How an inventor's torment at his son's lost sight spurred him and a band of hero investors to change the world
An investment of £80,000 supported the creation of pioneering eye-care company Optos which was eventually sold for an astounding £259m
One of Scotland’s most brilliant inventions – which has helped detect serious eye disease, such as glaucoma, diabetes and indeed cancers – celebrates its 31st birthday tomorrow.
A small band of well-heeled yet concerned Edinburgh business figures agreed to scrape together £80,000 on 6th October 1992 to create an ophthalmological company called Optos which has been transforming global healthcare ever since.
It is an extraordinary story of dogged innovation which led to the foundation of Scotland’s first angel investment syndicate – the Archangel investors, based in Rutland Square. For budding screen-writers, it would make a superb Netflix or Amazon Prime series!
Mike Rutterford, one of the two Archangel founding figures, told the Inquirer last night: “Many people might not be aware of the Optos tale, but it should be recognised as one of our nation’s great inventions. It remains one of the proudest achievements in my life. When I look back on the incredible story of Optos and meeting Douglas Anderson, its creator, it is staggering what was achieved. It was also a credit to my dear friend and colleague Barry Sealey, an incredible man of vision and a force of nature.”