Today 100 leading tech entrepreneurs, investors and operators signed up to be experts for a new flagship entrepreneur initiative called Founders at the University of Cambridge, supporting and accelerating University startup founders.
The experts will mentor and guide new deeptech and IP-intensive startups launched by academics and alumni.
Collectively they have founded over 100 companies with an estimated value of $15 billion and invested in over 800 new ventures in sectors including deeptech (57 percent) and biotech and life sciences (21 percent).
The cohort is 49 percent female, with over a quarter coming from Black, Asian, minority and ethnic backgrounds.
In addition, Founders at the University of Cambridge are announcing strategic partners, including AstraZeneca, Babraham Labs, Hitachi Europe, Judge Business School and KPMG, who will provide support and mentoring.
Between 2022 and 2023, Cambridge tech companies have raised $1.3 billion in funding. Out of 164 companies raising funding, 45 percent were pre-seed companies.
One recent Cambridge spinout is Nu Quantum, which raised £7 million to pioneer quantum computer networking earlier this month.
Gerard Grech, Managing Director at Founders at the University of Cambridge, said:
“We’re delighted to announce the first 100 experts that will be a part of the Founders at the University of Cambridge community and that our first pre-seed accelerator is open for applications.
This group has unrivalled experience building, scaling and supporting world-changing tech companies, which will be invaluable to help unlock the potential of our new generation of founders building companies that will solve humanity’s growing challenges.”
Carmen Palacios-Berraquero, co-founder and CEO at Nu Quantum and expert at Founders at the University of Cambridge, said:
“Having spun out Nu Quantum from the Cavendish Laboratory at Cambridge, I understand the challenges and work involved in taking research from the lab and turning it into a startup for practical use in the real world.
I am excited to see this brilliant community emerge to do the important work of supporting more academic founders to commercialise their work and have a tangible impact.”
Stan Boland, co-founder of FiveAI and expert at Founders at the University of Cambridge, said:
“We’re at a critical moment in time for AI and the UK and Cambridge have the talent and potential to lead the world in building successful, innovative and ethical companies that take on and beat US and Chinese competitors.
That’s why I’m looking forward to giving back as part of Founders at the University of Cambridge - throughout my career, I’ve worked with some brilliant mentors and experts who have been instrumental in supporting me to found, grow and exit multiple tech companies and I can’t wait to get started helping a new generation of founders of tech companies to help unlock their full potential.”
Applications are open to the first pre-seed accelerator programme. Successful founders will be announced in February 2024.
Lead image: Jean-Luc Benazet