St John’s Innovation Centre
It was 30 years ago (1987) that St John’s College visionaries lit the touchpaper to an iconic business hub on Cambridge’s northern fringe.
St John’s Innovation Centre offered an alternative venue for ambitious startups to the Science Park across the road and hundreds of top companies have been through its portals and emerged as acknowledged greats.
The innovation centre – the first of its kind in Europe – also attracted the interest of global organisations who have since used it as a template for similar ventures in various parts of the world.
Over the years other business centres have evolved on the college’s 21-acre site. Autonomy Corporation, Jagex, Zeus Technology, Redgate Software, Business Weekly, PlayFusion, Owlstone, Scientia, Datanomic, Samsung, Telstra and Qualcomm are just some of the businesses that have cut their teeth on the Park and scaled globally.
David Gill, managing director of the Innovation Centre for the last nine years, says the Innovation Centre is more or less permanently full and continues to churn out corporate champions at a regular rate.
It also acts as a crucial stepping stone for formative companies which are able to move to larger premises elsewhere on the park as they grow.