is our big annual alumni reunion. It is being held on Friday 30 October and registration is now open. This event does sell out so if you haven’t got your tickets yet do visit the booking form here. This year we will be particularly pleased to welcome alumni whose graduation year ended in ‘5’. I graduated the first time from Reading in 2005 so this is my ten year anniversary. I can hardly believe it has been that long! I hadn’t realised it until a fellow alumna helpfully pointed out just how old we are getting… If, like me, you are celebrating a decade reunion, why not try to get a group together and celebrate with us at this prestigious event? We would love to see you.

2E0B8281We have a new member who has joined the team recently. Charlotte Ashley-Buck has come on board as our Alumni Volunteering Officer. She will be writing her own blog for your shortly letting you know all the ways that you can get involved, but in the meantime don’t forget our Volunteering Registration Form is available here – just fill it out to be added to our growing bank of volunteers and be the first to hear about new opportunities.

As always, we want to hear any ideas from you so do get in touch and let us know what you would like from your communications, events and volunteering opportunities. Just email alumni@reading.ac.uk.