LBS entrepreneur named Innovator of the Year

Olly Dmitriev lands top prize at Made In Scotland Awards

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Edinburgh-based company Vert Rotors (Vert), founded by London Business School (LBS) graduate Olly Dmitriev, has taken the top prize at this year's Made in Scotland Awards.

The company, which specialises in ultra-compact gas compressors, took the award for Innovator of the Year before being crowned the overall winner. 

Vert has developed a conical screw compressor that’s used in everything from supercars and satellites to medical devices. The compressors are two times smaller than similar products and the technology removes vibration, improving efficiency by 35%.

Dmitriev’s engineering start-up, which more than doubled turnover to £526,000 in 2017 from £245,000 a year earlier, has secured four new patents on its micro-compressor technology.

Previously named Inventor of the Year at the 2017 Made in Scotland Awards, Dmitriev said: “It’s a great honour and responsibility. This latest award marks the most advanced manufacturing company in Scotland.

“Takuma Baba [who studied at LBS in 2012] and I have been on an incredible journey, from winning awards to securing contracts with the UK’s Ministry of Defence.

Dmitriev is now set to expand Vert’s production and sales. “We’re hiring ambitious, diverse talent with both engineering and commercial mindsets to drive business development, as well as more manufacturing engineers.

“We’re proudly sticking ‘Made in Britain’ labels on our products because 100% of our manufacturing is housed in Edinburgh.

In the past, the best way to grow a manufacturing company was through outsourcing, he said. “Today it's through efficiency and automation.”

The best advice for struggling innovators, believes Dmitriev, is to take control of your destiny.

“I was told our product was ‘impossible to manufacture’ from sub-contract manufacturers with 10 years’ experience,” he said. “If I trusted their judgement we would never have created the compressor.

“We built a factory from scratch and developed new high-precision manufacturing methods. Now, we’re in control of innovating and improving our product as quickly as we want.”

• Read Dmitriev's six essential tips on staying competitive