The company won the Consumer Electronics Technology section of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) Innovation Awards for its sound recognition technology which automatically recognises sounds – such as smoke alarms, breaking glass or baby cries – and is used by leading OEMs around the world.
Dr Chris Mitchell, CEO and founder, accepted the award at a ceremony in London, hosted by technology writer and TV presenter Kate Russell, on November 19.
He said: “Winning this prestigious, global accolade is a further demonstration of the innovation behind our sound sensing technology – and how it can benefit consumer electronics companies looking to add sound recognition to their products.”
Audio Analytic was based at ideaSpace West and later at ideaSpace City. The company moved to its own offices in St Andrew’s Street, Cambridge, earlier this year.
For more details on the award win see here.
The universal smartphone mount is made of high-quality silicone material and fits safely and easily to any handlebar.
The award ceremony took place on August 24 at the Eurobike fair in Friedrichshafen, Germany. In total, 56 products in 10 categories were nominated and were reviewed for their design, quality and functionality.
The judges verdict on the Finn Smartphone Mount was: “This smartphone holder on the handlebars impressed us as being functional, efficient, lightweight and low-cost. As it hardly occupies any space, it’s ideal for rental bikes.”
Organised by Cambridge News and Cambridge Business magazine, the awards have been running for 20 years to celebrate businesses and individuals that stood out over the past year in the business community. Categories include Employer of the Year, Independent Retailer of the Year, Business Innovation and the TWI Award for Technology Engineering in International Markets.
Stewart was one of four finalists in the Business Person of the Year category. He was nominated based on his success in growing ideaSpace into a hub for early stage innovation in Cambridge, with over 110 individual members from 70 early stage ventures. Two new sites are planned to be opened over the course of the next year.
The awards ceremony, held last week in the Great Hall at King's College, was hosted by the BBC's World Affairs Editor, John Simpson.
To view this year's finalists, visit this link.
Cambridge Intelligence, one of the region’s most promising start-ups, has celebrated the addition of a major new account to their books. The customer, an industry-leading French company, is Cambridge Intelligence’s tenth account, and the first from mainland Europe.
Founded in February 2012 by ex-i2 (now IBM) employees, Cambridge Intelligence has attracted interest from organisations on almost every continent with their innovative network visualisation software, KeyLines.
As companies worldwide struggle with the challenge of Big Data management, they have been turning to Cambridge Intelligence to help them make sense of their information.
Current users of KeyLines network visualisation software include organisations in the fields of law enforcement, military intelligence and information management including the US Army and the UK Fraud Prevention Service.
Joe Parry, CEO and Founder of Cambridge Intelligence, said, “we’re delighted that our product has enjoyed such success. This addition of a new customer cements our position as one of the industry’s hottest new companies and will provide us with the opportunity to expand even further into a rapidly growing global market.”
In April, Cambridge Intelligence was added to Business Weekly’s Killer-50 list of the most disruptive science and technology companies in the region.
For more information, contact Andrew Disney, Digital Marketing Manager:
+44 (0)1223 969 962
The data visualisation firm, based at ideaSpace until earlier in 2014, was named Innovative Business of the Year at the Startups.co.uk award ceremony in London on 27 November. From hundreds of entries, Cambridge Intelligence made it to a shortlist of three companies and was judged the winner by a panel of entrepreneurs and business leaders.
The award came just six days after the firm was invited to join the Scale Up Club, a group of 60 high-growth European companies with the potential to hit £100m revenue within three to five years. The club was launched by Silicon Valley Comes to the UK (SVC2UK) at a summit at the London Stock Exchange.
Joe Parry, Cambridge Intelligence CEO, said: “These two good news stories have come completely out of the blue. The companies celebrated by the Start Ups Awards were so varied, and each innovative in their own way, so to win the award was fantastic.
“As for the Scale Up Club, I’m all too aware of the challenges of trying to scale a business. Being able to share ideas and strategies with other CEOs – especially my counterparts based in Cambridge – and hearing from Valley legends who have done this all before has been immeasurably helpful. I hope taking part in the Scale Up Club will give us a real boost as we enter into 2015.”
For more details see here.
The company is recruiting new people to keep pace with demand and will grow to 10 full-time staff, compared with just three at the same point last year and only one in 2012.
The firm has quickly gained a reputation as a disruptive industry innovator, generating interest from organisations around the world including governments, police forces, multinational NGOs and Fortune Global 500 companies.
The latest account with an undisclosed company will see the firm’s KeyLines data visualisation capability deployed into one of Europe’s largest police forces.
Cambridge Intelligence CEO Joe Parry said: “The interest in KeyLines has been staggering. From law enforcement to fraud detection to social media monitoring, we’ve been approached to help solve hundreds of different data visualisation problems all over the world.
“This latest account is particularly exciting and really proves that Cambridge Intelligence is a trustworthy partner for the most complex and significant data visualisation projects.”
And the firm continues to pick up awards – last month (February) it was named one of the Everline Future 50 which recognises Britain’s most exciting and disruptive young companies.
Andrew Disney, Cambridge Intelligence digital marketing manager, said: “It’s a great honour to be recognised as a trailblazer by Real Business and the Everline Future50 judges.
“This award is testament to the innovative research and development we do every day, building truly unique visualisation software that helps our customers overcome the big data challenge and make better decisions."
See more on the Future 50 awards at http://realbusiness.co.uk/future-50
Cambridge Intelligence: www.cambridge-intelligence.com
José Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, and Neelie Kroes, its vice-president and commissioner in charge of the digital agenda, launched the forum at a high-level summit in Brussels.
The forum is led by the Lisbon Council and Nesta, the UK’s innovation foundation, in collaboration with the Startup Europe Partnership (SEP) and the European Commission. The University of Cambridge is one of the founding members of SEP, the first pan-European open platform dedicated to helping start-ups to progress to maturity. ideaSpace is the University’s representative in SEP.
The new forum gives a voice in public policy to the continent’s most enterprising and innovative entrepreneurs. It encourages Europeans to become web entrepreneurs, supporting technology start-ups and engaging with established corporate players to intellectually engage and inspire a new generation of leaders and doers.
At the launch Neelie Kroes said SEP and the forum are aimed at “giving a platform for start-ups to compete, raise funding, break through the glass ceiling to global success. Showing the facts, highlighting the opportunities, giving a political voice to this essential economic sector. Showing how well Europe is doing – and how we could do better.”
She added: “We are making it easier to share and spread bright ideas across the digital single market.”
The SEP programme is based on three main elements: matching start-ups with investment from corporates; mapping European start-ups and hubs to provide international visibility for emerging companies; and sharing best practice on entrepreneurship and corporate venture/start-up support.
For more on the European Digital Forum see here.
The company, based at the ideaSpace West site, says electronics manufacturers and service providers can offer dramatically improved viewing by adding Eyeteq as an option in the Accessibility menu.
Eyeteq allows colour-blind viewers to better differentiate between red and green when watching programmes, allowing them to see details they previously could not. It does this with minimal impact on the picture that is seen by those who do not have colour blindness, enabling both to watch the same screen together.
With Eyeteq enabled, content streamed to a set top box is enhanced on a frame-by-frame basis before being then transmitted to the TV screen. Programmes which contain a large amount of red and green in their images, such as sports, cookery and nature, are particularly enhanced.
Proving the concept, Spectral Edge has successfully integrated Eyeteq into a set top box from a major manufacturer – and deployment took just a few weeks.
Christopher Cytera, managing director of Spectral Edge, said: “Our Eyeteq technology has been proven to enhance the still image viewing experience for colour-blind people, and we are now extending this to TV and video content.
“Service providers and set top box manufacturers can see the benefits in increasing accessibility to colour-blind viewers, and Eyeteq provides the perfect solution for the living room TV screen. Our trials have proved the concept, and it is now ready for integration into prime time consumer technology in order to transform how colour-blind people, and their families, watch TV.”
Around 4% of the world’s population suffer from colour blindness. For a demonstration of the Eyeteq technology operating on a set top box contact Spectral Edge here. Free trial apps for both IoS and Android can be downloaded here.
To read an article by BBC technology reporter Dave Lee on Eyeteq, including calls by the Colour Blind Awareness group for the technology to be part of all televisions as standard, see here.
The technology startup, based at the ideaSpace West site, is set to complete a final round of investment funding and already counts ARM and Qualcomm as investors.
Google for Entrepreneurs has joined forces with Blackbox Connect for a showcase in California from September 29 to October 10. Zone V is one of just 16 companies chosen for the event to help non-US startups to present their ideas in Silicon Valley.
Abhi Naha, CEO and founder of Zone V, said: “We have been very fortunate to attract some of the leading companies in the world to create a very positive impact in our Digital Inclusion vision.”
For the full article in Business Weekly see here.
The event brings together tech start-ups, investors and entrepreneurs for an evening of business idea pitching by start-ups and productive feedback from experts.
Input Dynamics has created a new software-only user interface upgrade for smartphones enabling the user to impart commands to the handset by tapping anywhere on the casework, as well as an Android camera app which enables the user to easily and ergonomically take pictures by tapping on the back of the handset.
Follow this link to view the company’s website.
