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13 June, 2014 - 10:16 By Tony Quested

Cambridge entrepreneurs get passport to prosperity


A Cambridge UK technology and financial delegation heads off to Singapore for the second Cambridge Connection event next week  (June 16-18) with major players highlighting that the barriers to international growth opportunities have never been lower.

The Cambridge-Singapore axis is already paying dividends with investment initiatives, technology collaborations and academic & corporate knowledge exchanges gathering pace.

Now Henry Goodwin and Patrick Farrant, partners at Taylor Vinters, have published a report outlining why the benefits of closer collaboration between the technology and investment communities of Singapore and the UK are greater than ever.

The report says that the barriers to international growth opportunities have never been lower for young technology companies across the globe.  Whether in terms of accessibility to scalable platforms, real time customer feedback on products and services, or access to venture capital, entrepreneurs with disruptive business models and determination can expect rapid growth across multiple markets simultaneously. 

And while the United States, and in particular Silicon Valley, remains a magnet for technology entrepreneurs from around the world, a number of locations in Europe, Asia and elsewhere are increasingly beginning to offer credible environments for growth, with the UK and Singapore two of the most prominent among them.

Cambridge, London and Oxford are all investment honeypots, the report underlines.

Alex van Someren, partner at Amadeus Capital Partners, said: “Some 30 years after my colleague Hermann Hauser co-founded Acorn Computers (the genesis of ARM), Cambridge offers venture capitalists and investors in their funds a substantial ecosystem in which innovators can and do build great companies. Success breeds success which isn the inspiration for the more recent vibrant clusters in Oxford and London.”

Struan McDougall, founder of leading UK business angel group Cambridge Capital Group added: Traditionally business angels invested locally to support companies in their region; then more professional angels started to invest more widely but within their sector specialisations.

“Nowadays collaborative angel groups can have a broader perspective across borders and sectors; while their investment focus often remains local they want to support their portfolio companies in gaining exposure to international markets.

“However, there is also an expanding class of international private investors for whom the world is a village, such that deal flow can be from different continents – best of breed wherever the business is based, as customers may be anywhere on the globe.

“If Cambridge is the hi-tech capital of Europe, and Singapore a key trading hub for Asia, then it is imperative that these centres co-operate in the growth of innovation led businesses.”

Cambridge Connection is a networking forum established by Taylor Vinters – which advised on more than 100 technology funding deals in 2013 – and Cambridge Capital Group in association with UK Trade & Investment and Infocomm Development Agency (IDA), Singapore.

It links the established technology and VC investment communities of the UK with those of Singapore and has been hugely successful in generating opportunities for collaboration, investment and strategic partnering. 

This year’s Cambridge Connection trade mission sees more than 150 members of Singapore’s technology community attend the British High Commissioner’s residence in Singapore for a VIP networking reception on Monday (June 16) to meet with a delegation of tech companies and investors from the UK. Partners of Cambridge Connection also include Cambridge Wireless, Red Gate Software and Cambridge Consultants.

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