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2 May, 2012 - 15:03 By Tony Quested

Torch bearers of tomorrow grab flame of inspiration

Sir Richard Friend

In this New Age of smart apps, internet plays and a whole range of futuristic technologies, who will take up the mantle as the next generation of entrepreneurs pledged to sustain the Cambridge Technology Cluster’s reputation of innovation?

It’s not easy when you are trying to build or already running a world-class business, to lift your head above the parapet and find time and energy to help other companies. Amazingly, there are a great many selfless individuals who are doing exactly that – devoting cash and mentoring time, enterprise and energy, to the greater good.

Every grain of their combined brainpower and every gramme of their collective networking muscle will be required to keep Cambridge competitive in an increasingly competitive global marketplace.

In one of the most ambitious assessments undertaken in the Cambridge Technology Cluster, Business Weekly rates the biggest individual influencers - both inside the University (the Dontrepreneurs) and externally among corporate entrepreneurs. And it flags up the new generation of enterprise champions on whom the sustainability of Cambridge Cluster innovation depends over the long haul. In association with cutting-edge financial adviser BDO, Business Weekly has produced its own ‘Hall of Fame’ of enterprise champions and its best-bet pantheon of the torch bearers of tomorrow.

One has to be ultra-diplomatic when suggesting that the time is nigh for our current enterprise champions to pass the flame to a new generation of torch bearers. Here are the enterprise exemplars whose efforts must be emulated to sustain the Cambridge cachet in global innovation circles. Entrepreneurs are listed alphabetically. Alan BarrellFormer pioneer for Baxter Healthcare and MD/CEO of world-leading inkjet duo Domino and Willett, Professor Barrell has become a hot gospeller for healthcare innovation. Often – he may say usually – unpaid, he has travelled the world to boost academe-industry alliances between his beloved Cambridge and major economic players. His efforts to build bridges with China have been outstanding. David CleevelyIntellectual heavyweight and passionate evangelist for the cluster. He has worked tirelessly to get government to understand what makes Cambridge academia and business tick. His CV is only marginally shorter than the Magna Carta. Dr Cleevely was appointed founding director of Cambridge University’s Centre for Science and Policy in 2009. He is chairman of wireless spectrum facilitator CRFS, which he co-founded in July 2007 and the founder and former chair of telecoms consultancy Analysys. In 1998, he co-founded the web based antibody company Abcam with Jonathan Milner and was chairman until November 2009.He co-founded the 3G femto base station company, 3WayNetworks, which was sold to Airvana in April 2007. He has invested in over 35 companies and is chairman of four of them. He has been a prime mover behind Cambridge Network, co-founder of Cambridge Wireless, co-founder and chairman of Cambridge Angels.

Charles CottonCharles is an experienced director of public companies listed on Nasdaq, Euronext Amsterdam and the LSE and private companies in the US and Europe. He is chairman of Cambridge Phenomenon Ltd and Neul Ltd in Cambridge and a director of technology companies Solarflare and Veebeam in California and XMOS and Cambridge Enterprise in the UK. Previously, he was executive chairman of GlobespanVirata and CEO of Santa Clara based Virata which he took public on NASDAQ in 1999. He caught the technology bug working at Sinclair Research.

Sherry CoutuA Harvard alumna, Sherry pursues a broad portfolio of interests which include early stage technology investing and serving on the boards of companies and charities. A serial entrepreneur now turned investor, her current activities include positions with Cambridge University, Cambridge University Press, New Energy Finance, Linkedin, NESTA, The Prince’s Trust, Cancer Research UK and others. She is co-founder of the Silicon Valley Comes2Cambridge and UK initiatives – a venture supported by Prime Minister David Cameron.

Peter DaweCo-founder of the UK’s first Internet Service Provider, Unipalm Pipex, Dawe made his fortune through the sale to UUNET. He has continued to drive a diverse range of business interests and is a crusader for eco-friendly ventures. He recently launched Not A Bank – selling ‘sunshine’ shares to investors with the aim of promoting a more ethical approach to investment while at the same time supporting community projects.