The answer was in the vision and persistence of Gonçalo de Vasconcelos, and the help of ideaSpace and its mentors, that led to the founding of SyndicateRoom, an “intelligent equity crowdfunding” company that has helped to raise £10m in less than a year.
Gonçalo, originally from Portugal and with a degree in civil engineering, came to London to continue his studies and moved to Cambridge to do an MBA at the Judge Business School. It was the potent combination of the university and the city’s business angels that inspired Gonçalo to set up his firm.
He says: “When I was doing my MBA, I started working with quite a few of the business angels in Cambridge. I could see what they were investing in – I said I wanted to invest £500 or £1,000. But it was clear that it was a ‘no go’ unless you had thousands to invest.”
Gonçalo wanted to break down those barriers to smaller investors and an important step in launching his firm came when he joined ideaSpace in November 2012.
“I joined for a number of reasons. I was working on my own from home. I needed to talk to people and meet people and be in a place where entrepreneurs are. I was much more efficient working there – and thanks to Hermann Hauser, ideaSpace is affordable,” says Gonçalo.
He raised some seed money, met Tom Britton at a University networking event and the pair became joint founders of Syndicate Room, with Gonçalo as CEO and Tom as chief technical officer.
First big break and a magical milestone
“We went live in September 2013. The beginning was tough but we got a big break with the help of Peter Cowley, one of our seed investors and a part of the ideaSpace network,” says Gonçalo.
That big break was Captive Media, an advertising platform turned down by investors on the TV show Dragons’ Den – it was the first successfully funded deal on SyndicateRoom, closing in just 27 days and raising £300,000.
Gonçalo recalls: “We closed the deal, I rang the ideaSpace bell and we opened a bottle to celebrate. I was there in my T-shirt and hoodie, and then Hermann Hauser and Lord Sainsbury visited by chance. Then we hit the news. That deal gave us visibility. The help of a business angel was crucial. Peter Cowley’s help made all the difference – just an hour a week of his time.”
Several successful funding rounds have followed that first deal. In September 2014, just short of the first anniversary of setting up the company, SyndicateRoom and its lead investors passed the £10m mark in money raised for 18 companies.
Gonçalo says: “We were telling investors we would raise £1m or £1.5m in our first year – we have been proved wrong but they don’t mind. That’s eight times what we were expecting to raise in our first year. We passed that magical milestone before the company was one year old.”
A vision for investors
SyndicateRoom attracts seasoned business angels who invest their own capital. They share all the risk and rewards with other investors – if they make money, the crowd makes money too. SyndicateRoom members get exactly the same share class and rights as professional investors.
SyndicateRoom does not charge members, who can invest from £1,000 upwards, for using its platform. The company has a flat fee of 5% on the funds raised through its platform only, which Gonçalo says is at the lower end of the industry standard of 5% to 8%.
Gonçalo says: “There are many people out there investing modest amounts. If you syndicate all those £5,000 investors, it can add up to a significant amount in no time. We are the bridge between the very wealthy individuals in the investment world and those who are not so well connected.
“The vision of SyndicateRoom is to allow well-informed investors to invest small amounts alongside the professionals. We want people to be able to invest in the same early stage companies the professionals are investing their own money in.
“Some people were sceptical but we got a lot of support from the Cambridge business community – not just financial support but their time – and I can’t highlight enough how crucial that was as we were developing our model.”
He acknowledges the help of Peter Cowley and David Gill, another member of the entrepreneurial community at ideaSpace, and the management team, headed by director Stew McTavish, who Gonçalo says “helped us take the pulse of what was going in Cambridge.”
The Cambridge brand also helps: “If you say you have an MBA from Cambridge, it opens doors.”
The company has grown in size to nine people in September 2014, along with non-executive directors (including David Gill), advisors (including Peter Cowley) and consultants for specific projects. Gonçalo says there is “no shortage of companies looking for investment” but adds: “The number that pass our due diligence is small.”
The SyndicateRoom model has been disruptive, as acknowledged by Hermann Hauser, founder of ARM. He says: “ARM disrupted the microprocessor business. SyndicateRoom is doing the same for financing British innovation.”
In a short time the company has established itself in the market. Gonçalo says: “We have the momentum. There will be copycats, that happens with any successful company, but copying is not easy. It’s all about delivery and traction. We have a track record – why would you go to another company that has never closed a deal?
“We have closed more than 90% of the deals that we list. That is down to quality, we filter our companies carefully – that is our key differentiator.”
In the middle of 2014, it was time for SyndicateRoom to move on from ideaSpace to new offices on Cambridge’s Regent Street. Gonçalo says: “ideaSpace was perfect for us and it has a time and place in the history of the company. The only reason we moved out was because the team grew and it was the right time to leave.
“We are going to keep on pushing ahead. It’s been a good beginning. With the team that we have, we will be doing some very interesting things in the future.”
Make the most of the community
Gonçalo’s advice to ideaSpace members is to make the most of the wealth of experience its community can offer.
“Reach out to the community, even over an informal coffee – that is how ideas spark. People maybe don’t realise the power of that. Just say to them: ‘I know you are busy, can I meet you for just half an hour?’ I’m very grateful to people like David Gill and Peter Cowley. You would pay £500 an hour or more for that sort of advice. But here it’s free, so use it.”
For more on SyndicateRoom see www.syndicateroom.com
The company, whose founder Joe Parry is a University of Cambridge alumni, has enjoyed successful growth since it was founded two years ago. CI has recently opened an office in the US city of Reno, Nevada, and grown its staff and client base. More importantly, its product, KeyLines, now rivals those offered by companies such as IBM and has won them important contracts in the cyber security and defence sectors.
KeyLines is a browser-based network visualization toolkit designed for law enforcement, fraud detection, counter terrorism, CRM, sales and social network data. It works on all types of devices such as tablets and smartphones, and its purpose is to uncover network structures behind an organization's data.
Joe Parry started the company in 2011, after resigning from his job as Head of Research for visual investigative analysis software company i2, now part of IBM, for which he worked for 13 years. Having read Mathematics in Bristol, he achieved a Distinction in Part III of the Mathematical Tripos at the University of Cambridge, where he then stayed on for a PhD in Cosmology and General Relativity. His studies ended with a Master’s degree in Computer Science at Imperial College London, after which Joe started his career as developer, technical architect and then researcher.
With his knowledge of the national security, policing and military intelligence market, Joe wanted to create a more modern visualisation platform than Analyst's Notebook desktop software – a system which could be deployed entirely in your browser.
After attending a couple of ideaSpace seminars on how to create a start-up, Joe joined the community and from then on, Cambridge Intelligence has grown to a point where it now counts six staff, a US office and some major clients and partners, such as the US Department of Defence and the UK’s Fraud Prevention Service, CIFAS.
Initially based at the Hauser Forum, the growing company has now moved to the new ideaSpace site in Miller’s Yard.
Audio Analytic uses advanced psychoacoustic modelling to produce software which automatically recognises sounds – such as smoke alarms, breaking glass or baby cries – that is used by leading original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) around the world.
The company’s origins are in founder Chris Mitchell’s self-funded PhD in sound information systems and signal processing at Anglia Ruskin University, in Cambridge, in which he used computers for music genre recognition through tone, pitch and timbre. Chris admits that he loves “boxes that make noises” and analysing those noises appealed as a PhD subject. And, conveniently, his research lent itself to potential commercial applications.
Chris says: “As I was getting towards the end of the PhD, I started to see how it could be applied and saw there wasn’t anybody applying this type of technology in sound recognition.”
Chris was awarded a fellowship to investigate the technology developed as part of his PhD. He received training at Harvard Business School and worked with Cisco Systems in San Jose, California. It was in the United States that Chris had his Eureka moment – the idea of using sounds from CCTV systems to detect incidents and crimes that could not be identified from the video feed alone.
The funding, the products and licensing the technology
Chris founded Audio Analytic in 2008 and received a £15k proof of concept grant from the East of England Development Authority (EEDA) in August 2008. This was followed by a £20k grant from NESTA/NCGE in January 2009. Commercial trials of its first product for the market started that April.
Around this time Chris was at a meeting in Cambridge that led to an introduction to Stew McTavish, director of the then recently-launched ideaSpace, who explained what it was and his vision for it. It was enough to get Chris to join as one of the earliest members and he says he benefitted from the community and connections from which ideaSpace members benefit.
Chris says: “Coming from outside of Cambridge University, it gave us access to the University. We had assistance from the Institute for Manufacturing (IfM) and other University departments.
“There is a lot of knowledge available at ideaSpace and you draw from it – there were a lot of useful meetings as well as random chats with members that turned into useful information. There is value in chatting with people who are doing similar things to you.”
Audio Analytic took a major step forward in October 2010 when it closed a funding round led by Cambridge Angels, allowing it to invest in product development, delivery and marketing.
At the heart of the company’s business is the ability to detect the acoustic signature of a sound. Audio Analytic has developed a system that reduces thousands of comparable sounds into their core constituent parts and summarises them into what the company calls a ‘software sensor’. These can represent the summary of thousands of hours of audio recordings of a particular sound like baby cries, breaking glass, smoke alarms and car alarms. The sensors are lightweight and fit into the most compact specifications of existing hardware designs. The technology was developed from years of cutting-edge research.
