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Ajay has 25 years' start-up venture experience, building disruptive new digital businesses in a wide range of industries. He has particular expertise in mobile, e-commerce, digital media, data analytics, digital retail and government. He also has strong functional expertise in sales, strategy development, product development and fund raising. Selected to be part of the Asian Power 100 - the 100 most influential and powerful Asians in the UK - Ajay won Dealmaker of the Year 2015 award from M&A Magazine, is one of the Top 100 Asian tech stars and was selected as one of 2016's Sunday Times top 100 BAME business leaders in the UK.
Ajay is currently a Partner and Global Chief Client Officer at BCG Digital Ventures. Prior to this, he was CEO of Seatwave, a European online ticketing marketplace that was sold to Ticketmaster. Before that, he was CEO of ComQi, a global omni-channel retail technology company before which he co-founded IDG Ventures Europe (IDGVE), a $100m European venture capital fund. At IDGVE he was the founder investor and Chairman of Shazam, a $1bn mobile audio recognition company and also invested in and served on the board of Lionhead, a games developer which was sold to Microsoft.
Prior to IDGVE, he was CEO of LineOne – a joint venture between United News and Media and British Telecom – which he grew into one of the UK’s largest portals and ISP’s. At UNM Ajay was founder and Managing Director of its internet division, before which he was a manager at Bain & Company.
Ajay has an MBA from Wharton and serves on the board of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts.
Diarmuid comes to Cambridge Enterprise from his role as Chief Innovation & Enterprise Officer at Trinity College Dublin, where he had overall responsibility for the development and enhancement of the college’s innovation and enterprise strategy.
Prior to this, Diarmuid was Director of Trinity Research and Innovation with responsibility for both the Research Development Office and the Office of Corporate Partnership and Knowledge Exchange. In that role he led the establishment of the University Bridge venture fund, which is ranked in the world’s top five collaborative university funds, according to Global University Venturing.
While at Trinity, Diarmuid was also the Executive Director of CRANN, an internationally recognised centre of excellence for nanotechnology and materials science research.
He has held senior management roles in several university-founded start-up companies, including NTera, Xoliox, and Deerac Fluidics.
Diarmuid was a Research Fellow at Princeton University. He has a PhD in Physics from the University of Sheffield and a degree in Materials Science from Trinity College Dublin. He joined Cambridge Enterprise in August 2021.
Paul is Deputy Director of Cambridge Enterprise. He is responsible for implementing a five year strategy that aims to enhance our customer service so that we can help more academics, researchers, companies and investors to create a positive impact on society. A cornerstone of the strategy is the introduction of a new IT system that will enable customers to access data as well as driving greater efficiency within the business.
Paul was previously Head of Consultancy Services for six years, during which period he doubled the team’s turnover. He is a Board member and Director of three University of Cambridge subsidiary companies: Cambridge Enterprise Limited, Cambridge University Technical Services (CUTS) Limited and Institute for Manufacturing Education and Consultancy Services Limited.
Paul has considerable experience of technology transfer in both the biotech and medtech sectors. He was previously Head of Business Development at Health Enterprise East, where he was instrumental in building a successful technology transfer and consultancy organisation for the NHS. Before that, he was a Technology Manager at Cambridge Enterprise for more than three years and led its Life Sciences team. Paul also spent five years as a Senior Scientist with a Cambridge biotech company that had spun out of the University, helping it to develop its medtech business.
Paul has a degree in Biochemistry and a PhD in Chemistry from Manchester. After his PhD, he became a post-doctoral researcher for the Medical Research Council and then later for the University of Cambridge.
Paul first joined Cambridge Enterprise in 2001 and returned after he completed his time with Health Enterprise East in 2009.
Andy is Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Enterprise and Business Relations at the University of Cambridge.
He is a Fellow of Sidney Sussex College, former Head of the Institute for Manufacturing (IfM) and Founding Director of the Cambridge Service Alliance. He is widely recognised for his work on the servitisation of manufacturing, as well as his work on performance measurement and management.
