Cambridge is a great place to start a new technology business. Home to more than 1,500 companies, including 12 $1 billion companies, Cambridge has all the support you need.
Giving Cambridge companies the best possible start
Cambridge Enterprise can help University entrepreneurs through the process of creating a new company. We will work with you to make your business plan stronger, we will connect you with industry mentors and management, and we can fund consultants and proof of market studies. We have helped start 58 companies since 1995 – helping students and academics build the commercial teams and raise the necessary finance to develop products from their research. Our portfolio companies have a three-year survival rate of 80 per cent, compared with a national average of 57 per cent.
We can link entrepreneurs with sources of angel and VC investing, such as Cambridge Innovation Capital, our 'sister' fund. From our network of more than 60 portfolio companies, we can help you find the best mentors, team members, service providers and investors. This early stage capital and support is pivotal to success of new companies in what is often seen as a high-risk section of the investment spectrum.
For the most promising University-related technology companies, we can provide seed funding in amounts of up to £250,000 from the ‘evergreen’ seed fund we manage on the University’s behalf. As an evergreen fund we can take a long term view, which has helped us see a 3.64x return on realisations from 2007-2012, all of which are returned to the seed funds to support the development of future companies.
We work with our portfolio companies to help them secure later stage funding, whether that is through new initiatives like Cambridge Innovation Capital or through existing relationships such as our Venture Partners programme. Our large portfolio also gives us an insight into available grant funding. Since seed funding began in 1995 our portfolio companies have raised over £1.2 billion in further investment and grant funding. These companies now employ over 1,000 people and are developing solutions in areas from healthcare, clean energy and ICT, as well as many others.
Find out more about the seed fund process.