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After winning a scholarship to enable him to go to Charterhouse School, Godalming, Hearn went onto to study Classics (Literae Humaniores) at New College, Oxford University where he majored in Hellenistic culture and Ancient Athenian Democracy. He graduated in 2005.
After keeping daily records of inventions, it was in his first year as an undergraduate at Oxford University that he started his first company aged 19. Although a classics student, he started to form a series of partnerships with science researchers departments at the University and formed a reputation for medical innovation.
Hearn's lead invention is a medically authorised replacement for the tobacco cigarette dubbed the Voke Inhaler, a non-electronic medicinal nicotine inhaler using the company's proprietary technology which mimics cigarettes not only in nicotine delivery but in the "psychological rituals and routines" that is associated with smoking.
In 2002, Alex attracted the attention of the Enterprise Centre at the Said Business School, Oxford where he founded Oxford Entrepreneurs as the first president. After initially being closed down by the university due to contraventions in IP laws, Hearn funded the initial phase through loans while navigating the challenges. The organisation officially launched in 2003 with several key note speakers and support from the university. Since that time it has attracted speakers such as Sir James Dyson, Lord Sugar and Dame Anita Roddick. Oxford Entrepreneurs is now the largest entrepreneurs society in Europe with 10,000 members and The Daily Telegraph named it as "one of the three top entrepreneurial organisations in the country".
in 2006, Hearn founded Kind Consumer a consumer healthcare company, which focuses on pioneering inhalation technologies. After filing the initial patents and being joined by co-founder Dr. Sam Bakri in 2007, the team attracted business angel and latterly undisclosed venture capital from industrials Martin Beaumont, Grant Berry, and Sir Peter Davis. Recently the company has also received investment and backing from Sir Terry Leahy.
The lead product is a replacement for the tobacco cigarette, a non-electronic medicinal nicotine inhaler using the company’s proprietary technology which mimics cigarettes not only in nicotine delivery but in the “psychological rituals and routines” that surround smoking. The company signed a global licensing deal with Nicoventures in December 2010, a subsidiary of BAT, in its first move into pharmaceutical grade nicotine products. The product is currently undergoing full scientific and clinical testing. Several other technology platforms are in development.
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