Chief Executive Officer
James joined Helix Technologies in November 2019, bringing a successful track record in building hi-tech start-ups. Mixing short-term consulting and non-executive director positions with long-term CEO positions, James has built a broad knowledge of the technology and investment ecosystems. He led UK-based haptics and audio User Experience company Redux from scientific concept through to commercial reality, resulting in its acquisition by Google, and started up Oxford Semiconductor, the British chip company now owned by Kioxia. He has international business experience across automotive, aerospace and consumer sectors and has lived and worked in California, where he transacted business with world-leading companies like Apple, Intel, HP and Motorola. Most recently James has been working on a military project developing cost-effective anti-terrorism and battlefield training electronics systems.
When he’s not at work James flies vintage aircraft, and is a keen road and mountain cyclist.
Chief Technology Officer
Oliver Leisten has over 30 years’ experience in the radio communications industry and holds a PhD for his work on aspects of solid-state microwave electronics. He began his work on dielectric-loaded, multi-filar helix antennas whilst at Symmetricom Ltd and founded his first company as an MBO in September 2000 in order to commercialise this work. Dr Leisten developed a manufacturing process that is based on bespoke laser lithography and developed a market for these antenna products, with 40 patent families of proprietary technology.
Dr Leisten is unquestionably the world’s foremost expert in the field of dielectric-loaded multi-filar antennas, and invented the concept, with the patents in the field as the named inventor. Oliver co-founded Helix with John Yates in 2017.
Any spare time when he’s not inventing, Oliver likes to spend off-road cycling in rural England.
Steve Bearns has a long history in electronics and semiconductor manufacturing and has worked for consumer electronics companies such as Nokia Mobile Phones and Frontier Silicon and more recently Plasma Antennas and Phasor Solutions.
From an engineering background, he moved into supply-chain and operations management and has experience in the implementation and management of quality management systems. He has experience working with global vendors, including 10 years working in China managing electronics manufacturing supply-chains.
Steve is a competitive squash player and spare time gets used keeping his classic sports car on the road.
Chief Financial Officer
Matthew Dreaper is a Chartered Management Accountant with 16 years’ experience as Finance Director of various growing businesses. Matthew was selected for the Finance Graduate Training programme at Cable & Wireless in 1993, and went on to become European Acquisitions Manager at Hertz Corporation. He was FD of the UK’s largest pharmacy software provider between 2001 and 2006, and then became CFO for Nucare plc, where he supported a major restructuring of the groups’ businesses and the subsequent sale to Phoenix Pharmahandel GmbH.
Matthew formed Chilcomb, his own management and advisory business, in 2011 and has subsequently played a leading role in the founding of a small number of technology businesses; the majority of these businesses are based at the Harwell Campus. Matthew acts as a part-time FD for these companies and calls on a select team of staff and advisers to provide the levels of capability usually only seen in the finance departments of larger organisations.