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Cambridge Cluster Map
1 August, 2011 - 10:56 By Tony Quested

Cameron backs Cambridge-Silicon Valley initiative

Sherry Coutu, co-chair of SVC2UK

A blossoming relationship between tech pioneers in Cambridge UK and Silicon Valley is being leveraged by Prime Minister David Cameron to generate economic growth based on innovation.


Downing Street is backing the Silicon Valley Comes to the UK (SVC2UK) programme this autumn, steered by co-chairs Sherry Coutu in Cambridge and Reid Hoffman in San Francisco.

It builds on their highly successful Silicon Valley Comes2Cambridge initiative and takes in the other hotspots in Britain’s Golden Triangle – London and Oxford.

The venture takes wing from September to November with appathons in London, Cambridge and Oxford, awards ceremonies at No 10 Downing Street, and a glittering array of technology showcases, masterclasses and debates in all three centres.

Silicon Valley pioneers of the most disruptive consumer internet and green technologies are coming to the UK to take part.

The US entrepreneurs will meet UK and European counterparts to check out opportunities to collaborate on business ventures. They will lead classes at Cambridge and other universities examining cutting edge technologies and business models. And they will meet policymakers to look at how to expand the UK’s innovation capacity.

SVC2UK is sponsored by NESTA, BT, Ernst & Young, LinkedIn, Facebook and Google. Coutu says that thousands of students and entrepreneurs are now benefiting from the collective expertise of the group. The executive committee features Amir Chaudhry, David Rosenberg, Jon Bradford – programme director of Springboard Cambridge – Liz Williams and Robert Hoff.

SVC2UK starts on September 24 with Appathon London. Appathon Cambridge, which will take in two other universities, is on October 1. Appathan Oxford (with two other universities) will be held a week later.

Judging of the various showcases will be held from November 1-7 and an awards ceremony has been arranged for November 16, hopefully at 10 Downing Street. Winners will tour Silicon Valley in March 2012.

The programme continues on November 16 with a cross-party Parliamentary Panel at the House of Commons, followed by a reception at the Speaker’s State Apartments and the Awards winners’ ceremony at No.10.

The Thursday, Friday and Saturday of that week see various keynote addresses, workshops, debates and masterclasses at Cambridge and in London, including an historic Silicon Valley comes to Tech City on the final day.

An impressive line-up of international speakers will address the various events and their biographies can be accessed at

• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: Sherry Coutu, co-chair of SVC2UK

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