Sir Richard FriendCavendish Professor of Physics at the University of Cambridge, Richard has over 20 years of experience pioneering developments in plastic electronics. His research group has demonstrated that these materials can be used in a wide range of semiconductor devices, including photovoltaic cells, light-emitting diodes and field-effect transistors. He co-founded Cambridge Display Technology Ltd in 1994 and Plastic Logic Ltd in 2000 and most recently solar technology pioneer, Eight19.

Hermann HauserHermann co-founded his current venture, VC firm Amadeus Capital Partners, in 1997. He co-founded the iconic Acorn Computers, Active Book Company, Virata, Net Products, NetChannel, and Cambridge Network Limited. He was a founder director of IQ (Bio), IXI Limited, Vocalis, SynGenix, Advanced Displays Limited, Electronic Share Information Limited and E*Trade UK. His influence has personally been instrumental in creating over 70 local millionaires.

Walter HerriotFormerly director of St John’s Innovation Centre, Walter was Business Weekly’s first chairman and Anglia Ruskin University is among the current list of organisations benefiting from his remarkable insight and experience. Selfless to the core, Walter’s various offices have provided a psychologist’s coach or sounding board to a stream of businesses in need of strategic advice

Andy HopperHead of Cambridge Computer Laboratory, which has spun out around 190 businesses, Andy is a ‘go to’ for so many technology businesses. He is chairman of two of Cambridge’s most successful global companies – RealVNC and Ubisense – which both spun out of the Lab in 2002 – and in all has co-founded 12 successful companies, including Acorn Computers.

Steve JacksonFrederick James Quick Professor of Biology in the Department of Biochemistry, School of the Biological Sciences at Cambridge University and a senior group leader in the Wellcome Trust/Cancer Research UK Gurdon Institute of Cancer and Developmental Biology in Cambridge. He founded biotech venture KuDOS Pharmaceuticals Ltd to transfer research on DNA repair to medical applications. KuDOS was acquired by AstraZeneca in 2005. He has also led a new spin-out company – MISSION Therapeutics Ltd.

Jack LangSerial entrepreneur and business angel, and co-founder of Artimi Ltd. He left Cambridge University to co-found consulting company Topexpress, one of whose projects was designing some of the software for the BBC Microcomputer. Jack was founder of Netchannel Ltd, which was acquired in 1998 by ntl, where he became chief technologist. Before that he founded Electronic Share Information Ltd, acquired by E*Trade Inc in 1995. he is a trustee of Raspberry Pi.

Chris LoweAs a director/co-founder of Psynova Neurotech, Professor Lowe’s years of commercially focused research have led to the establishment of six spin-out companies, including Affinity Sensors Ltd, Purely Proteins Ltd, Cambridge Sensors Ltd, ProMetic Biosciences Inc and Smart Holograms Ltd. More are in the pipeline.

Mike LynchMike is the founder and CEO of Autonomy, which was sold in a multi-billion dollar deal to HP last year. He is using some of the money he made from the sale to invest in technology plays. He is backing, as a board member, Cambridge company Featurespace and is also on the board of Cambridge Enterprise, the University’s commercialisation arm.

Jonathan MilnerJonathan founded antibodies dotcom Abcam with David Cleevely and Professor Tony Kouzarides, to supply the rapidly growing market for antibodies and related products. He is an active supporter of the Cambridge business community. He is chairman of Cambridge Temperature Concepts (CTC), a medical device company with a platform technology in wireless temperature sensing. Jonathan is also a non-executive director of Horizon Discovery Ltd.

Phil O’DonovanPhil is a board member of Oval Medical. He was a co-founder of CSR plc which listed on the London Stock Exchange in March 2004, became a FTSE 250 company in July of the same year, and is now Europe’s largest fabless semiconductor company. As an angel investor, he works with the founders, boards and management of emerging technology-based companies and is currently chairman of Twelve Winds.