Norway-based Zenitel AS, a global supplier of security communication systems, announced a licensing agreement in November 2011 to integrate Audio Analytic’s sound recognition technology with its communication systems. Further licensing agreements followed in September 2012 with Next Level Security Systems and AxxonSoft.
Expanding the applications for new markets
Audio Analytic’s early focus was on professional security applications for its software sensors to monitor schools and colleges, hospitals and civic buildings, shops and banks, transport and urban centres. The technology helps to alert CCTV operators to car thefts or break-ins (car alarm detection), building break-ins (glass break detection), verbal and physical violence in buildings or transport systems (aggression detection) and firearms crimes (gunshot detection).
In April 2014, the firm raised a further £900,000 to help fund its expansion into the very competitive and fast-changing home security/automation and consumer electronics market place.
Property protection is enhanced by Audio Analytic’s software sensors which detect breaking glass, smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms. The sensors can be used to trigger text messages, emails or video recording and transmission when incidents occur. The Keywords software sensor detects the specific sound associated with a predefined command or emergency word (e.g. Help, Help, Help!).
The Baby Cry software sensor has been designed to detect a range of cries from babies to toddlers aged up to 24 months. The system can detect up to 10 meters from a sound source using a typical MEMS microphone. The technology can be used to trigger responses such as audio monitoring, video recording and transmission, and increased playback volume to make sure an audio event is not missed. All of this helps provide greater peace of mind for parents.
Leading the way in sound recognition
From its inception, the company’s core values were founded in being the emerging leader in sound recognition – and those values continue to guide its development. It is constantly seeking new applications that will offer greater peace of mind to anyone who chooses its technology.
Audio Analytic was based at ideaSpace West and later at ideaSpace City for about a year before moving to its own offices in St Andrew’s Street, Cambridge, in May 2014.
Chris says: “We moved from West to City to have more space – then we outgrew that and moved here.”
Audio Analytic increased in size to 10 staff in December 2014 and it has high-profile customers worldwide in the home automation and security sectors, including Cisco, Swann and Zenitel.
The company has won industry recognition and attracted media attention. The firm was named as one of the 16 most exciting start-ups in Cambridge by The Observer, a leading UK Sunday newspaper, in December 2013. It was shortlisted for the Three New Things competition, organised by Virgin Media, from almost 100 entrants, and it was a semi-finalist for Richard Branson’s Pitch to Rich competition in 2014 to find the UK’s best start up.
The company won the Consumer Electronics Technology section of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) Innovation Awards in November 2014 for its sound recognition technology for OEMs (smoke alarm, glass break, baby cry, aggression detection).
Recalling the role ideaSpace has played in the company’s development, Chris acknowledges the help of Stew and the management team, adding: “We had access to the ideaSpace community and all that it entails.”
And his advice for current members on how to make the most of what ideaSpace offers?
“Make sure you are always talking to people, even if you have no reason to! Go out of your way to talk to them.”
For more on Audio Analytic see www.audioanalytic.com
The move sees the firm, which is responsible for the KeyLines data visualisation toolkit, take up residence in the former Xerox Research Centre on Regent Street, overlooking Parker’s Piece.
Since its foundation in 2011, Cambridge Intelligence has enjoyed rapid organic growth driven by increasing global interest in KeyLines and data visualisation. This success is expected to continue, with plans to expand from seven full-time employees to 20 by the end of next year.
It recently announced the signing of a major deal with a European national police force, bringing its client count past 20 – double what it was six months previously. It also made its first Latin American sale, meaning the KeyLines visualisation toolkit is in use by governments, police forces and enterprises across five continents.
Joe Parry, Cambridge Intelligence founder and CEO, said: “This is a really exciting moment in Cambridge Intelligence’s history.
“As a relatively young company, being part of the ideaSpace community has been fantastic – offering the support and flexibility we needed during our first few years.
“However, as the KeyLines team continues to grow it felt like a good time to make the move into our own space. Our new office is modern, stylish and a great creative space for us to grow into. It will be an inspiring place for our customers to visit and will help us attract the best talent.”
A recruitment drive is under way to support the company’s growing client base and to build new functionality for the KeyLines software.
The office move comes just a few weeks after Cambridge Intelligence was named as one of the Everline Future 50, a national scheme recognising the UK’s most disruptive young companies, and it shortlisted for the Business Weekly award for International Business of the Year.
This exclusive list of companies based in Cambridge and the East of England ‘flags up start-ups barely on the commercial radar but tipped to grow globally’.
Six ideaSpace companies appear among those listed:
- Audio Analytic which produces sound recognition software that automatically classifies sounds by means of computer analysis.
- Cambridge Carbon Capture creator of an electrochemical process that captures carbon dioxide from the combustion of hydrocarbons as solid carbonate materials.
- Fonleap a software company which created a technology to enable seamless interoperability between different devices without relying on remote access.
- Green-Tide Turbines which is developing a novel water turbine designed to generate electricity from run-of-river or tidal streams to significantly reduce the cost of energy.
- Knowledge Transmission an education technology company that partners with education publishers, international university groups and private language chains to deliver mobile products to their customers and students.
- Skin Analytics which is developing a cloud-based service to enable consumers to detect early warning signs of skin cancer through advanced image processing technology.
There are also two ideaSpace alumni on the list:
- iSotera a firm which offers intelligent LED lighting system that can make LED lights more energy-efficient, and installation more affordable, now based at the Science Park.
- PragmatIC Printing which enables printed logic circuits that introduce intelligence and interactivity into a wide range of products and applications, currently based at St John's Innovation Centre.
ideaSpace is a hub for founders in Cambridge. While it is a part of the University of Cambridge, it is not just for people from the University. Members join ideaSpace to become part of a community of over 100 founders and founding team members pursuing ventures with potential global impact. For more information on membershipvisit here.
With just two weeks to go until its fourth birthday, Cambridge Intelligence was named as a recipient in the Innovation category of the annual Queen’s Awards for Enterprise on the strength of KeyLines, its successful data visualisation technology.
The KeyLines toolkit is used to build web applications for visualizing connected data. Tens of thousands of users rely on KeyLines applications to make sense of highly complex connected data for tasks as varied as detecting fraud, understanding criminal organisations, monitoring critical infrastructure and interpreting scientific data. Customers include national police forces, government agencies and Fortune 500 enterprises.
Read more here.
The company, founded in 2014 and based at the ideaSpace City site, was named the winner at the Venture Competition ceremony for the UK’s top climate start-ups organised by Climate-KIC (Knowledge and Innovation Community) UK.
David Leal, Reduse’s chief scientist, invented the ‘Unprinter’ during his PhD research under the supervision of Dr Julian Allwood in the Low Carbon Materials Processing Group at the University of Cambridge’s Engineering Department. The invention can remove print from laser-printed paper, providing cost savings and CO2 reductions.
Nine finalists competed for the prize with five-minute pitches followed by a Q&A session with a panel of judges. Hidde-Jan Lemstra, CEO of Reduse, won the competition and was awarded one of two prizes of €20,000.
He said: “We are delighted to have won this competition. This is more proof that we are on the right track to solving the incredible waste that is being generated by printing. We have exciting technology and a world-class team.”
An average office employee uses 10,000 sheets of paper every year, most of which are discarded within just a few days. Unprinting is disruptive but fits into any office environment. It requires little or no change to how people work, is easily implemented and delivers significant cost savings and CO2 reductions.
Reduse has recruited Tony Dunn as its chief technology officer, he has more than 20 years’ experience with product design and development and will lead the technical development of the Unprinter.
The company has started raising its first round of funding to complement a £224,000 grant from the Technology Strategy Board.
For more on Reduse see here.
The move was completed on June 1 after many weeks of planning and hard work to transform the new premises.
Office Manager Belinda Brown said: “Everyone is thrilled with the new office space in such a prime location with beautiful views over the river, private meeting rooms and an office full of natural light.”
City membership is filling up quickly with just a couple of full-time places left but part-time membership is still available.
The new address is 3 Laundress Lane, Cambridge CB2 1SD. The telephone number and email address remain unchanged: +44 (0) 1223 330971 and email@example.com
Video phones can be complicated for those who are not comfortable with technology so SeeSpeak, based at ideaSpace West, provides a single-function tablet for making Skype video calls that is simple and instinctive to use.
The device is always switched on and is ready to make and receive calls, comes with a stand and long power lead, it is free from potentially confusing pop-up messages and updates its software by itself.
It takes minutes to set up – when you turn on SeeSpeak for the first time, you are guided on how to connect to wi-fi, sign in to Skype and add contacts. With just one tap on a family member’s image on the tablet, users can instantly make a video call.
One user said: “Watching the joy on my mother’s face when she sees her great-grandchildren on SeeSpeak is priceless.”
For more information on SeeSpeak see http://www.seespeak.co.uk
This type of skin cancer can develop from abnormal moles, and in Australia, where Neil is from, two to three people are expected to experience it in their lifetime. As the key to surviving this type of cancer is early detection, the duo decided to create a unique cloud-based service that can keep track of skin changes, recording images of the evolving lesions that people can then show to their doctor for a faster, more accurate diagnosis. ideaSpace and the Cambridge environment had a great impact on the success of their company, which has been able to access the right support, knowledge and funds to be able to launch the Beta version of their app.