Previously, Andy has held appointments at Cranfield University, London Business School, Cambridge University, where he was a Fellow of Churchill College, and Nottingham University, where he completed his PhD, and British Aerospace. He was Deputy Director of AIM Research – the UK’s management research initiative – from 2003 until 2012, he was elected a Fellow of Social Science in 2008 and was a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2018. He was awarded an OBE in the 2020 New Year’s Honours list.
Professor Anne Ferguson-Smith is the current Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research (since 2020) and International Partnerships (from 2021) at the University of Cambridge.
She is the Arthur Balfour Professor of Genetics (since 2015). Formerly, she was the University’s Head of the Department of Genetics until December 2020. She became the President of the Genetics Society in 2021, and is a member of the UKRI BBSRC Council.
She is a mammalian developmental geneticist and epigeneticist. An expert on genomic imprinting, her team studies the epigenetic control of genome function with particular emphasis on epigenetic inheritance. Her group is made up of both experimental and computational scientists and current research focuses on three themes: (i) Stem cells and the epigenetic programme, (ii) Functional genomics and epigenomics, and (iii) the interaction between the environment and development, health & disease within and across generations.
She was elected to EMBO in 2006, to the UK Academy of Medical Sciences and the Society of Biology in 2012 and became a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2017. In 2014 she was as awarded the Women in Science Heirloom Award for contributions to life sciences, In 2019 she was awarded the Feldberg Prize and in 2021 the Buchanan Medal. .
She is a Fellow of Darwin College, University of Cambridge.
As the University’s Chief Financial Officer, Anthony has oversight of all the institution’s assets, including Cambridge University Press, Cambridge Assessment, the Cambridge University Endowment Fund and the University’s technology transfer through Cambridge Enterprise. He also plays a leading role in developing new and existing areas of commercial activity, as well as the University’s long term strategic and financial plan.
For the past six years Anthony, who is an alumnus of Gonville & Caius College, has held a senior position in the oversight and management of the UK Government’s corporate and financial holdings and investments, playing a key role in the Government’s position as a shareholder in a number of its assets as well as in its commercial dealings with large companies and investors.
Prior to that, Anthony had a 20-year career in investment banking spanning project finance, mergers and acquisitions, capital raising and corporate restructuring. This culminated in the role of Global Co-head of the Restructuring Advisory Group at Deutsche Bank – helping the bank’s clients manage the fallout of the financial crisis.
She is also Research Associate at the Harvard Kennedy School at Harvard University. She is an expert on energy, climate and innovation policy, the drivers of technological change and policy evaluation and has engaged with governments across the world and international organizations on these topics.
Before coming to Cambridge, she was on the faculty at Harvard and worked in R&D in industry and in project finance.
In 2018, she was awarded the XVII Fundacion Banco Sabadell Prize for Economic Research for the best young Spanish economist. Among other roles she is a Lead Author for the 6th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group III on Climate Change Mitigation, and a member of the Carbon Trust Breakthrough Ideas Steering Group.
Russell has research interests in nanotechnology and its application to magnetism, electronics and optics.
Before returning to Cambridge in 2010, Russell held positions at the CNRS Paris, University of Durham and Imperial College London. He is the founder of two start-up companies and the inventor of the anti-counterfeiting technology ‘Laser Surface Authentication’.
Russell has had over 60 patents granted and is a frequent invited speaker at international conferences. He is the winner of the 2003 GSK Westminster Medal and Prize, the 2006 Degussa Science to Business Award, the 2007 Hermes International Technology Award and the 2008 Institute of Physics Paterson Medal and Prize. In 2009 his research was recognised by the European Union with the award of a 2.8 million Euros ERC Advanced Investigator Grant.
Patrick is Regius Professor of Physic and Head of the School of Clinical Medicine at the University of Cambridge.
As a clinician scientist, he has been centrally involved in a series of discoveries that have revealed how changes in oxygenation are sensed, and how genetic alterations cause kidney disease.
Patrick is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and the Academy of Medical Sciences, Director of Cambridge University Health Partners and a Non-Executive Director of Cambridge University Hospitals, Cambridge Enterprise, Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust and the International Biotechnology Turst.
Annalisa Gigante has been an award winning innovator for 30 years, with a track record of commercial success, launching and building multi-billion new businesses across different industries from life sciences and chemicals to services and digital technologies.
