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5 November, 2013 - 11:05 By Tony Quested

Downing Street coup for young Cambridge entrepreneurs

Sherry Coutu with Wei Liu from MyKindaPlace

UK Chancellor George Osborne is being given a taste of the next generation of talented technology entrepreneurs from Cambridge in a Downing Street summit tomorrow (November 6).

The Chancellor is hosting an event for Sherry Coutu’s Silicon Valley Comes 2UK initiative to principally discuss the role of universities in entrepreneurship.

As part of the event, he will meet the winner of a SVC2UK hackathon staged in association with Cambridge University Entrepreneurs (CUE).

The organisations teamed up to run a two-day Cambridge Hackathon as part of the national competition. The competing teams’ mission was to create a web or mobile app interface using data that governments have made public to address new challenges.

At the end of an intense weekend of coding filled up with spread-sheets, flipcharts and caffeine, the six teams each presented their fully-functioning app to the judging panel composed of angel investors and entrepreneurs.

The winning team, Getaways, get to meet the Chancellor at tomorrow’s 11 Downing Street gathering. Runner-up prizes for Carbon Exchange, a carbon credit trading platform, MyKindaPlace, a neighbourhood match-making platform, and Serenity, an audio-book app, include the gift of Raspberry Pi micro computers and an invitation to the SVC2UK dinner on Big Data this Thursday.

Getaways is designed to help users escape from a hectic lifestyle. Based on the user’s choices, the venture uses open data about the world to pick an ideal place to adventure to, for an hour, an afternoon, or a weekend!

Getaways will use its large database to produce actionable insight and return a single location - your own personalised getaway spot.

MyKindaPlace matches people with the area in a field, village, town or city that best suits them. Whether you’re looking for somewhere with an Asian Community, close to work and good for kids or just a nice place to retire, the venture is designed to help you narrow it down to the streets you should be looking at.

The company’s access to social media will connect users with old friends and let you see the type of people you’ll be living with. MyKindaPlace reduces the uncertainty around moving to a new area and aims to leave users in the best place to start a new chapter in life.

CarbonExchange is a digital marketplace, which enables the buyers and sellers of carbon credits to easily find each other. This system is integrated to both the European Emission Trading System and the European Energy Exchange to profile the carbon credits and value potential of individual institutions.

Those institutions with excess credits can easily find institutions that have a shortage of credits and receive a potential price. A ranking algorithm recommends which institutions are more likely to sell thereby reducing the transaction cost in the trade and encouraging the market to operate with greater efficiency and transparency.

Sina Habibi, CUE’s president said entrepreneurship was thriving at the university across the board. He told Business Weekly: “CUE has seen a 30 per cent-plus growth in the number of competition entries with some very promising ones so it looks like being an exciting 12 months ahead.”

• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: Sherry Coutu with Wei Liu from MyKindaPlace

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