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26 April, 2018 - 14:33 By Tony Quested

Cambridge entrepreneurs debate: Who owns a startup?

Two of Cambridge’s most successful technology entrepreneurs tackle one of the thorniest issues involved in fashioning a successful startup – share ownership – at the Cambridge Judge Business School Enterprise Tuesday session on May 1.

Alex van Someren, who saw two of his businesses sold for a combined $110 million, and Simon Galbraith – co-founder of the globally successful Redgate Software – grasp the nettle under the tantalising title: ‘Sharing is caring – or is it? Who owns a startup?’

Budding student entrepreneurs at the University of Cambridge will hear two different stories on how the founders split the shares of their companies as startups. What were the challenges that they faced? How do you avoid falling out? 

This issue is about valuing different roles, being transparent and agreeing things up front. However, every scenario is different – also, how do you weigh what is fair for individuals against the wider interests of the business concerned?

Alex van Someren is managing partner of early stage funds at Hermann Hauser’s Amadeus Capital Partners, one of Europe’s most successful VC enterprises.

Cryptographic security vendor nCipher was sold to Thales UK for $100.3m in  July 2008 and ANT plc, which provided IP, hybrid, and connected TV products and services, was acquired by Canadian-owned business Espial in a deal understood to be worth around $10m in February 2013.

Back in the day, he helped deliver the BBC Microcomputer and Electron at Acorn Computer, and in his own words, “I co-wrote the first book on the ARM RISC architecture, also available pirated in Japanese!”

Redgate is the leading provider of software for professionals working on the Microsoft data platform. It helps over 800,000 people in every type of organisation around the world, from small and medium sized businesses to 91 per cent of companies in the Fortune 100.

Its SQL Toolbelt helps users implement DevOps best practice for their databases, easily monitor database performance and improve team productivity.

To book for the event, visit or call the Entrepreneurship Centre on 01223 339700.

Enteprise Tuesday is supported by Cobra Beer, DLA Piper and Business Weekly.

May is a blockbuster month for Enterprise Tuesday lectures. On May 8, serial Cambridge entrepreneur Dr Darrin Disley talks about taking a startup all the way to IPO. 

Then on May 15 John Lee, CFO at transatlantic tech company DisplayLink and chairman of the Cambridge Enterprise Seed Funds Investment Committee, addresses the art of raising money.

More details will be published by Business Weekly ahead of the events at

• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS:  Alex van Someren

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