The Game Changer
“They are still the only UK manufacturer and garden room supplier that has a fully immersive, Augmented Reality configurator.”
Paragraf, members of Cambridgeshire Chamber of Commerce, are a pioneering graphene electronic device company that was co-founded by CEO Simon Thomas whilst a research scientist at Cambridge University in 2018.
It was Simon’s background in another electronics world – semiconductors – that enabled his innovation providing a solution to a 15-year challenge: the ability to produce graphene in a format that the electronics world can use.
Graphene is the world’s most conductive material. Since 2004, industry has been trying to harness its properties to enable higher-performance electronics that consume much less power. Despite billions of dollars being spent trying by some of the world’s largest chip companies, graphene has not been produced in a form viable for commercial scale electronics, until Simon’s breakthrough and the subsequent founding of Paragraf.
The company uses a proprietary approach to manufacture graphene-based electronics that are capable of higher performance than today’s equivalents. The company’s first products are being used in applications as far ranging as quantum computing, medical diagnostics, electric vehicles, all-electric aircraft and new renewable energy sources, to name a few.
Paragraf’s latest product, a point-of-use biosensor, is enabling detection of biological molecules in a matter of minutes with lab-level accuracy. It has the potential to massively advance industries such as agriculture, veterinary science and clinical diagnostics.
Growing a technology manufacturing business in the UK involves incredible challenges, from capital availability and talent acquisition through to infrastructure development. Simon has successfully navigated Paragraf through the early phases of establishment and growth and is now leading the company through the challenges of scaling globally.
So far Simon has raised over $85m in capital for the business, grown the company to over 130 people, opened three development and manufacturing sites (two in the UK and one in the US) and ensured achievement of all technology, product and company milestones along the way. The company is seeing 200-300% revenue growth annually, will likely be profitable by 2026 and is targeting an IPO within the next 3–4 years.
Simon is passionate about enabling and empowering individuals to achieve their goals, ambitions and potential. He believes the key to a strong and successful business lies in the people who make up that business. In complex technology worlds, education, training and opportunity are critical for personal and company success.
From Paragraf’s inception, Simon implemented apprenticeship, graduate and intern programs, and has strongly promoted STEM activities. The success individuals have delivered through his approach has far outweighed the cost, whether directly for Paragraf, the individual or out in the world.
Simon’s personal mission is to develop technologies that can solve today’s enduring challenges, as well as tomorrow’s emerging ones, and to beneficially affect global society. He believes new materials hold the key to transformational products that will deliver a brighter, more sustainable future. His breakthrough in graphene, and the Paragraf technologies and products it is bringing to fruition, are destined to create better-performing and more-efficient electronics across a range of industries.
On the back of the success of the brewery site and events, Dal then set his sights on expanding both the range of products on offer and the footprint of the business. In December 2021, Dal agreed a 20-year lease on Christchurch Spire in Coventry city centre. The unique venue serves Dhillon’s beers and ales on tap, as well as offering hot drinks and food, to create a family friendly environment.
Dhillon’s next venture was the Sky Blue Tavern, a brand-new sports bar in the city centre, in partnership with Coventry City Football Club. The Tavern is a hub for Sky Blues fans to meet and enjoy a drink, whether on matchdays or non-matchdays, and helps to generate revenue and support for the club. As one of the only dedicated sports bars in Coventry, football and sports fans can watch the latest action on big screens and in individual booths.
Dhillon’s Brewery have now also secured several catering contracts, including with Historic Coventry Trust, where they provide food and beverage operations at the historic Drapers’ Hall, as well as at other Trust locations.
The company’s vision and long-term growth plan continues to be focused on its close association with Coventry whilst securing further locations and contracts, to build a sustainable, profitable business model whilst continuing Dal’s original passion for brewing beautifully crafted beer.
Partner with us
Raise your profile and join us in nurturing the spirit of British business.