She served as CTO of LafargeHolcim, and was an Executive Committee member at Adecco Group as Chief Business Development and Marketing Officer, both global leaders in their respective industries.
Annalisa started her career in consulting at Bain & Co in the consumer and retail practice. Her executive career includes international roles in innovation, business management, strategy and marketing for Monsanto, Manpower and Royal DSM. Her key focus areas are sustainability, digital technologies including AI and IoT, new business models, and building high performing teams. She has been the subject of two Masters’ theses on women top executives, and a recent monograph on Innomaniacs.
Annalisa is an advisor and conference speaker on innovation, leadership and corporate governance. She is Chair of Foundations for Learning, co-Chair of Women Corporate Directors in Switzerland, as well as Non-Executive Director at Katalyst Networks (USA) and RemCo member at Jagex, the Cambridge-based games studio.
She is Italian, and an alumnus of Queens’ in Natural Sciences (bio), with an MBA from Bocconi.
Debu Purkayastha is the Managing Partner at 3rd Eye, a Venture Capital and Private Equity firm investing globally in the technology, media and telecoms sectors.
Tony Hickson is the Chief Business Officer for Cancer Research UK. He leads the Commercial Partnerships team responsible for the commercialisation of IP from CRUK-funded projects, new start-up creation, licences and corporate alliances.
Prior to joining CRUK, Tony was the Managing Director of Imperial Innovations Ltd, responsible for intellectual property sourcing, licensing and spin-out creation for technologies arising from Imperial College London.
Tony has sat on the Executive Committee of IP Group and spent five years as an executive director on the board of Touchstone Innovations plc, a company listed on the London Stock exchange investing in deep science projects from UK universities. Prior to joining Imperial Innovations, he had 15 years of commercial and business development experience in bioscience companies including Wellcome Group R&D, Murex Biotech, Abbott Laboratories and Kalibrant Limited.
Tony has acted as a board director or observer for a number of start-up companies, including Polytherics (now Abzena), Catapult Therapy TCR, Zihipp and Precision Robotics, and was instrumental in the creation and development of companies such as Thiakis (sold to Wyeth/Pfizer in 2008), Respivert (sold to J&J in 2010), Circassia (listed on LSE in 2014), EMcision (sold to Boston Scientific in 2018) and Cell Medica (in advanced clinical studies).
Tony has sat on the IP boards of two European Institutes of Technology, is a member of the BBSRC industry advisory panel and a Board Director of PraxisAuril. He has a diploma in company direction from the Institute of Directors and is a Certified Licensing Professional.
Lesley has been the Director of MIT Technology Licensing Office (TLO) since July 2016. She leads a team of professional staff managing the intellectual assets and technology transfer process for MIT’s inventions.
Located in Kendall Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the TLO is responsible for engagement with faculty, staff and students and for the efficient and effective transfer of IP into the marketplace to ensure impact on society. Working with MIT start-up companies, VCs and corporate partners, the team manages over 800 new inventions a year from the MIT and Lincoln Lab campuses.
The MIT portfolio includes over 10,000 issued and pending US and foreign patents and over 1,000 active licenses. The TLO is an integral part of the MIT innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem, working closely with its many programs and centres established to harness the amazing innovations from MIT faculty, students, and staff.
Prior to arriving at MIT, Lesley served for ten years as Director of the Office of Technology Management (OTM) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is a past President of the Board of Governors of Certified Licensing Professionals Inc (CLP Inc.) and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Licensing Executive Society (LES). A native of Scotland, she has a BEd, MEd, and MBA, and is a Certified Licensing Professional.
Emma Rampton is the Acting Registrary at the University of Cambridge. She joined Cambridge in 2015 as Academic Secretary and was appointed Acting Registrary from 1 January 2017.
Before Cambridge, Emma worked at the University of Oxford. She was there for over ten years, first as the Head of Administration in the Faculty of Law and latterly as Deputy University Secretary, a role in which she had responsibility for overseeing the University’s governance, compliance and assurance processes. Emma graduated from St John’s College, Oxford, after which she qualified as a lawyer.