Two friends, one mission: using technology to improve healthcare
University of Cambridge alumnus Julian Hall met his business partner Neil Daly whilst studying for an MBA at London Business School. They both wanted to become entrepreneurs and started brainstorming ideas before even finishing their course. As Neil comes from Australia – one of the countries where skin cancer is most common – the idea of creating technology to help early detection of melanoma did not take long to appear in their minds.
Although there were many apps on the market which claimed to be able to diagnose melanoma, all had been proven to be dangerously inaccurate – only an expert doctor can give a correct diagnosis. What did not exist was a mobile-based service that kept track of changes in the colour, shape and texture of moles, which is the key to early diagnosis. This is what Skin Analytics set out to address.
The Cambridge cluster and ideaSpace
The choice of where to base Skin Analytics was between the two main start-up clusters in the UK – London and Cambridge. The latter was eventually chosen for two reasons: being smaller, Cambridge is less dispersive – everything is concentrated in a few key locations and not scattered around a vast area; secondly, it offers an incredible environment thanks to the amount of specialist expertise in the healthcare and technology sectors that has no equal. By basing their company in Cambridge, Julian and Neil were able to talk to experienced academics in the field of skin cancer and access the specialist knowledge they needed to start their company.
ideaSpace came into the picture as they were searching for an incubator where they could base their start-up. They soon found out it was more than just an incubator: they could enjoy the benefits of a community of entrepreneurs and start-ups with a variety of skill-sets and knowledge with whom they could share experience and tips; have contact with experienced businesspeople to get advice on fundraising and business strategy, but also with accountants and lawyers; and ultimately, and most importantly, being in a well-known incubator allowed them to gain visibility and credibility.
It was thanks to the influence of the ideaSpace community and the University of Cambridge’s experts that Skin Analytics managed to receive the right input and support to be able to work on the ground-breaking image tracking technology at the base of their service. They received advice on what the technology should be doing, gained access to an image bank which is unique in the world, based in New Zealand, and got expert feedback on progress made, as well as help with managing their business.
Their service was covered by several media outlets including the Telegraph, BBC, The Engineer, Techcrunch and Mashable, and entered many awards, winning the Cambridge Wireless Discovering Start-ups competition in 2012 and becoming a finalist this year at the Smart UK Project competition for the UK's most innovative mobile company and at the NHS Healthcare Innovation Expo for start-ups showing future potential for healthcare delivery.
Helping Australia and then the world
The Skin Analytics team has now grown to 4 people. Julian and Neil hired an image processing specialist to work on the technology and a web architect to develop the app and website. Having reached a good level of technical maturity, the Beta version of their app was released at the beginning of 2013 in Australia, where awareness of skin cancer and popularity of self-checking is greatest. They expect to get a great amount of feedback and collect a large number of images that they can use for testing and improving their image tracking technology.
Once the technology becomes as accurate as possible, Skin Analytics will be officially launched, first in Australia and then, country by country, in the rest of the world.
- Sep 2011 - Julian and Neil meet at London Business School and decide to start a business together. They have an idea: a mobile-based service to track mole changes and help prevent skin cancer.
- Dec 2011 - They win the ‘Smart Award’, a research grant bid from TSB for SMEs involved in high-risk technology projects.
- May 2012 - Julian and Neil decide to base their company at ideaSpace.
- An image processing specialist is hired to study how the image tracking system can become more accurate.
- August 2012 - A web architect is hired to help with designing the app and website. The basic system is built.
- January 2013 - The team works on ways to reduce noise from images and improve accuracy
- March 2013 - The beta version of the app is released as a way of getting feedback and improving technology
- August 2013 – A soft launch of the service is offered across Europe
- 2014 – Skin Analytics plans to grow the business worldwide
The company, one of an increasing list of ideaSpace alumni, has developed an app which helps to scan an individual’s moles by taking an accurate snapshot of each mole and carefully monitor them for change.
The app prompts the user to undertake further regular screenings, helps them to understand the risks involved, suggest any precautions which should be taken and provide a report for a GP if any changes have been detected.
The University of Cambridge provided the foundations for Skin Analytics to get started and also introduced the company to Founder.org, a Silicon Valley based mentorship programme to help start-ups commercialise their business and raise funding from the Valley.
Neil Daly, Skin Analytics CEO, believes Cambridge has everything needed to become a major innovation hub like the Silicon Valley.
He said: “I don’t think Skin Analytics could have been started in many other places in the world. With the University behind us and now with the support of Founder.org, I hope we can add to Cambridge's growing reputation as a hotbed of innovation.”
For more details see here.
These devices are the work of PragmatIC Printing, formerly based at ideaSpace, a world leader in flexible electronics. It has recently completed a £5.4 million funding round led by Cambridge Innovation Capital (CIC) with support from ARM Holdings and existing shareholders to scale-up its operations.
Scott White, CEO at PragmatIC, said: “We have become accustomed to silicon chips being incorporated into high-value documents such as passports and credit cards, but there are limitations to how robustly and cost-effectively this can be done.
"Our technology platform creates a microcircuit thinner than a human hair that can be easily embedded in any flexible surface.”
The applications for PragmatIC’s devices, which are cost-effective enough to be incorporated into disposable items, are vast: from intelligent packaging of fast-moving consumer goods, to wireless traceability of documents for security and identification.
The firm is using the funding to hire more staff and to scale-up its production capacity to 100 million flexible integrated circuits later this year.
For more information on PragmatIC see www.pragmaticprinting.com
The company, based at the ideaSpace West site, will develop software that utilises its technology in a new project named PetaGene, backed by Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency (formerly the Technology Strategy Board) as part of its Smart programme. They are working in collaboration with the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) to address problems in big data genomics.
Rapid advances in technology have resulted in a reduction in the cost of sequencing a person’s genome by a factor of 10,000 over the past decade. The resulting genomics data volumes pose enormous challenges in terms of storage cost and computational efficiency.
PetaGene addresses challenges in storage and in cluster/cloud computational efficiency in a manner that will be simple to use, transparent and empowering for researchers. It will be a readily deployed software solution that works on top of existing storage infrastructure, with the potential to improve the performance of big data genomics experiments by an order of magnitude, resulting in more genuine discoveries and leading to better clinical diagnostics and treatments.
PetaGene will reduce resource usage and the cost of building new bioinformatics pipelines for services and routine analysis. It has the potential to bring faster and easier access to bigger scales of datasets that will facilitate more efficient genomics research and analysis.
Fonleap was founded by Dan Greenfield and Alban Rrustemi, who met as computer science PhD students at the University of Cambridge, to address the storage needs of businesses. Fonleap’s core IP is called Storleap, bringing advanced, next-generation storage and synchronization technologies to existing IT infrastructure.
For more information on Storleap visit www.storleap.com.
He was interviewed by Insight Radio, the radio station of the RNIB, about Eyeteq. It is a mathematical image processing technology based on world-leading research that has been transformed from the laboratory to a product by Spectral Edge, which is based at the ideaSpace West site.
With careful design using mathematical perception models, Eyeteq re-maps colours so that colourblind people enjoy a new level of detail as well as an enhanced overall appearance whilst maintaining an acceptable or even preferable image for non-colourblind people.
Eyeteq is suitable for any device which captures, processes or displays images and has applications for television, video, set top boxes, computers, tablets and mobile phones. Trials are currently being undertaken to integrate the Eyeteq software in set top boxes.
To hear the full interview click here.
SyndicateRoom, based at ideaSpace, has helped a range of businesses raise cash to commercialise their projects through its unique model. It only lists companies already backed by professional business angels, who are investing their own money, and offers its members the same terms if they decide to invest alongside these professionals.
The company says it has democratised investment in young, fast-growing companies, helping companies to overcome the shortfall in capital usually associated with strong growth by allowing individuals to invest and become real-life ‘Dragons’.
And by subscribing members to the same share class and same rights as a business angel, SyndicateRoom ensures they are signing up to nothing less than the same deal as a professional investor.
Gonçalo de Vasconcelos, CEO of SyndicateRoom, said: “We are very pleased and honoured to have joined the Killer50 and be listed next to other amazing companies that inspire us to do better and think bigger every day. Joining such a list is great, but to make it to the list in one of the most entrepreneurial and successful areas of the world makes it feel extra special. We are absolutely thrilled!”
Also on the Killer50 list is Cambridge Intelligence, the firm responsible for the KeyLines data visualisation toolkit. It is one of a growing number of ideaSpace alumni and it moved into its own offices on Cambridge’s Regent Street earlier this year.
For the full article and the Killer50 list see here.
The start-up, based at ideaSpace West, hopes to take the medical technology parked by biopharmaceutical companies and turn it into new drugs and therapies. Healx3 is currently in talks with biopharma companies on potential partnerships.
In an interview with Business Weekly, CEO Tim Guilliams, who holds a PhD in molecular neuroscience from the University of Cambridge, says: “Around 90 per cent of drug development projects never make it to market – leaving a vast amount of parked bio-assets on company benches.