Andy RichardsChairman of Abcodia, Dr Richards, is a well known business angel and holds several board positions with biotechnology and diagnostic organisations, including Cancer Research Technology (the commercial arm of Cancer Research UK), Altacor, Ixico and Novacta. He has a strong business focus and an in-depth knowledge of the industry and start-up organisations.

Andy SandhamCEO of Kymab, Andy has 30 years experience in business development and marketing within the healthcare sector. He has played a key role in building successful businesses in pharmaceutical discovery and development in Europe and the US, serving as a founder and executive of Cantab Pharmaceuticals, Hexagen, Signature BioScience and Ionix Pharmaceuticals. He is also non-executive chairman of Bicycle Therapeutics and a non-executive director of Plant Bioscience Ltd.

Robert SansomRobert is an active angel investor and mentor to start-ups. He co-founded Cambridge Angels. He is a director of Ubisense and co-founded FORE Systems, acquired by Marconi for $4.5 billion. He recently invested in and became chair of exciting new tech company, Cambridge Communication Systems. He is also a director of CRFS and Netronome Systems.

Sir Greg WinterDeputy director of the Medical Research Council’s Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Greg co-founded the MRC Centre for Protein Engineering with Alan Fersht. He is one of the pioneers of protein engineering. He was a founder and director of Cambridge Antibody Technology, now part of MedImmune, Astra Zeneca’s biologics business unit. In 2000 he co-founded Domantis – acquired by GSK.

Steve YoungSteve’s main research interests at Cambridge University lie in the area of spoken language systems including speech recognition, speech synthesis and dialogue management. He was one of the brains behind Phonetic Arts, a young Cambridge company snapped up by Google and is also involved in a new venture, Vocal IQ.


The hope for the future lies with the investment ambitions and mentorship skills of the following obvious candidates as enterprise champions. There are others and there will be more, but the following have impressed Business Weekly and entrepreneurs we work with. We intend to add to this list on a continuing basis – firstly to recognise the unstinting efforts of this remarkable group of business people and secondly to prompt many more corporate mentors and venturers to join the throng.

Chris AbellFounder and director, Sphere Fluidics. Based in the Department of Chemistry at Cambridge University, Prof. Abell has been involved in the creation of several companies. He was a co-founder of Astex Therapeutics. He also co-Founded Akubio, a company developing novel acoustic biosensors, and is a founding scientist of Ionscope, a company developing a novel, scanning ion probe microscope.

Ray AndersonFormer inspiration with IXI, Ray is chief executive of Bango. He co-founded Bango in 1999 when he realised that the convergence of the internet with the ubiquity of mobile phones would open up huge opportunities – a tip passed on by fellow Cambridge entrepreneur Steve Ives and knocked down by Bill Gates.

Paul AnsonA committed angel investor, Paul was co-founder and COO of Inca Digital Printers where he created and grew a manufacturing and customer service operation turning over £25 million. Backed by two prominent VC’s, Inca was acquired in 2005 by Dainippon Screen – providing a good return for investors and founders. Prior to that, Paul was with Cambridge Consultants, Michelin Tyre plc and Argo Cars. He is an investor in Plumis.

Nick BalonNick joined CRFS in 2011. From 2002 he was COO at Xennia which he helped propel into a leading industrial inkjet company and which was acquired by TenCate Plc in 2008. Prior to Xennia, Nick held senior management positions in the chemical industry at ICI and Ineos. He is an active angel investor and mentor.

Dr Julie BarnesNow steering the fortunes of biomarker validation company Abcodia, Julie had 15 years experience of early R & D with GlaxoSmithKline. More recently she was director and CSO at BioWisdom.

Pilgrim BeartAlertMe founder director, Pilgrim has 20 years experience in groundbreaking, hi-tech companies and has founded three businesses. Most recently he was VP of R & D at Splashpower where he was responsible for creating and protecting the core technology of the wireless power company. After six years working in Silicon Valley in the 1990s for companies like Atari and Chromatic Research (now AMD), Pilgrim returned to Cambridge where he founded activeRF and Antenova.

