Creating star teams

The vital role of the team in creating successful ventures is the topic of the first Enterprise Tuesday session of the Lent Term, held this evening (7 February) in the Department of Engineering.

One of the most frequently cited reasons for the success or failure of a venture is the effective formation and development of the team. This session will focus on how the composition of teams based on experience, expertise, chemistry, soft skills and shared purpose and values can impact success.

It will also deal with the role of the ‘Alpha entrepreneur’, born or made leadership qualities, characteristics, competences, the ability to change and the ability to manage detail.

This evening’s speakers are Alex van Someren and Dr Uday Phadke, two investors who have, between them, helped to incubate nearly 100 businesses during their respective careers.

Alex van Someren, former CEO of nCipher Plc, grew up near Cambridge, got involved with Acorn Computers as a young teenager and left school at 17 to join the company. With his Brother, Nicko, he established a business selling hardware add-ons for Acorn within their father’s company, Aleph One, in 1986.

They went on to set up their first independent business, ANT, in 1990 producing networking products and software for Acornmachines. In 1996 he and Nicko founded nCipher, with venture capital backing, to develop internet security products. nCipher Plc was listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2000 and has customers around the world. ANT Plc was listed on the London AIM market in 2005 and is positioned in the embedded software market for IPTV. Alex has authored several books on computer applications and microprocessors, including the first published book on the ARM RISC chip family.

Dr Phadke is Chief Executive of Cartezia, which specialises in building high-tech companies. He is also founder-Director of AcceleratorIndia (, an international business-building company that helps fast track business expansion of technology companies in the Indian and European markets. He works closely with several leading UK universities on IP commercialisation. He sits on the Boards of several early-stage technology companies and also on the Advisory Board for the Creative Industries Knowledge Transfer Network set up by the UK’s Technology Strategy Board. Dr Phadke is a Chartered Engineer and a Member of the Institutes of Mechanical, Electrical and Electronic Engineering. He is a Charter member of TIE (The Indus Entrepreneurs & Global Mentoring Organisation).

Enterprise Tuesday is a series of lectures and networking sessions on entrepreneurial themes, managed and delivered by Cambridge Judge Business School’s Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning (CfEL). It is free to attend and open to the wider community.

This evening’s session begins at 6pm and takes place in Lecture Theatre 0 at the Department of Engineering. Registration is free and is available via CfEL.

Photo credit: Students take part in a workshop by Novartis AG via Flickr

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