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Case Study

Flaminia Cavallo

Founder, TheoryMine

Mon, 1 November 2010

The Challenge

The founders of TheoryMine had a novel idea about selling mathematical theorems (generated by computerised algorithms) online to the public.

The invention had been created by a group at the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh. This meant that the University had some ownership over the intellectual property that the company would need to protect its idea.

One of the founders, Flaminia Cavallo, needed help to set up the company, in-license a patent from Edinburgh University and establish TheoryMine commercially.


“I have found SIE very helpful on giving me advice and support whenever needed.”Flaminia Cavello



TheoryMine first entered the SIE New Ventures Competition in early 2010. As part of the competition process, every entrant is given free business coaching and encouraged to attend a Start-Up Day where they hear select speakers give an overview of different elements of company creation and growth.

SIE’s Business Advisers also gave free pitch coaching prior to the competition finals.

Thereafter, Flaminia was given advice on the type of company she should create and on establishment of an e-commerce portal for their new product(s). As TheoryMine was seen as having rapid growth potential, the company was also invited on to SIE’s Company Acceleration Program.

After that, Flaminia was supported by being given free advice in various commercial, legal and financial areas from several experienced SIE Business Advisers.


  • Won first place (and £5,000) in the SIE New Ventures Competition.
  • Company was set-up professionally as a private limited company.
  • Successfully negotiated and signed a patent in-license agreement with Edinburgh University.
  • Identified further sources of business funding and support using a free SIE guide and online resources.
  • E-commerce site launched.

And all of the above was achieved in just 8 months!