Billy BoyleOwlstone Nanotech’s co-founder, Billy has become the ‘front man’ or public face of the young Cambridge company, which has gained increasing global traction since the three founders suspended their Cambridge University PhDs to follow the dream. Boyle is becoming increasingly active in entrepreneurial circles within and beyond the university.

David BrabenFrontier Development’s founder, Braben’s work started way back in 1982 when he wrote the seminal game Elite with Ian Bell. Since then Frontier has built a track record comprising games that have defined genres, been critically acclaimed and sold many millions of copies.Jon BradfordOnly became a Cambridge resident last year after a successful first Springboard Cambridge programme of which he was a hardworking, energetic and disruptive (in the best sense of the word) programme director. Set to unveil springboard Cambridge 2012, Jon has also extended the initiative to London. He has also impressed by co-founding TexDrive in Russia and broader CIS last year with Andrey Kessel, Alexander Zhurba and Max Shekhovtsov. He is a co-founder of Startup Wisweguys – an Estonian accelerator for early stage startups that boasts an impressive line-up of mentors

Simon Bransfield-GarthSimon has 25 years global experience building rapid growth, technology-based businesses in sectors including semiconductor, automotive and mobile phones. His career includes seven years at Symbian, the phone OS maker. He has proved an inspirational CEO for solar pioneer Eight19.

Tim Brears Founder and CEO of Gendaq Ltd., a spin-out of the Medical Research Council’s Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Tim was also director of licensing/business development at Novartis Inc in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. Tim is currently CEO at Xention.

John BrimacombeExecutive chairman at Linguamatics, John is a serial entrepreneur. After graduating from Trinity College, he founded Jobstream Group plc, which provides specialist ERP software to the international financial services sector. He subsequently co-founded pioneering mobile entertainment start-up nGame Ltd., which was acquired by Hands-On Mobile Inc. He is a partner at Sussex Place Ventures, the resident venture-capital firm at the London Business School, a seed-investor in multiple US and UK start-ups and a non-executive director of quoted investment fund Core VCT Plc.

Simon BrocklehurstSimon has international reputations in the fields of biotech and software/IT. Prior to founding Ash Biotech, Simon was most recently at Cambridge Antibody Technology. He has played key roles in growing companies from millions to billions of dollars in value and in selling, negotiating and executing deals valued up to hundreds of millions of dollars in the US and Europe. Simon is also CEO of Psynixis.

Suranga ChandratillakeAn entrepreneur with over a decade of experience in next-generation search, Suranga founded blinkx in 2004. Prior to founding blinkx, Suranga was US CTO of Autonomy Corporation, responsible for growing Autonomy’s research and development division in the US. A highly regarded expert on the convergence of the Web and TV, Suranga was recognised as one of the top 10 leaders in Science and Innovation by The Observer’s Future 500 list, and one of Digital Media Wire’s ‘25 Executives to Watch in Digital Entertainment’.

Chris ChapmanFounder of My Business FD, Chris started his career with Lotus Cars and has since worked in the rail industry, with Cambridge software business Smallworld, General Electric, outsourcing business RR Donnelly and investment research firm, Library House. Since the end of 2008 Chris has developed My Business FD and now sits on the board of several technology clients such as Proxama, Brightpearl and ArmadilloLED.

Amir ChaudhryThe dynamic and strategically astute Chaudhry was co-founder of Red Gate Springboard, board observer at TidePowerd and adviser at Cambridge University Entrepreneurs. He is a PhD graduate from Cambridge University.

