Jim Hodkinson, former chief executive of B&Q in the late 1990s, has become a major investor and the first chairman of London-based start-up Genius IP, which makes the Quadsaw.
Jim Hodkinson’s appointment follows the completion of the company’s latest angel funding round, which increases the multi-million pound investments in the start-up. The latest seven-figure round was helped by the UK government’s enhanced enterprise investment scheme (EIS), which has encouraged individuals to invest funds at a level that was previously only reserved for venture capital firms.
Manufactured in the UK, Quadsaw is an attachment to a power drill that uses patented technology to convert rotary motion into linear motion in four planes at once, enabling users to cut square holes. According to the manufacturer, it is very precise and creates minimal dust.
The Quadsaw is primarily aimed at electricians cutting holes for electrical sockets.
As well as his roles at B&Q and parent company Kingfisher, Jim Hodkinson was previously chief executive of fashion chain New Look and chairman of Wyevale Garden Centres. He is currently chairman of Furniture Village.
He said: “Quadsaw is the most exciting new product to arrive on the tools market for many years and it has the potential to be used worldwide. Wherever a square hole is needed Quadsaw will be there and I’m looking forward to helping the company achieve this global expansion.”
Ean Brown, chief executive of Quadsaw creator Genius IP, said: “We are delighted to have someone with Jim’s knowledge and experience to help steer the ship as we enter international waters. While 2020 started with sales momentum, when Covid-19 hit, the company was hurt much like most businesses in the world. But we used the time to recruit new engineers, invest in infrastructure for growth, including a design update of the Quadsaw and a bigger production facility.
“We are glad to say that we’re now ready to meet global demand and the new design will be able to cut sockets to electrical standards in different markets that were not possible before.”
The new design enables the user more flexibility to change the position of the blades to account for different-sized square and rectangular holes.