“Some of these assets still have therapeutic potential, but do not cure patients or generate revenue. Healx3 is specialising in the upcycle and out-licensing of parked therapeutics and dormant IP in the biopharmaceutical industry.
“By enabling companies to generate new revenue streams and promote collaborative innovation within the industry, our activities will help deliver the next generation of therapeutics to patients in need.”
Healx3 is currently self-funded but aims to seek angel support once it has created strategic partnerships, launching a pilot with around 10 assets and pushing for seed capital around September.
To read the full article visit here.
For more on Healx3 see http://www.healx3.com/
Sparrho aggregates, distils and recommends the best scientific discoveries so researchers do not have to do the searching. In the article in Nature, titled How to tame the flood of literature (4 September 2014), Ross Mounce, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Bath, UK, says he uses Sparrho.
“The breadth is a real strength,” he says about Sparrho’s recommendations from a keyword-based feed that asks users to train the tool by flagging suggestions as relevant or irrelevant. It includes articles, grants, patents, posters and conference proceedings from all the sciences.
Recommendations are based on connections between similar users. “We’re allowing intelligent curators, humans, to join the scattered dots,” says chief executive Vivian Chan, who co-founded Sparrho after she struggled to keep up with the literature while studying for a biochemistry PhD at the University of Cambridge.
Sparrho, based until recently at the ideaSpace West site, has just moved to offices in London.
Read the full Nature article here.
For more information on Sparrho visit www.sparrho.com.
The company, based at ideaSpace West, is a Cambridge University spin-out and its chief scientist and co-founder, Catharina Paukner, was dubbed “the first lady of graphene” in an article in The Sunday Telegraph.
Cambridge Nanosystems has developed a ground-breaking new method of producing ultra-high-quality, impurity-free graphene in high volumes. It is due to open a factory in 2015 that can make up to five tonnes of graphene.
Catharina told the newspaper: “It’s mind-blowing to think that not long ago, it was only possible to make a ladleful in a year. Now we can make enough to fill a whole building. And we have the capacity to increase that 100-fold.”
Cambridge Nanosystems uses a patented plasma system to turn biogas into graphene. The company is collaborating with world-leading companies and academic experts to develop materials into advanced designs to transform global manufacturing processes and potentially revolutionise a wide range of consumer and industrial products.
Catharina said: “The possibilities are endless.”
The new Cambridge facility could make graphene available to scientists in large quantities. Catharina said: “I want other people to fulfil their dreams, just as we are fulfilling ours.”
To read the full article in The Sunday Telegraph see here.
For more information on Cambridge Nanosystems see http://cambridgenanosystems.com
*Photograph courtesy of Cambridge Nanosystems and The Sunday Telegraph
Metail, one of the ideaSpace City site alumni firms, allows you to create a 3D version of yourself so you can shop online and virtually try on clothes.
Using just a few simple measurements, Metail is able to deliver a 94-96% accurate 3D model of you, called a MeModel, complete with hairstyle and skin tone. More and more people are experimenting with how new styles and clothes would look on their MeModel from the comfort of their own home.
The lead investor in this new round is TAL Apparel, of Hong Kong-based TAL Group, a global leader in garment manufacturing.
Tom Adeyoola, co-founder and CEO, said the long-term vision is for Metail is to become the ‘Google of sizing and shape’.
To find out more, visit here.
For more information on Metail, visit http://metail.com.
The season reached its climax on Sunday 1 February when the New England Patriots beat the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl.
Vizzuality, based at ideaSpace City, was asked by Google to visualise the search patterns of the USA’s NFL fans over the whole 2014-2015 season. Its team of designers, developers and data scientists pored over 21 weeks of geospatial data to see which teams were being searched for across the nation.
Week by week the Vizzuality team were able to see fans reacting to the biggest plays, the comebacks and the surprise victories of the season. Vizzuality added statistics from matches to illustrate key events as context for what people were searching for each week and the data revealed how teams’ fanbases extend far beyond their heartlands into neighbouring states.
The visualisations showed searches for all teams throughout the whole season http://bit.ly/1Kqzfco) and search strength and match statistics for the two teams that made it to the Super Bowl (http://bit.ly/1Kqz8O3).
The company said: “It was a real honour to work with Google on this project, and we hope to work with Trends data again in the future to see what other trends we can discover. We really enjoyed making it and we hope you enjoy watching the highlights of the season!”
For more information on Vizzuality see http://www.vizzuality.com/
The technology company helped Polar Bears and Paddleboards. The project was a multi-day expedition to Greenland, the aim of which was to paddle 100km through the Sermilik Fjord. Voyage Manager’s role was to keep track of progress and to update followers in real time as to their location. Voyage Manager supplied the expedition team with a waterproof and impact-resistant satellite tracker phone which allowed them to communicate with the outside world and automatically provide their exact location at any time on a specially created map webpage – this would also be useful in the event of an emergency.
The company will also be providing a satellite phone and map webpage to the Row the Amazon project in September, where two men will row the entire length of the Amazon river – 2,077 miles from Peru to the Brazilian coast – in the space of about six weeks. If successful, this would be a world first.
Voyage Manager was founded in 2010 by John Scott, a software engineer, and is based at ideaSpace West. It has now grown to five core employees and has several partnerships with satellite technology, communication services and travel information providers. The idea for the web-based travel tracking and security services provided by John's company arose from his own experiences of travelling in remote places and encountering difficulties.
For more information please visit here.
In the image from left to right: Christian Bunke (Voyage Manager), Mark de Rond (Row the Amazon), Justin Miles (Polar Bears and Paddleboards) and Anton Wright (Row the Amazon).
Voyage Manager, based at the ideaSpace West site, provides flexible, automated and user-friendly solutions for managing, monitoring and tracking employee and asset travel.
It will be able to showcase its duty-of-care services to Travelport’s customers, including corporate travel buyers, and will have access to market intelligence and a developer forum. It has also integrated with the Travelport Universal API which will provide it with access to Travelport’s travel content and services.
Travelport’s Kathy Hodges said: “We are delighted to be able to offer Voyage Manager and their advanced travel tracking and travel risk management services to our corporate travel partners as a duty-of-care provider.”
John Scott, CEO of Voyage Manager, said: “The Universal API gives us fast and reliable access to travel bookings which will make our travel tracker even more accurate.
“A big challenge for travel managers is to know where employees are who have not booked through the company’s designated travel management company. The fact that bookings made with a number of low cost carriers, such as Ryanair and easyJet, are available through the Travelport Universal API is particularly attractive for us, as we then capture more of these travellers.”
For more information on Voyage Manager see www.voyagemanager.com.
Voyage Manager, based at the ideaSpace West site, provides flexible, automated and user-friendly solutions for managing, monitoring and tracking employee and asset travel.
Mr Dominic Milne, Deputy Head of the International Office at the University of Aberdeen, said: “We have a team who travel extensively overseas. As recent events have sadly shown major incidents, such as terrorism or natural disaster, can and do occur suddenly. We are very mindful of our duty of care and, should the worst happen, we need to be in a position to respond quickly.
“We wished to establish a more robust and reliable method of being able to monitor where our staff may be at any given time, and the excellent Voyage Manager system allows us to achieve this.”
John Scott, CEO of Voyage Manager, said: “The University of Aberdeen is the latest of a number of educational intuitions using our system. The universities are interesting as customers because travelling is not their core business and, consequently, they have relatively limited resources to provide adequate follow-up of their travellers.
“Our system with a simple user interface for both the employee and the employer, in combination with our wide range of functions, meets a need for this type of businesses.”
For more information on Voyage Manager visit here.
A smart lightbulb that can recognise the sound of an intruder breaking a window has won a major industry award, and this has fuelled further demand for Audio Analytic, the world's leading sound recognition company. To address its growing order book and fund new developments, the company has raised £1 million from investors including Cambridge Innovation Capital, IQ Capital Partners and Cambridge Angels.
When Irish author Flann O'Brien submitted the manuscript for his second book, The Third Policeman, to a London publisher in 1940 it was rejected.
But rather than admit this lack of success to his friends, he pretended the manuscript had accidentally blown out of the boot of his car on a trip to Donegal and had been lost forever.
"This was a ruinous thing to say because he couldn't then turn around and say, 'Oh I've found it again,' so the manuscript sat very openly on his sideboard until his death," says Booker Prize-winning author Anne Enright. She has selected O'Brien's story to appear in an exhibition entitled Fail Better at the Science Gallery at Trinity College, Dublin.
"The year after [O'Brien's] death, his wife got it published to a keen reception."
If O'Brien had been more open about his failure to get the book printed, he might have seen his work published within his lifetime.
ideaSpace members enjoyed the dizzy but spectacular heights looking over Cambridge city from the Varsity Hotel rooftop at their annual summer BBQ. A refreshing breeze brought a welcome reprieve from the heatwave members had been working through all week and an ideal opportunity to network with members across both sites and their guests.
BioBeatBusiness 2015 report identifies inspirational women who are re-setting the imagination of what can be achieved in biotech.
The report identifies 50 women who are challenging the status quo to bring new strategies and creativity to the global healthcare industry.