James CollierJames has been a leader of R & D and business development activities since 1987. He was co-founder of CSR, serving as CTO, head of R & D and plc board member from 1999 to 2010. Prior to 1999, he held a number of executive and technical positions at Cambridge Consultants and before that at Schlumberger. He is now leading the efforts of white space pioneer Neul and its Weightless standard and is set to make Cambridge the world’s first smart city based on the spectrum Neul has created for the protocol.Peter CowleyInvestment director of the Martlet angel investment vehicle founded by Marshall of Cambridge last year, Cowley is also mastermind behind Camdata, which develops and manufactures niche technology for industrial and retail customers. He has variously diversified into property development through Starfish and set up ZedCam to provide overt and covert camera solutions for companies, councils, the police and householders. He is a board member of Cambridge Angels, a director of the Cambridge Computer Laboratory Ring and chair of supporters at IdeaSpace, a judge in the Business Weekly Awards and a mentor for social media startup DisleyDarrin is CEO of personalised medicines pioneer, Horizon Discovery Ltd. He is a parallel business entrepreneur and has been involved in the start-up and growth of 10 hi-tech business ventures. He is an experienced general manager with a track-record for raising investment for and managing the growth of early-stage technology companies. He has done tireless work mentoring budding entrepreneurs at Cambridge University.

Clive DixClive is one of the UK’s leading pharma and biotech entrepreneurs. He was previously co-founder and chief executive of PowderMed Ltd, a vaccines development company acquired by Pfizer in 2006 in an all cash deal for more than $300M; and Chairman of Auralis Ltd where he managed a successful US trade sale. Clive was chairman of the BioIndustry Association until September 2010 and is non-exec chairman of Conformetrix Ltd, Crescendo Biologics Ltd and Touchlight Genetics Ltd. Clive is currently CEO at Convergence Pharmaceuticals.Michael EvansAn experienced entrepreneur and innovator, Michael was co-inventor of the Compact Mixed Reactant fuel cell and co-founder of CMR Fuel Cells plc. CMR started up with assistance from the Carbon Trust and secured two rounds of VC funding before floatation on AIM at a valuation of £50M in December 2005. Under the founder’s management, CMR were elected ‘Innovators of the year 2005’ by the Carbon Trust and Daily Telegraph, ‘One of the top 25 companies to change the World by 2010’ by RedHerring and Harvard Business School and ‘Technology Pioneers 2006’ by the World Economic Forum. Michael has a Master of Arts in Industrial Design and a BSc(hons) in Production Engineering and 20 years project management experience.

David ExcellDavid founded Featurespace – known locally as the ‘new Autonomy’ in 2005 with his former University of Cambridge PhD Supervisor, Professor William Fitzgerald. David has more than 15 years’ experience in software development and turning research into commercial reality. Under his leadership, Featurespace has grown from a concept into a commercial success that has many blue-chip companies as customers.

Kevin FitzGeraldKevin is CEO and managing director at next generation antibody company, F-star. Prior to joining F-star, Kevin was CEO of Isogenica which he founded in 2000. Before establishing Isogenica, Kevin was a member of the senior management team at Actinova Ltd., the UK subsidiary of Active Biotech AB. Prior to this, he spent seven years at Cambridge Antibody Technology.

Shaun FitzgeraldShaun is a co founder of Breathing Buildings. He completed his PhD in Geothermal Reservoirs at Cambridge University before moving to Stanford University, CA and later spending five years at Bain and Company. He returned to Cambridge carrying out research into natural ventilation at the BP Institute before turning his hand to energy reduction using his expertise in natural ventilation to found Breathing Buildings in 2006.

Nick GeddesNick founded Global Inkjet Systems (GIS) in 2006; it is an independent, privately owned business with its headquarters in Cambridge, GIS supports a wide range of printheads including FUJIFILM Dimatix, Konica Minolta, Kyocera, Toshiba Tec and Xaar. The capability to drive new printheads is being developed all the time.

Mark GerhardCEO and CTO of world-leading games developer Jagex, Mark has built the company into an internationally successful business, a leader in innovation and one of Cambridge’s biggest hirers of talent in the sector.

Steve GreavesSteve joined AT&T laboratories in 1997 where he worked in the Radio ATM research group until it was spun out of AT&T as Adaptive Broadband Limited (ABL) in 1998. Steve joined ABL as a co-founder and head of research. In 2000 Steve co-founded Cambridge Broadband Networks Limited. He joined Alcatel-Lucent in 2008 and two years later co-founded his current company Cambridge Communication Systems Limited.

