Microsoft pledges support for CEC


Cambridge Entrepreneurship Centre (CEC) has announced the confirmation of Microsoft as a founder member.

Microsoft joins seven other founder members sponsoring CEC. These are Amadeus Capital Partners, Barclays Bank, Cazenove, Eversheds, KPMG, NIF Ventures and The Technology Partnership.

The Entrepreneurship Centre provides training in entrepreneurship-related skills, supports entrepreneurs as they develop their business ideas, and builds understanding of how new ventures can best be supported from start-up through to maturity.

Rather than offering only financial input, the founder members are also actively involved in the work of the centre, providing support and advice to CEC and the start-up companies it helps to develop. The centre is currently seeking two further sponsors to support the centre's activities.

Peter Hiscocks, director of the Cambridge Entrepreneurship Centre said, 'Building successful new businesses requires inspiration, innovation and investment - not just in finance but also in human capital. Cambridge's community of entrepreneurs is now poised to develop exciting new technology businesses, and the Cambridge Entrepreneurship Centre is ready to help cultivate the skills and human capital needed to create these ventures.

'We are very pleased to have eight founder members that are committed to entrepreneurship and also want to find another two, probably in the biotech sector.'

Amadeus Capital Partners is a venture capital fund management company. Dr Hermann Hauser, the founding director, said, 'The Cambridge Entrepreneurship Centre will be seen as one of the most important new institutions to be set up in this decade because it will finally enable the efficient transfer of our outstanding academic research into professionally run world class companies which in aggregate will finally make a significant contribution to Britain's GDP.'

Tony Walsh, Corporate Director of Technology, Media and Telecoms Barclays Bank Plc said 'Barclays, as an integral part of the original Cambridge Phenomenon, is delighted to continue its support and commitment to this vital and growing sector. With strong links to the University, many of Cambridge's most successful businesses and their entrepreneurial founders, we are proud to recognise Cambridge as a world class centre of creativity and innovation.

'We are confident that the Cambridge Entrepreneurship Centre will play a major role in nurturing and developing some of the leading entrepreneurial companies of the future combining both excellent technology and highly trained management.'

Richard Wood, corporate finance Director at Cazenove, a leading independent investment bank, said 'Cazenove is excited to be a founder member of CEC, working with the entrepreneurs who will create the companies of the future. Like CEC we believe Cambridge to be one of the world's most exciting technology centres of excellence and believe that, as a leading independent investment bank, Cazenove is in a unique position to support entrepreneurs in their growth ambitions. CEC is a very important and integral part of this process, and we are delighted to be associated with it from inception, thereby underlining Cazenove's commitment to Cambridge and the technology arena.'

Ian Shann, Regional Managing Partner of the law firm Eversheds, said, 'The Cambridge Entrepreneurship Centre will play a significant role in ensuring the continued growth and development of Cambridge as a driver of economic prosperity in the East of England. We welcome the opportunity to work alongside our co-founder sponsors to bring about its success.

'As a major European business law firm, Eversheds is very enthusiastic about the CEC, recognising that innovation, ambition and entrepreneurship succeeds best in a positive and nurturing environment. The fruits of this will transcend international boundaries and further underline Cambridge as a world leading focus of technological advancement.

'CEC, with the support of its founders and other organisations which play a pro-active role in enabling new businesses to thrive, will help to ensure that Cambridge continues to provide the right conditions for future generations of entrepreneurs.'

KPMG, the professional services firm, is another founder member of the Entrepreneurship Centre. Dr Bruce Butler, KPMG's Head of Innovation, said, 'It is an exciting time for entrepreneurs with increasing levels of support becoming available to help them get to market more rapidly. The Cambridge Entrepreneurship Centre (CEC) summer school is an example of the assistance that is now being offered to help young innovators crystallize their ideas and develop them into real commercial opportunities. Drawing on the experience and expertise of seasoned business professionals helps shorten the learning curve which is obviously a huge advantage.'

KPMG participated actively in the CEC Summer School during the business plan clinic sessions. Drawing on the experience of KPMG's business advisory and incubation teams, the aim is to work closely with the young entrepreneurs to help formulate and present their ideas to attract future funding or partnerships in the most effective manner.

Bruce Butler continues: 'We have become a founder member of the CEC precisely because we recognise that entrepreneurs are driving the regional economy forward. KPMG is keen to work with young fledgling companies because we aim to develop long term, close relationships with the companies we work with and can add substantial value to fast growth businesses at an early stage.'

Peter Bell of Microsoft said, 'Microsoft is very pleased to offer support and services to the Cambridge Entrepreneurship Centre.

'Their support of the future entrepreneurs of Cambridge in developing their business ideas to commercial reality is an important and long overdue resource. Furthermore, the creation of a knowledgebase of the needs of these ventures will create a long lasting and valuable resource, both for the University and the UK. The CEC Founders Forum provides excellent opportunity for Microsoft and its peers to contribute to these activities in a meaningful and tangible way. We look forward to the companies of tomorrow.'

Mizuhiko Hashimoto of venture capitalists NIF Ventures Co., Ltd said 'It is our great honour to be a founder member of CEC and we are very excited to work together with the entrepreneurs from Cambridge, where we found world class technologies in IT and Life Science. We are very happy to work as 'Technology Ambassador', introducing those brilliant technologies out of Cambridge to Japanese technology companies, which are able to create many business chances for both parties.

'We are willing to participate in the events of CEC and would like to expand our global network in the technology circuit.'

Gerald Avison of the product innovation business The Technology Partnership (TTP) said, 'TTP Group believes strongly in the part played by a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in creating and growing the successful businesses of tomorrow.

'It is particularly encouraging to see Cambridge, through the formation of the Cambridge Entrepreneurship Centre, taking a lead in helping to build the necessary knowledge, experience and culture of entrepreneurship and TTP is pleased and proud, through its founder membership of the CEC and through its own activities and its general commitment to Cambridge, to be a part of this process.'


For all enquiries about this press release and the Cambridge Entrepreneurship Centre (CEC) please contact Shirley Jamieson at CEC on 01223 766900, e-mail

Or, for more information about Cambridge Entrepreneurship Centre, please visit


The Entrepreneurship Centre at Cambridge Judge Business School aims to inspire, enable and research entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurship Centre, Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge