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21 August, 2020 - 11:25 By Tony Quested

VividQ one of the top deals for Cambridge VC

Behind most exciting spin-outs from academia stands a top notch venture capitalist and AR display startup VividQ with expertise in holography is a prime case in point.

Backing the young company – founded and based in Cambridge – has been one of VC Cian Hughes’ top deals to date. Cambridge-based Hughes is general partner at Sure Valley Ventures.

VividQ’s founding team includes physicists, mathematicians and computer scientists from the University of Cambridge, University of St Andrews and University of Oxford. 

Sure Valley Ventures led a £3.4 million equity round in VividQ last year. The company has developed the world’s first software developer kit for real-time holographic display, enabling mass adoption in AR/VR wearables, smartglasses, automotive head-up displays and consumer electronics.

Hughes says it has benefited from the rich research environment of the University of Cambridge and its Centre for Advanced Photonics and Electronics.

As Head of Platform, Cian plays an active role in accelerating the development and growth of portfolio companies like VividQ. Sure Valley Ventures’ state-of-the-art Platform delivers a customised programme of support systems. 

As well as capital, portfolio companies have access to sales acceleration training, product development, UK EIS and VCT Capital, marketing development and recruitment. 

Investee companies can benefit from a global network through an advisory board of over 30 members. These members also serve as mentors, providing welcome access to partners, customers and investors from within their own companies and networks.

Cian Hughes

Hughes has more than 20 years operational experience in the areas of venture capital, accelerators, executive networks, software solutions, mobile platforms and supply chain operations.

Prior to Sure Valley Ventures, he was an executive with Lotus Inc. (now IBM), Intel Corporation and Palm Inc. as well as being vice-president of Operations for the San Francisco and San Jose based Silicon Valley Global (SVG) Partners. 

In addition to venture capital and software executive positions, he also ran a solar manufacturing facility in Cardiff and global smartphone repair, service and reverse logistics centres in the Czech Republic and the UK.

Hughes himself benefits from the brain gain: he holds a BSc in Mathematics and Physics from University College Dublin and a post-graduate higher diploma in Business Management from Trinity College Dublin.

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