Richard GreenCEO of Ubisense, Richard has over 20 years experience in the software industry, Prior to Ubisense he was a founder of Smallworld, which listed on Nasdaq in 1996 and was acquired by GE in 2000.

Dan Greenfield/Alban Rrustemi Cambridge start-up Fonleap has made it possible to work on any computer as though it were your own, without relying on remote access. A normal smartphone is used to transport the whole state of a desktop from one computer to the next. You can leave one computer, and can resume on a different one, with your desktop, files and applications exactly as you left them. Fonleap, which launched its first product in January 2012, was founded by Greenfield and Rrustemi who met when studying for PhDs in Computer Science at Cambridge University.

Martyn GilbertEntrepreneur and businessman with deep technical skills. Formerly chairman and founder of Amino Communications, floated on AIM in 2004 at £60m valuation. Director on TAHI board and chair Technical working group TAHI Open Architecture for interoperability in smart homes. Martyn has now founded Homaetrix which is pioneering smart homes technology that is cheap to install and easy to use.

Nick HaanNick has proved an inspirational CEO for BlueGnome, which recently won a Queen’s Award for International Trade. BlueGnome was founded in 2001 by engineers and mathematicians from the University of Cambridge, including Nick. It has developed software solutions and data analysis services that enable high quality information to be extracted from microarrays, NMR and mass spectrometry data.

Andy HarterCEO at RealVNC, Andy has a BA and PhD in Computer Science from Cambridge. He has held executive roles in industrial research and at the AT&T Cambridge Laboratory where he was responsible for many hardware and software projects, including VNC.

Shamus HusheerInventor of the technology behind DuoFertility and the CEO of Cambridge Temperature Concepts. Shamus completed his PhD. at Cambridge, with seven years of experience in developing instrumentation and sensors during both his MSc and PhD. he has steered CTC to FDA approval for DuoFertility and a launch in the US.

Steve IvesSteve founded Torus Systems in the 1980s and established Ives & Co. in 1989. He worked as VP Business Development for Qualcomm Europe until mid-2005. He founded Trigenix and social media company Taptu. He is also chairman of Teamstudio.Andrey KesselAndrey is an entrepreneur, investor and high-tech start-up specialist based in Cambridge. Formerly a VC investor with Amadeus Capital, Andrey is now co-founder and partner at TexDrive alongside Jon Bradford. Andrey works with early stage companies, venture funds, programmes or interesting venture opportunities. He has 20 years of experience covering investments in and working with high profile tech start-ups.He is on the board, invested in or advised multiple early stage companies and investment funds, co-founding several startups. Andrey is managing director at ATZ Management.

Dawson KingDawson King is CEO of pioneering healthcare startup, Cambridge Healthcare Ltd. The company is working in partnership with the NHS and Connecting for Health to develop, an e-Health portal for patients and healthcare professionals. Dawson also sits on the NHS Innovation Council, NHS Innovations Expert Panel, NHS Direct Innovation Committee, European eHealth Stakeholder Group and is a UKTI representative for eHealth. Previously, he was a Technical Lead at the European Bioinformatics Institute and co-founded one of the first companies to integrate into the NHS Connecting for Health network and to offer secure tools for patients to work with clinicians.

Theodoros KoutroukidesTheo is pursuing his PhD on Schizophrenia biomarkers discovery at the Institute of Biotechnology, Cambridge University and is the chairman of the Cambridge University Technology & Enterprise Club (CUTEC). Priscilla LiPriscilla Li is a recent graduate of the Cambridge MBA at Judge Business School and former project manager for the Silicon Valley comes to Cambridge conference in 2009. Previously, as an associate director at Bell Canada, Priscilla led the delivery of new products and services in the hi-tech sector. Post MBA, Priscilla is taking this passion one step further by pursuing entrepreneurial ventures including Alta Consult, a management consulting firm working with leading technology, media and telecoms companies.

