Cambridge Enterprise named University Venturing Unit of the Year


Cambridge Enterprise, the University’s commercialisation arm, was named University Venturing Unit of the Year at a recent ceremony in London.

“Cambridge Enterprise has positioned itself very realistically with industry and investors, and is very good at aligning expectations and opportunities.”
— Sir Richard Friend

The award, from Global University Venturing, was in recognition of the work which Cambridge Enterprise does in support of new companies based on University research. For each pound Cambridge Enterprise has invested on the University’s behalf, £88 has followed from other providers of capital. Since 1995, Cambridge Enterprise portfolio companies have raised more than £1.2 billion in funding.

With the recent launch of Cambridge Innovation Capital, the University now provides or can facilitate access to funding at all levels of support, from proof of concept to venture capital.

Last year, the University invested a record £2.3 million of its seed funds to support the development of Cambridge spin-outs. The sum, more than triple the amount invested in the previous year, will support a range of companies, including Aqdot, CamSemi, DefiniGEN, Horizon Discovery, Inotec AMD, Lumora, Sphere Fluidics and XO1.

“Cambridge Enterprise was created to provide a service to university researchers wanting to exploit their work,” said Professor Sir Richard Friend, Cavendish Professor of Physics at the University. “This culture of service has been really well established and I think most of the faculty and students who have used its services have been very pleased by this. Cambridge Enterprise has also positioned itself very realistically with industry and investors, and is very good at aligning expectations and opportunities.”

Cambridge is Europe’s most successful technology cluster, having produced 12 companies valued at more than $1 billion, and two (ARM and Autonomy) valued at more than $10 billion. The vast majority of these companies are connected to the University in some way: they are either based directly on University research, are founded or staffed by University graduates, or work collaboratively with University researchers to find solutions to business problems.

Pictured, left to right: Dr Richard Jennings (CE Deputy Director), Dr Tony Raven (CE Chief Executive), and Edward Benthall (CE Chairman).

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Cambridge Enterprise exists to help University of Cambridge inventors, innovators and entrepreneurs make their ideas and concepts more commercially successful for the benefit of society, the UK economy, the inventors and the University.

Cambridge Enterprise, University of Cambridge