TTP Ventures founder steps down from chairmanship


TTP Ventures today announced that David Connell, 56, is to step down as Executive Chairman of TTP Venture Managers Ltd on 15 November 2004.

David Connell was Chief Executive of TTP Ventures from its formation in 1998 until 2002, when Gerry Fitzsimons took over as CEO and David became Executive Chairman. Under David's leadership TTP Ventures raised its first fund, with 35m of commitments from Siemens, Boeing and financial institutions. It has made 21 investments. Alphamosaic, a Cambridge based fabless semiconductor company, last month became the second of its portfolio companies to be sold to Broadcom Inc.

TTP VENTURES FOUNDER STEPS DOWN FROM CHAIRMANSHIP'Despite a strong portfolio, market conditions over the last two years have made it much more difficult to raise our second fund than originally envisaged', said David Connell.

'As I am now approaching 57, I have concluded that it no longer makes sense for me to continue to take an executive role with responsibility for a new 10-year life fund. I have therefore decided to step down as Executive Chairman of TTP Ventures'.

David will continue to be an adviser to the Company and will remain a Director of TTP Capital Partners Ltd and TeraView. He will also be keeping in close contact with some other portfolio companies with which he has been particularly involved personally.

'Since Christopher van Essen and I founded the business in 1998, we have built a strong portfolio of investments, a highly effective team, and a reputation as an informed and constructive investor', David commented.

'Besides the two exits so far, Element 14 and Alphamosaic, we have many other portfolio companies which I expect to go the distance, enabling the Fund to deliver a good return to our investors.

'We were delighted when Gerry Fitzsimons, who had been the Fund's external counsel since the start, agreed to join the team, and in completing the transfer of responsibilities to Gerry, as CEO, I am confident that we have established a firm base on which to build one of the strongest early stage venture capital franchises in Europe'.

As part of TTP Group plc, itself one of Cambridge's most successful technology companies, TTP Ventures has direct access to some 700 specialists in different technology markets, enabling it to operate a venture capital business model which is unique in Europe.

Gerald Avison, Managing Director of TTP Group commented; 'David set about building our venture capital capability with characteristic commitment and energy. I am delighted he has agreed to continue as an adviser, so that we can have access to his knowledge and experience'.

TTP Ventures

TTP Ventures is part of TTP Group plc, a broad based innovation and technology development company based in Melbourn, near Cambridge. Since its formation in 1989, TTP has, with its two major spin offs, TTP Communications plc and The Automation Partnership Ltd, built a group of businesses with revenues of nearly 100m and 1,000 employees.

TTP Ventures was founded in 1998 by David Connell, as CEO, and Christopher van Essen. Gerry Fitzsimons took over from David as CEO in 2003, when David stepped up to become Executive Chairman. From the start, TTP Ventures' objective was to use TTP's expertise to help guide and support investments in early stage, external (i.e. non TTP) science and technology companies. Its first fund, with investment from Boeing, Siemens and financial institutions, was raised in 1999 and has since made 21 investments. TTP Ventures expects to invest in two further companies with the current fund.

Two TTP Ventures' investments, Element 14 and Alphamosaic, have been sold to Broadcom Inc, a US NASDAQ listed semiconductor company, yielding internal rates of return of 500%pa and 100%pa respectively. Other portfolio companies include TeraView, a terahertz imaging spin off from Toshiba, Oxford Diffraction, an instrumentation spin off from Oxford Instruments, Intense Photonics, an optoelectronics spin off from Glasgow University, and ZBD Displays, a spin out from QinetiQ.

David Connell

David Connell joined TTP Group in 1989 to set up its Strategy Group, which specialised in new business development, corporate venturing and spin out strategies. He was previously responsible for the Deloitte Haskins and Sells High Technology Group. David's consulting work over this period was augmented by a series of systematic research programmes on technology exploitation, start up strategies, the management of growth and other strategic issues of importance to science and technology firms. Most of this was published, and TTP Ventures' investment approach has been strongly influenced by the ideas that came out of this work.

David made the Fund's first investment in July 1999 in Element 14, which went on to deliver a double digit multiple for its investors. He also led the spin out of TeraView, one of Cambridge's most exciting new companies, from Toshiba's Cambridge Research Laboratory.

David has degrees in Physics, Operational Research and Economics.


For more information please contact:

Gerry Fitzsimons

TTP Venture Managers Ltd

Melbourn Science Park, Cambridge Road

Melbourn, Royston, Herts


Tel: +44 1763 262626

Fax: +44 1763 262265

To read more information, click here.

TTP Ventures supports early stage technology companies with investment and incubation services.

TTP Venture Managers Ltd