BioBeat founder Miranda Weston-Smith said: “Encouraging numbers of female bio-entrepreneurs are emerging and it’s clear they are bringing new ideas to the industry, often through founding their own companies.”
This year of the 50 women there are 17 rising stars including Jelena Aleksic, co-founder of GeneAdviser and new members of ideaSpace City,and ideaSpace alumni Alexandre Grigore, co-founder and CTO of Simprints.
The GraphConnect Awards, also known as The Graphies, are a unique accolade created to recognise innovation and achievement within the graph database community.
Hundreds of business people, developers and academics attended the Graphies, now in their second year, to hear about ground breaking projects and products from around the world that are helping to solve complex data problems.
The award’s hosts were Neo Technologies, creators of Neo4J – the world’s most popular graph database.
This latest award comes just months after Cambridge Intelligence was named as one of Business Weekly’s Killer-50, the list of the region’s most disruptive science and technology companies. Cambridge Intelligence also recently celebrated their 15th major new customer.
Corey Lanum, Manager of Cambridge Intelligence in the US, said of the Graphie: “We are very excited to have been recognised by Neo Technology with this award. KeyLines has become known for being ahead of the curve in terms of technology and innovation, and to have this confirmed by an organisation as globally renowned at Neo Technologies is a real honour.”
A full run-down of the GraphConnect Award winners can be found on Neo Technology’s website.
Notes for Editors
Cambridge Intelligence Limited is a leading provider of network visualisation and analysis solutions. KeyLines has been deployed on solutions across law enforcement, cyber security, fraud detection, counter-terrorism, CRM, sales and social networks.
For more information, contact Andrew Disney, Digital Marketing Manager:
These issues were discussed at a debate entitled From Lab to Market?, organised by the Cambridge University Science and Policy Exchange (CUSPE) and supported by ideaSpace, Healx3, a company based at ideaSpace West, the Centre for Science and Policy (CSaP), Cambridge Innovation Forum and MedImmune.
Tim Guilliams, founder and CEO at Healx3, wrote a blog post on the proceedings entitled Cambridge knowledge exchange and innovation networks and it featured prominently on the National Centre for Universities & Business (NCUB) website – it was on the front page.
In the blog post, Tim says that understanding how university-business interactions and mechanisms can be improved to maximise academic impact on the economy is a subject that is high on the UK Government agenda.
He says: “There is no doubt that the transfer of technology and intellectual property between universities and businesses is important. However, one could argue that facilitating effective networks and knowledge exchange between both sectors might even have a greater impact on the country’s development.”
Tim is Director of Knowledge Exchange at Cambridge Innovation Forum, co-founder of CUSPE and a Junior Associate Fellow of CSaP.
To read Tim’s blog post in full visit here.
This week (12th November) the e-Luminate Foundation turns three years old. Alessandra Caggiano, e-Luminate Cambridge Festival Director & Curator and ideaSpace City member, says: "As the e-Luminate Foundation celebrates three years of dazzling events and brilliant programmes in Cambridge, we would like to thank the business community and raise a glass to the next three years!
Alessandra adds:"It is extremely gratifying that within just three short years this contemporary event has become a cornerstone of the Cambridge calendar.
In 2014, Ross Ashton, an internationally renowned projection artist, joined the Board and contributed to the programme with spectacular shows such as the 2015 piece on Senate House in Cambridge.
"As we celebrate this milestone, we also need to stress that we are an independent organisation and we are not in receipt of any public funding. This means that there are still opportunities to get involved in the 2016 programme (12-17 February) and help us make Cambridge shine brighter than ever now and for the years to come," said Alessandra.
For more on e-Luminate see here.
Vans are the workhorse of our economy – clocking up 41.4 billion miles a year – improving driving and the scheduling of journeys would reduce congestion and accidents on our highstreets and cut fuel use. This is among the geospatial applications to be facilitated by radically different type of database developed by Cambridge start-up GeoSpock. It uses knowledge of how our brains store, manage and retrieve information to offer a database capable of supporting the growing Internet of Things (IoT). It has secured £3.5M Series A funding* to bring its first product to market and has appointed Victor Christou of Cambridge Innovation Capital as a non-exec director.
For full story see here:
Rudy De Waele is the curator of Shift 2020 - How Technology Will Impact Our Future, a collaborative book including foresights – quotes, paragraphs and essays – by leading experts in technology.
Many areas of how we will communicate, work and do business are covered in depth. Topics include 3D printing, apps, crowdfunding, entrepreneurship, green technology, hyperconnectivity, media, retail, smart cities, social media and society.
There is also a focus on emerging markets such as the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) and Sub-Saharan Africa.
The contributors, and the topics they address, include:
- Aubrey de Grey, Chief Science Officer, SENS Research Foundation – biotech
- Andrew Hessel, Distinguished Researcher, Autodesk – 3D printing
- Scott Jenson, Product Strategy, Google – computing
- Neelie Kroes, Vice-President, European Commission – politics and society
- Kosta Peric, Deputy Director Financial Services for the Poor, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – finance
- Douglas Rushkoff, author of Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now – media theory.
The book follows on from a project Rudy released in 2010, called Mobile Trends 2020, a collaborative outlook on mobile trends for the next decade.
Rudy says: “Reviewing the document a couple of months ago, I realised the future is catching up on us much faster than many of the predictions made at that time. I thought it was time to ask the original contributors for an update on their original predictions and new foresights for the year 2020.
“Additionally, I wanted to broaden the scope of this new book project and asked new contributors to give their vision and foresights on a wider array of topics.”
Rudy is a speaker, author, curator and mobile and innovation strategist with nearly 20 years’ experience in internet technology, specialising in mobile innovation and start-ups since 1999. He assists global brands, start-ups and organisations with open innovation strategy on how to mobilise business and products through research, strategy and presentations.
He is a founding partner of Nyota Media, based at ideaSpace, the world’s first growth agency for innovative African entrepreneurs, start-ups and international companies that use technology to improve the lives of Africans.
He found time out from that work to complete the book, launched this month (January 2014).
Rudy says: “The book has been entirely curated and edited at ideaSpace. I really love the spirit and vibe at ideaSpace. Many great start-ups and entrepreneurs are gathered here and there’s a constant flow of ideas going around. It’s a very inspiring work environment.”
ilumink is based at ideaSpace West and is a spin-out company from the Department of Engineering at the University of Cambridge. Its approach is underpinned by novel, printed photonic materials created at the university.
Key applications include authentication, anti-counterfeiting and security products with potential markets ranging from high-value consumer goods through to pharmaceuticals. The technology is unique in offering brand owners overt, covert and forensic authentication in one easily applied print feature.
Damian Gardiner, founder of ilumink, said: “My colleagues and I are very much looking forward to becoming part of the Tracerco team. By combining our technical expertise and creativity, we can further develop our world-leading anti-counterfeiting and brand authentication technologies for our customers’ benefit.”
Tracerco is part of the Johnson Matthey Group. The acquisition will further enhance its product assurance portfolio, which is based on innovative and covert marker chemistry coupled with sophisticated analytical platforms.
Dr Vince Croud, Tracerco’s technology director, said: “The acquisition of ilumink will allow us to expand our portfolio of technology offerings to ensure we keep pace with the changing needs of customers. It is an excellent fit with the Tracerco business.”
For more information on the acquisition see the press release here.
Joe Parry has worked on visualisation and graphics systems for intelligence work for more than a decade, in software development, design, systems architecture and more experimental research projects. While at i2 (now owned by IBM), he worked with the intelligence communities of the UK, US and other countries.
In May 2011, Joe founded Cambridge Intelligence. It makes innovative visualisation software to help organisations understand the network structures in their data. Their software is browser-based and works on desktops, tablets and smartphones.
Cambridge Intelligence’s first product, KeyLines, was released in February 2012. It is a toolkit for visualising and analysing networks such as social networks, communication networks and computer networks – it is used for fraud detection, cyber security and military intelligence. Keylines found immediate success in the US security market and the company continues to grow.
Joe Parry – theoretical and practical
Before working in the security sector Joe was a theoretical physicist and holds a PhD from Stephen Hawking’s research group at the University of Cambridge. He was still at i2 when ideaSpace first became part of his plans.
Joe says: “I first contacted ideaSpace while working out my notice period on my previous job. I’d been there a couple of times for seminars on how to start up companies, and I liked it. Following a chat with the director I joined as a hot desker a couple of days after starting the new company.
“After trying out a few desks and meeting fellow members, I moved in with the FonLeap team. They were a bit further on than me but we were all working on software, building something brand new – we got on straight away.
“A few months in, and much quicker than I expected, I got a licensing deal. I became a co-worker and spent three months coding night and day, seven days a week. The 24-hour access was a lifesaver at this point.”
From hot-desking to US incorporation
Around this time, Joe says he had some interest “from some bigger players, including Oracle”. He says: “I reached out through the ideaSpace network to some experienced entrepreneurs who'd done it all before – Robert Brady and Robert Samson (of the Cambridge Angels investment group) were particularly helpful. They helped me build a strategy for those difficult early meetings.”
