Prof. Russell Smith

Prof. Russell Smith

Prof. Russell Smith


Room 408
Dar Guzeppi Zahra
University of Malta
  +356 2340 3249
OVERVIEW: Prof Russell Smith began his career in business by starting a software company, whilst still studying for his PhD (RAF and King's College, London) in the 1980s. Products from that company sold in 27 countries. In 1985 he joined the pharmaceutical industry, running international drug-development programmes in North America, Europe and Japan finally leading a team of more than 100 staff. For the last twenty years Russell has specialised in the commercialisation of IP arising from academic research and the teaching & development of student entrepreneurship resulting in the development of the Incumatrixâ„¢ system of entrepreneurship. In 2012 Her Majesty, The Queen was graciously pleased to approve the Prime Minister's recommendation that he should receive the Queen's Award for Enterprise Promotion.

LEADERSHIP. In 1999, Russell co-founded Avidex Ltd, a spin-out company from the University of Oxford and, as Managing Director, raised £1.7m in their first year of operations. Russell left Avidex in December 2000 (after the successful completion of a £10m finance round that valued the company at £25m) to take over Prolysis Ltd, another University of Oxford spin-out. During his time at Prolysis he raised over £5m of venture capital. In November 2004 Russell became Chairman of Surface Therapeutics Ltd, his third University of Oxford spin-out, leading a finance round that raised £1.5m of venture capital. All three companies have now been sold.

COMMUNICATION. Russell wrote a monthly page on business, from 2004 to 2010, for “The Independent” and his book “How to Start a Successful Business” was published in 2007 and has been re-issued with two further editions. He is an award-winning speaker and his invited lecture tours include Spain, Cyprus, Iceland, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Italy, Russia and Malta.

STUDENTS. Russell has worked to inspire student entrepreneurship since 1999. Since 2008, Russell led an annual two-day Doctoral Entrepreneurship Workshop for final-year PhD students from Warwick University and Imperial College. In 2010, he was invited by the National Council for Student Entrepreneurship to deliver its entrepreneurship training programmes.
What students say:

“The MEnt takes a hands-on approach to setting up your own company. I was rather sad it was
over by the end of it and I kind-of wanted it to start all over again!”
Dr Nick Sammut PhD MEnt, Deputy Dean ICT Faculty

“Following the MEnt was one of the best decisions I ever made - one of the most positive and
motivating experiences in my life.”
Mandy Mifsud MEnt, Entrepreneur

“The MEnt course was a big breath of fresh air. The way it is delivered is not comparable to
any other course at the University of Malta.”
Anthony Sant MEnt, Entrepreneur

“I can honestly say that my life changed 180 degrees after this amazing year.”
Rachelle Muschamp MEnt, Entrepreneur

And what they say about post-MEnt mentoring:

“The equity finance process of raising money from investors was facilitated very
professionally by Prof Smith who provided solutions to any problems that arose.”
Dr Daniel Fenech MD MEnt, Entrepreneur Timely Ltd

“Prof Smith facilitated rapid agreement over Heads of Terms between ourselves and a major
Scandinavian company involving royalty payments and equity participation. And it was all
agreed in less than one hour!”
Nick Borg MEnt, Entrepreneur Ton 80 Metric