Ruth McKernan– In her 20 years’ experience she has held many posts including head of the Merck Neuroscience Research Centre in the UK where she led a group of 250 scientists with a portfolio from idea to POC. Since joining Pfizer three years ago, she has been VP of Biology in Sandwich, head of the Research Technology Centre in Boston and Vice President for External Research in Europe. Most recently, Ruth has been a leader in Pfizer’s commitment to emerging therapeutic opportunities and is now Chief Scientific Officer of the newly-formed Regenerative Medicine Unit with research groups in the both the UK, focused on Cambridge, and the US.

Chris Mitchell Chris founded Audio Analytic following the completion of his self-funded PhD in sound information systems and signal processing. He received a prestigious Kauffman/NCGE Fellowship to investigate the commercial implications of his research through which he received training at Harvard Business School and worked with Cisco Systems in San Jose.Joe ParryFormerly a key player with i2, Joe has worked on visualization and graphics systems for intelligence work for the last thirteen years. During that time he has done software development, design, systems architecture and more experimental research projects. He has worked with the intelligence communities of the UK, US and other countries. In 2011 he founded Cambridge Intelligence which is producing what he hopes will be part of a new wave of investigation software.

Jeremy ParsonsCambridge Smart Grid believes it has solved what has been regarded as an impossible problem in the ‘web over electrical wires’ proposition – creating a smart electric plug that looks like a regular one and costs only pennies more. Co-founder Jeremy Parsons has been on the inside track of metering and smart home projects for more than a decade having directed a similar and Award-winning project with NORWEB in the North West. Jonathan PellJonathan is one of the latest to gain his wings as a member of the Cambridge Angels. He aims to leverage insight gained from Oracle’s $multi-million acquisition of his company Datanomic to boost the commercial prospects of technology startups. Pell, who steered software specialist Datanomic from a four-man band to a global market leader by the time of Oracle’s swoop, has joined wife Vivien as a director in her consultancy powerhouse JVP, which can nurse fledgling companies from launch to growth to exit. Jonathan was formerly FD of Geneva Technology, which was sold at a considerable premium to Convergys.

Steve PopeSteve is co-founder and CTO of Solarflare. Previously he co-founded Level 5 Networks and prior to that was a post-doctorate researcher in the field of high-speed networks and operating systems at Olivetti Research Labs, which later became AT&T Laboratories Cambridge. He holds a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Cambridge.

John PorterFounder and CTO of Cambridge Communication Systems, John undertook research in the area of ATM networks under the supervision of Prof Andy Hopper at Cambridge University. In 1986 he joined AT&T laboratories 1986 where he established Radio ATM as a viable research area. He headed the AT&T Radio ATM research group until it was spun out of AT&T as Adaptive Broadband Limited (ABL) in 1998. John joined Adaptive Broadband as a co-founder, chief scientist and director. In 2000 John co-founded Cambridge Broadband Networks Limited. While working for ABL & CBNL he was granted 15 key patents that represent over 90 per cent of the IPR generated by both companies.

Ian PrattIan used to be a senior lecturer at the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory, where he led the Systems Research Group. He was co-founder of XenSource, which built virtualisation software built on the open source Xen hypervisor, and left the Lab to concentrate on making the company successful. XenSource was acquired by Citrix for $500M in 2007, and Ian continued at Citrix as VP of Advanced Products and CTO. In June 2011 he left Citrix to start Bromium, working in the intersection of security and virtualisation. He remains chairman of ScottNorwegian entrepreneur John Scott was in Sri Lanka when the 2004 Asian Tsunami hit. He was fortunate to be on higher grounds, but had been on a beach that had been devastated by the tsunami only a day earlier. One thing he noticed was that everyone wanted know that he was safe. This drove him to develop ShoutSafe, a free travel and disaster notification service. In 2008 he started developing Voyage Manager, an advanced, business oriented travel tracking service, based on his experiences from setting up ShoutSafe. Voyage Manager is a Cambridge based travel technology company providing web based travel tracking, travel management and travel security services that give organizations an easy to use and cost efficient platform for managing and monitoring employee travel.

