Jim Hodkinson, former CEO of B&Q, has become a major investor and the first Chairman of London-based start-up Genius IP, maker of Quadsaw, the world’s first drill for square holes. 

Hodkinson’s appointment follows the completion of the company’s latest ‘Angel’ funding round, which increases the multi-million pound investments in the start-up. The latest seven-figure round was helped by the UK government’s enhanced EIS scheme, which has encouraged individuals to invest funds at a level that was previously only reserved for Venture Capital firms.

Manufactured in the UK, Quadsaw is a seamless attachment to a power drill that uses patented technology to convert rotary motion into linear motion in four planes at once, enabling users to cut square holes with minimal dust and absolute precision.

Almost all construction projects require square holes for electrical sockets and other boxes but electricians currently create them with pencils, rulers and other tools that are not specifically designed for the task, which can be time consuming and inaccurate. Quadsaw solves this problem by enabling square holes to be cut in seconds rather than minutes, saving the construction industry millions of hours of labour annually.

The appointment of Hodkinson as Chairman further strengthens the company as it aims to expand production globally. 

Hodkinson will utilise his extensive business experience and international network to help accelerate this expansion. As well as his roles at B&Q and Kingfisher he was previously CEO of fashion chain New Look and Chairman of Wyevale Garden Centres. He is currently Chairman of Furniture Village. 

Hodkinson said: “Quadsaw is the most exciting new product to arrive on the tools market for many years and it has the potential to be used worldwide. Wherever a square hole is needed Quadsaw will be there and I’m looking forward to helping the company achieve this global expansion.”

Ean Brown, CEO of Genius IP, said: “We are delighted to have someone with Jim’s knowledge and experience to help steer the ship as we enter international waters. While 2020 started with sales momentum, when COVID-19 hit, the company was hurt much like most businesses in the world. But we used the time to recruit new engineers, invest in infrastructure for growth, including a design update of the Quadsaw and a bigger production facility.

“We are glad to say that we’re now ready to meet global demand and the new design will be able to cut sockets to electrical standards in different markets that were not possible before.” 

The new design enables the user more flexibility to change the position of the blades to account for different-sized square and rectangular holes. As such, the Quadsaw will be sold around the world, including in the USA, Canada, Mexico, Japan, Australia, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Middle East, Italy, Brazil, Israel and more.


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BDC 311 : Dec 2023