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18 May, 2013 - 16:16 By Tony Quested

Cambridge-Singapore alliance launched with real deals

Knowledge Transmission CEO, Sam Loose

The launch of a pioneering alliance between the powerhouse technology clusters of Cambridge UK and Singapore in Asia brought an instant payback.

EdTech company, Knowledge Transmission, secured investment on the mission to Singapore launched by law firm Taylor Vinters’ partners Patrick Farrant and Adrian Rainey and Struan McDougall, CEO of Cambridge Capital Group.

Knowledge Transmission CEO, Sam Loose revealed: “Knowledge Transmission received a lot of exposure, good PR and interest, but most importantly the trade mission led to investment and several distribution agreements for large parts of the Asia Pacific market. Singapore is the ideal hub for doing business in this region.”

Knowledge Transmission provides services to publishers and educational institutions. It creates mobile apps and social learning products for the K-12, tertiary and private education markets.

The pioneering trade mission saw more than 100 members of Singapore’s technology community attend the High Commissioner’s residence in Singapore for the launch of the Cambridge Connection – a technology and investment networking forum founded by Taylor Vinters and Cambridge Capital Group, in association with UKTI.

The mission to link investors, entrepreneurs, corporates and government agencies in Singapore with counterparts from the Cambridge and UK technology community was hugely successful in generating elite opportunities for collaboration, investment and strategic partnering.

HE British High Commissioner, Antony Phillipson, and Deputy High Commissioner, Judith Slater, welcomed the delegation of leading Cambridge tech entrepreneurs, business angels and investors with an empowering opening statement: “Singapore and Cambridge have the scope to lead the world in the areas of highly-skilled, hi-tech, high-value-added sectors.”

Mission delegates attended a series of high-profile meetings and presentation opportunities with key representatives from Singapore’s VC and tech community, including: Sequoia Capital; National University of Singapore Entrepreneurship Centre; Lateral Capital Group, and the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore.

Cambridge companies were able to pitch to Singapore investors. On another layer, institutional and angel investors from both territories forged links that could lead to lucrative joint cross-border deals in the longer term. The initial mission was just a bridge-builder. A series of follow-on initiatives in both regions is already being planned to ensure the momentum can be leveraged for other mutually beneficial ventures.

Demonstrating that Cambridge has much to teach, as well as learn, Red Gate Software is jointly spearheading a mentoring programme for early stage and fast growth Singaporean tech entrepreneurs.

The enterprise will be embodied by a launch startup competition. Red Gate recently opened a Singapore operation and Tim Pullan, Taylor Vinters’ head of Asia, revealed: “The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore and Red Gate have offered to join forces for this innovative mentoring support programme.

“The Taylor Vinters team will also mentor this startup venture and effect introductions to key representatives from Cambridge’s VC and tech community. The inaugural winning startup will be announced this summer.”

A significant speaker at the event, Struan McDougall, CEO, Cambridge Capital Group, said the launch event “surpassed our expectations.” He said: “The companies we brought to present to the Singapore audience and our own investor group have made some excellent contacts for business going forward, as we look to build our membership of international private investors.”

Companies represented on the Cambridge Connection trade mission, who all presented at a pitching session, included: Arachnys; Knowledge Transmission; CCS; Kuvu Tutors; Inotec; Eagle Genomics; e-Go Aeroplanes; iSotera; Cambridge CMOS Sensors; Captive Media, and David Ball Group plc. Key investors at the event were; Struan McDougall, Sebastian McKinlay, and Peter Cowley, investment director for Martlet (the Marshall of Cambridge angel investment vehicle), and Tomaz Slivnik of Cambridge Angels.

Cowley said: “I came away with several qualified sales leads into the Singapore corporate compliance market.”

Singapore investors were equally buoyed by the opportunities presented by the alliance. Emanuel R. Breiter, CEO Asia Advisory & Investment Pte Ltd, said: “I must admit I didn’t have much of an idea about the significance of Cambridge as a cluster for technology companies so the event was eye opening.”

• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: Knowledge Transmission CEO, Sam Loose

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