Robert SwannRobert is an experienced entrepreneur with a proven track record in marketing, business development, investment fundraising and technical management. He also has hands-on engineering experience in semiconductor, image/video/cellular, and consumer electronics. He was co-founder of Alphamosaic Ltd, a semiconductor company which was sold to Broadcom in 2004. After leaving Broadcom, Robert founded n++ Ltd. He has also joined the boards of several start-up companies.

Adam Twiss Cambridge entrepreneur Adam Twiss has now figured in the genesis of four significant companies in the UK technology cluster including Zeus. And more could be on the way. Twiss’ latest venture – Versio4 – is based in the cathedral city of Ely in Cambridgeshire’s Silicon Fen. But its reach stretches to South East Asia. Florin UdreaCo-founder of Cambridge CMOS Sensors Ltd, Florin has over 20 years experience in smart technologies, microsensors, MEMS, and power devices. He has extensive track records in working with start-up companies from the University of Cambridge. He was one of the two founders of CamSemi, a very successful company dedicated to energy-efficient power ICs and power management. He is also a Professor of Semiconductor Engineering at Cambridge University and is an inventor of more than 70 patents.

Eben UptonEben has created a sensation with his micro-computer Raspberry Pi, now shipping globally and based on Acorn’s legendary BBC Micro. Eben has a mission to help youngsters take up computer programming to secure new generations of software engineers for Cambridge and the UK.

Alex Van SomerenAlex left school to join Acorn Computers in the 1980s, where he was extensively involved in the BBC Microcomputer project. He co-founded ANT Ltd in 1990 to produce networking products. In 1996 he co-founded nCipher with VC backing to develop internet security products using advanced cryptography. The company became a world leader. Alex works with Amadeus Capital Partners in Cambridge.

Shai VyakarnamThe dynamic director of the Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning at Cambridge University’s Judge Business School, Shailendra also co-founded AcceleratorIndia – a consultancy designed to broker two way trade between the UK and India. He is a highly respected educator and also the brains behind a number of innovative knowledge-based programmes conducted for both academia and world governments.Ian WilsonSerial entrepreneur and product manager has delivered software / internet products for consumers (Game, animation), businesses (Disney, IBM, NTT) and governments (US, UK). His research experience (10 years) in human emotion behavioural systems is the basis of Emotion AI's technology. Emotion AI is building an emotional layer on the web. Emotionally "valuing" the worlds data to make it searchable and shareable in a way that is personally relevant to each unique individual.

Coutu reveals those she relies on who go beyond call of duty

Sherry Coutu, one of Cambridge’s premier global entrepreneurs and one of the masterminds behind Silicon Valley Comes To Cambridge and UK initiatives, is a shrewd judge of sound people.

A judge in our recent Business Awards, Sherry sent us a list of “People I depend on who act above and beyond the call of duty for svc2uk” especially for this feature. They are all recent graduates, she adds. Sherry’s Magnificent Seven are Amir Chaudhry, Nick Heller, Priscilla Li, Rahul Volra, Charles Armstrong, Theo Koutroukides, and Rachel Pike.

Armstrong was recently featured in Business Weekly when his company Trampoline won the Cambridge Computer Lab Ring ‘Company of the Year’ title. The Cambridge alumnus described a roller coaster ride that had spanned almost a decade. An ethnologist and social analytics wizard, he and his business partner Craig McMillan met 20 years ago at St John’s College and picked up the association a decade later, setting up Trampoline in 2003.

The company develops software that analyses large quantities of email and other data to map relationships and subject matter across large and complex networks. Armstrong said the company had probably arrived “10 years too early in the market” but thought they had crossed the Rubicon in 2007 when they secured £3m investment only to have the backer run out on them.

“We had negligible revenues and a large engineering team – and a void where our investment should have been.”

Determined not to go under, the partners restructured and raised crowd funding – almost certainly among the first of its type – and “things started falling into place.”

Sherry CoutuThe company produced the Tech City map that Prime Minister David Cameron so admired and have just landed another major – potentially game-changing – piece of business. “We could also soon be working on something similar to the Tech City project in the Cambridge community,” he said.

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