The embattled commercialisation firm reduced losses by nearly $40m but now has only one board member left in interim chairman Bruce Failing.

Allied Minds, the US-based, UK-listed commercialisation firm, published its 2021 annual results last week showing its losses narrowed from more than $55.6m to around $16.3m.

Founded in 2004, Allied Minds had ambitious plans to launch spinouts through partnerships with US universities, federal laboratories and corporations, but it has been reduced to a shell of its former self through repeat shareholder pressure that has led to a portfolio of now just four companies.

The four companies in question are optical wireless communications company BridgeComm, phone spectrum-sharing technology developer Federated Wireless, ophtalmology drug developer OcuTerra and hyperspectral satellite imaging provider Orbital Sidekick.

It sold its residual shareholding in restaurant management software developer TouchBistro for $4.4m in March this year.

Harry Rein, chairman of the embattled firm, has now stepped down as planned and has been replaced in an interim capacity by senior independent director Bruce Failing, the only board member left at Allied Minds.

Allied Minds said it had launched a recruitment process to restore the “appropriate” number of directors, without saying how many that might be. It will update shareholders “as soon as practicable” on this process and did not commit itself to a timeline.

Failing said: “I would like to thank Harry for the important contribution he has made to Allied Minds. He leaves with our very best wishes having overseen a vital restructuring of the portfolio and strategic review of the business, which will now be carried through under a refreshed board.”

Rein’s departure is the latest in a long list of resignations forced onto Allied Minds’ board by activist shareholder Crystal Amber (itself in the process of being wound up) that began with the ousting of chief executive Jill Smith in June 2019.

The firm launched a formal review of its strategic options in March 2022 to rid itself of the prohibitive costs associated with being publicly listed. One of the options it said it was considering is a sale.

Thierry Heles

Thierry Heles is the editor of Global University Venturing, host of the Beyond the Breakthrough interview podcast and responsible for the monthly GUV Gazette (sign up here for free).