One year after founding, Joe had three customers, two in the US, but it was still essentially him doing everything. He recalls: “I needed some help. That summer I recruited two people to help out with the coding. It was fantastic that I didn’t have to worry too much about space at this point: the ideaSpace admin team are great and always super-helpful. They reorganised the desks so that the new guys could join ideaSpace. Now we were able to code side-by-side on new features.”
Joe turned his focus to the commercial side and tried to recruit sales and marketing staff. He says: “Everyone wanted to work for us – maybe it was the plush office and the view – but in the end we decided to incorporate in the US and hire there, nearer to the action.
“As ever, the advice of the members was really useful at this point, explaining the possible pitfalls we could face both here and abroad.”
Newsnight interviews and international awards
The US office, opened in February 2013, is based in Reno, Nevada. Joe, the company’s CEO, sets the overall agenda from both commercial and technical perspectives. Cambridge Intelligence now has 15 major accounts on both sides of the Atlantic, with clients including the US Army and CIFAS, the UK’s fraud prevention service.
In March 2013, Joe was invited by Newsnight, the BBC’s flagship current affairs programme, to discuss the impact of Big Data analytics on UK law enforcement, including footage of KeyLines in action. The report initially focused on the use of visualisation to disentangle vast networks of criminal activity. Joe demonstrated how the visualisation of information through KeyLines helps to analyse and identify suspicious behaviour from large data sets.
A month later, CIFAS deployed KeyLines so members could interrogate the National Fraud Database and visually explore the complex network of fraudulent activity within fraud cases.
Around the same time, Cambridge Intelligence was named a ‘Killer50’ company – the list recognising the 50 hottest disruptive technology companies in the East of England.
In October 2013, KeyLines was named the Most Innovative Graph Application in Visualisation at an awards dinner in San Francisco. The GraphConnect Awards, also known as ‘The Graphies’, recognise innovation and achievement within the graph database community in which products from around the world are used to help to solve complex data problems.
Cambridge Intelligence was one of the first companies to move to ideaSpace City in May 2013. Joe cites the location as a key reason for moving over: “When the new facility in the city centre opened, we were very keen to be part of it – the location and facilities were just what we wanted.”
The company now has a team of six staff based at ideaSpace City, as well as a permanent salesperson in the US.
Joe says he is now in the position of giving advice to newer ideaSpace members: “We will always want to help out here. ideaSpace has been flexible with things while we’ve entered the lengthy commercial negotiations for leases. This is a fantastic help.”
Cambridge Intelligence: www.cambridge-intelligence.com
The technology will be deployed at one of its main operations, Minera Centinela, which is based in Chile’s Antofagasta mining region.
A five-year strategic partnership agreement has been signed between the two companies, enabling IntelliSense.io to work closely with Antofagasta Minerals on delivering its technology across the mine extraction, mineral processing and waste management processes with the primary goal of improving efficiency, reducing environmental impact and delivering bottom line benefits to the mine operations.
With the backdrop of an uncertain commodities cycle and after a year-long drop in the price of copper, Antofagasta Minerals is seeing this as an opportunity to invest in innovative technologies to beat the commodity cycle.
Sam G Bose, CEO of IntelliSense.io said, “to sign a prestigious group like Antofagasta Minerals to our growing mining industry client base acknowledges our expertise in the sector and demonstrates the value digital innovations can bring to global miners.”
Read more here.
IntelliSense.io founder and ideaSpace city member Sam Bose recently addressed around 50 CEOs and entrepreneurs from China as part of Orient MIT, alongside the First Secretary of State, William Hague, Professor Archie Howie, former Head of the Cavendish Laboratories and Founding Fellow of Churchill College and Professor Sir Mike Gregory, Head of IfM and Fellow of Churchill College.
Speaking on the topic of Science & Technology Applications in Cambridge, Sam Bose, CEO of IntelliSense.io, presented the ARM andIntelliSense.io story highlighting the impact both these companies are having on the area of the Internet of Things, specifically in traditional industries.
He told us, 'the core focus was examining how change is driving innovation, and the advantages both of these companies’ products and applications present to the emerging connected world.'
For more on the event and speaker please see here.
Winners last night at the Cambridge Business Weekly awards included Jelena Aleksic, CEO of GeneAdviser, winning the Woman Entrepreneur of the Year, Tim Guilliams of HealX won Graduate Business of the Year and Billy Boyle of Owlstone winning Life Science Innovator of the Year, to mention just a few.
Through the Protecting Data in Industry scheme Innovate UK is investing £4million into collaborative research and development projects that tackle the growing risks of disruption to internet-enabled businesses and their digital supply chain.
The Internet of Things (IoT) - the growing interconnectivity between electronic devices, sensors and software - is posing significant challenges to existing data protection strategies as new sources of data multiply and the digital footprint of end-users expands. Innovate UK wants to encourage the development of new systems which will adequately protect the interests of business and industry users while also helping us fully understand the impact of any disruptions or security threats.
ideaSpace company Metrarc is working in a consortium with partners Liverpool-based AIMES Grid Services and Southampton-based IT Innovations on the £550,000 project ASSURED – Automated Security for Supplier-User Reference models in E-health Data.
This project will accelerate access to data for organisations that design and operate secure platforms and networks in the health supply chain. ASSURED will enable organisations to automatically identify threats to their networks and services and evaluate compliance to health data security standards for managing risks to systems and data.
The project will address the concerns of health suppliers looking to open up data sets, for example, from NHS N3 connected systems to the wider digital supply chain.
Currently companies wishing to work with personal health data records face long lead-in times to satisfy IT governance procedures and face ongoing threats and costs from the loss or release of data which can identify patients.
ASSURED will massively speed up the approval process and significantly reduce security risks during operation by enabling continuous automated verification against a changing threat landscape and compliance requirements.
Metrarc Founder Karl Heeks said: “Personal health data such as NHS data has huge potential value in traditional industries such as drug design and new emerging ones such as personalised health.
“The major barriers to innovation are around data security and legal compliance and a highly trusted business model and process are needed to access data. ASSURED is designed to address these challenges by speeding up the approval process and improving the level of assurance systems once connected to networks."
The ASSURED project is collaborative and business-led, bringing together leading UK digital health innovator AIMES and leading data security technology from Metrarc and the University of Southampton's IT Innovation Centre.
Cambridge Allergy's pilot peanut allergy clinic features on BBC 2's "Trust Me, I'm a Doctor" looking at immunotherapy treatment. CEO of Cambridge Allergy, Sherden Timmins, is a member of ideaSpace City.
See here for full story: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/
ROADMap today announced that it has successfully closed a funding round of $1.7 million by securing investment from a number of institutional and private investors. The investment will help fund the expansion of the business as it takes its revolutionary wavelength selective switch (WSS) technology to market. The company, spun-out from the University of Cambridge, is developing the next generation of WSS which is universal, flexible, and software up-gradable. These switches are used to create Reconfigurable Optical Add/Drop Multiplexers (ROADMs) which are now a fast expanding part of optical telecom networks, enabling the flexible use of different wavelengths of light that carry traffic through the network.
As network demand burgeons, being driven by unrelenting consumer demand for streaming, internet and cloud applications, carriers are looking to increase the efficiency with which they use their optical resources, which has led to the creation of flexible, software-controlled networks. Such systems rely on ROADMs to allow traffic to be routed without the need to convert from optical to electrical signals. The ROADM market is forecast to reach $11 billion by 2020 and WSSs are the critical enabling technology within these. Liquid Crystal on Silicon (LCoS) technology, which was pioneered at Cambridge, has emerged as the only suitable candidate to meet the demands of current and future needs, and ROADMap Systems is developing these into the next-generation WSS, which are densely integrated to achieve high performance and low cost.
ROADMap CEO Karl Heeks commented ‘We are grateful to our seed investors, who have all re-invested in this Series A round, together with new investors for their support in the company. We are developing a highly innovative WSS solution that is protected by a suite of patents and which we believe will provide profound benefits, in both current markets for optical networks as well as opening up potential new and exciting markets in data-centers and optical computing.’
The company also recently took part in OFC 2016, the worlds largest optical communications and networking conference in Anaheim, California. ROADMap’s CEO Karl Heeks and VP Engineering Brian Robertson gave a talk on their new technology a universal, flexible and software up-gradable WSS. These novel optical switches control the flow of data through the network without the need for optical to electrical data conversion, and are the key building block of dynamic, high speed telecom systems.
It is aiming at small and medium-sized companies with its sCrib technology which comprises two essential components – Password sCrib and sCrib Management – providing a system that will never leave you without access to your laptops, computers or data.
Founded by designer Dr Dan Cvrcek, a former post-doctoral researcher at the Cambridge Computer Laboratory, the company has its main office in Cambridge – where its products are designed – and a sales office in Buckinghamshire.
Password sCrib is a pocket-sized Enigma cryptographic USB device costing £30 that produces unbreakable passwords at the touch of a button. It plugs into the USB port of any computer and is your digital key that can be backed up and its passwords can be conveniently recovered. Password sCrib enters passwords for disk encryption, laptop logins, websites and applications and enables two forms of 2-factor authentication to enhance security.
sCrib Management is a secure, cost-effective software solution for efficient password recovery and management of Password sCrib devices. Its Enterprise version integrates with Windows AD servers and automatically synchronises passwords with Windows accounts
Dan, a university professor and banking security and cryptography specialist, says: “We spent a lot of time improving the original prototype to fit customer needs and focusing our business proposition. We extended the original concept from an easy-to-use product for consumers into a fully-fledged product to simplify password management in medium-sized companies.
“Trust is the most significant aspect of security and people are very sensitive about security of their passwords. A physical dongle you can attach to your key ring is already a much more trustworthy option compared to a piece of software.
“We focus on small and medium companies as we believe SMEs represent the most vulnerable type of computer users. They are dependent on computers for their survival but they are often excluded from corporate security products because of the assumed IT management model and cost.
“One of the major threats to security is key-logging. A hacker can access a PC, via an email or a compromised web site, and plant a small programme which can record every key press by a user. sCrib prevents this as key-logging software is unable to get an accurate read as to what is being input.”
For more information visit www.s-crib.com
In a feature on the BBC website entitled Next Silicon Valleys: Why Cambridge is a start-up city, business reporter Katie Hope explores the reasons why so many tech firms have originated from Silicon Fen.
Explaining the role of ideaSpace in helping tech firms to get established, director Stew McTavish says: "What we're really trying to do is provide a focal point for the start-up community to gather in one place to increase the chances of serendipitous interaction."
He believes that the university's academic freedom helps commercially. "They're permitted to experiment and if they fail that's fine as well as long as they do it in the right sorts of ways."
Aqdot, based at ideaSpace City, was founded in 2010 and has created a "shrink wrap" technology which can encapsulate tiny droplets of active ingredients to be released precisely when needed.
"When you bring academia and industry together that's when you create exciting opportunities," says co-founder and chief scientific officer Dr Roger Coulston.
Damian Gardiner, co-founder of University of Cambridge spinout Ilumink, based at ideaSpace West, said he has benefited from his connection to the university. He received an enterprise scholarship from the Royal Academy of Engineering to help him develop his research in printable laser technology into a commercial product aimed at fighting fraud.
He says: "I wanted to see how technology could be taken from the lab and actually used in a real world, a product that would be useful to people."
Also featured in the BBC article is Cambridge Nanosystems, based at the West site, which has developed a machine to convert gas waste, such as methane or carbon dioxide, into different types of carbon including graphene.
Less than two years ago, Dr Krzysztof Koziol, a director of the firm, was a full-time academic - now he is juggling the start-up alongside his role as head of the electric carbon nanomaterials group at the university's Department of Material Science.
The feature article is based on a series of television interviews for the BBC's Next Silicon Valley series. To read the full article visit here.
The University of Cambridge is one of the founding members of the Startup Europe Partnership (SEP), the first pan-European open platform dedicated to helping start-ups to progress to maturity.
ideaSpace, which supports people in Cambridge starting high-impact new ventures, is the University’s representative for the project. It will play a guiding role as a member of the steering committee as well as supporting five start-ups through the initiative.
The work programme will be promoted by the European Commission. Neelie Kroes, European Commission Vice-President responsible for Digital Agenda, said: “Europe needs thriving start-ups and global internet companies to become a global growth centre again.
“Politicians don’t create jobs, entrepreneurs do. We’re going to support that mindset and push European start-ups beyond their comfort zone.”
The SEP programme will be based on three main elements:
- Matching: a series of same-format international events in start-up hubs across Europe will create a marketplace where selected start-ups and corporations meet to enhance investment from corporates and pave the way for potential acquisitions.
- Mapping: a ‘map’ of the hottest European start-ups and hubs will provide international visibility for emerging companies and celebrate the successes of start-ups and spin-outs that are able to scale up.
- Sharing: bringing together best practice on entrepreneurship and corporate venture/start-up support from leading European and international companies, such as those from Silicon Valley, will help reduce cultural divides and encourage ‘start-up cross-fertilization’.
ideaSpace and the University became involved in the initiative as a result of a visit to Cambridge by the EC policy official who is leading it in Brussels, Isidro Laso Ballesteros, as one of the Centre of Science and Policy’s Policy Fellows.
Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, said: “The University of Cambridge has been extremely successful in supporting spin-outs, and last year invested a record £2.3 million in seed funds to support such enterprises.
“This has helped build Europe’s most successful technology cluster, with 14 companies valued at more than $1 billion. That is why we welcome this initiative, which is key to the future economic growth of Europe.”
SEP’s other founding partners are Telefonica, Orange, BBVA, European Investment Fund (part of the European Investment Bank Group), IE Business School, the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society, Nesta, the UK’s innovation foundation, and Mind the Bridge, a non-profit organisation that supports a sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystem.
SyndicateRoom have won the title of Best Investment Platform at the prestigious Growth Investor Awards 2015.
The Awards were organised by Intelligent Partnership, the UK’s leading provider of research and education on alternative investment, as part of a national campaign to raise awareness of impact and innovation in growth capital. The prize was presented at a black-tie dinner attended by more than 300 guests at the Marriott Grosvenor Square Hotel in Mayfair by Gillian Roche-Saunders, Head of Venture Capital at Bovill, following the Alternative Investment Summit 2015.
Opening the ceremony, IP’s Managing Director Guy Tolhurst said that the evening was designed to honour the innovators within financial services. ‘They see businesses that can innovate, grow and create new jobs – and in doing so they make us all more prosperous,’ said Tolhurst.
SyndicateRoom Co-Founder and CEO Goncalo De Vasconcelos said, "It's a proud moment for the team, and one that is causing me to reflect. In praising SyndicateRoom's 'innovative structure, based on having a lead angel', the judging panel touched on the simple but profound difference that means we're challenging the status quo in equity crowd funding. We're the UK’s investor-led platform. On a practical level this means that we only list investment opportunities that are backed by professional business angels, but it’s much more than that. Investor-led is the philosophy that informs how we conduct our business. We lead with the investor’s interest first and foremost. We value openness and transparency, and believe that the investment community deserves nothing less."
The inaugural Growth Investor Awards were created to celebrate those companies in the UK SME finance industry that are enabling startups and ‘scale-up’ businesses to realise their full potential, and driving Britain’s economic recovery. SyndicateRoom has been recognised in the Best Investment Platform category, which considers all types of equity crowdfunding and investment aggregation platforms, and picks the winner based on volume of investment, user experience and product innovation.
For more see here.
In an article headlined ‘Cambridge’s leading tech start-ups’ in The Observer on 1 December, founders and executives from 16 companies were asked about what had attracted them to the city and where their businesses are heading.
Six current ideaSpace companies, and one of the alumni, featured in the article:
- Aqdot – it has developed and patented new technology for creating microcapsules filled with a range of active ingredients that can then be released under control
- Audio Analytic – it produces software that automatically classifies sounds by means of computer analysis
- Cambridge Carbon Capture – it works with industrial and university partners using mineral carbonation process chemistry to extract value from silicate minerals and wastes
- IntelliSense.io – embracing the ‘internet of things’, it hooks up wireless-enabled sensors to industrial equipment and processes to unlock efficiency savings
- Knowledge Transmission – it brings high-quality learning materials to students at low cost through tablets and mobiles
- Magicsolver – with its popular iPhone, iPad and Android apps, it helps smartphone users to discover the best apps every day for free
- Sparrho – it is an intelligent discovery platform for science that provides updates and recommendations tailored to your interests and enables you to share them with others.
Asked why Cambridge was attractive to the firm, Michael Priestnall, co-founder in 2010 of Cambridge Carbon Capture, said: “We work extremely closely with Cambridge University. The proximity of the Institute of Manufacturing and the Judge Business School, together with top-class students, was also a draw.”
Replying to the same question, Chris Mitchell, founder of Audio Analytic in 2009, said: “The presence of incubators such as ideaSpace gives the flexibility and support needed at this early stage of the business.”
Future plans for the ideaSpace companies featured in the article include commercialisation of technology, targeting new customers and markets, and strategic link-ups with new partners.
Members of ideaSpace come from a range of backgrounds from within and outside the University of Cambridge and they are not drawn from any particular facet of technology. They all share one common goal – solving meaningful problems.
To read the full article in The Observer click here.
Docker has purchased the Unikernel Systems, a Cambridge, U.K. start-up specializing in unikernel development, Docker announced Thursday.
The purchase will help Docker expand the range of virtualization technologies if offers the enterprise can use, in effect turning Docker into a platform for running a wide range of workloads.
Unikernel Systems is comprised of many of the pioneers from the Xen Project, so they have deep experience in public cloud workloads and operating systems.
Over 500 senior leaders from the world of business and technology gathered in London yesterday to discover the winners in the UK’s biggest programme championing women in technology, the 2016 FDM everywoman in Technology Awards.
Jelena Aleksic, CEO and co-founder of GeneAdviser, an online marketplace for genetic testing which makes it easier for doctors to find and order lifesaving genetic tests from accredited laboratories, was recipient of the Start-Up Founder award.
Jelena said 'I'm really proud of what our team has managed to accomplish. I'm really grateful to friends and family, and everyone who has supported us. I wish every woman had this. I wish every woman who had an idea to change the world had the help and support to make it happen - imagine the world it would be.'