Silicon Valley comes to Cambridge to build prosperous partnerships

Published: 8 January 2009 at 10:32

The search for leading lights in Cambridge ‘technology cluster’ is on

A world-renowned business builder from Silicon Valley, USA is coming to Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge with colleagues from the ‘hot ideas’ valley to boost his international search for the next big name in technology.

Saeed Amidi, Founder and CEO of Plug and Play, one of the largest technology Centres in Silicon Valley, will present a unique seminar on 20 January at the Mumford Theatre detailing how he sees the market opening up for hi-tech companies in the face of the turbulence in the current world economic climate.

The Plug and Play Tech Center has three campuses in Silicon Valley and already helps more than 212 hi-tech start-ups with funding, mentoring and networking. Over the last three years, Plug and Play Tech Center start-up companies have raised $700 million in venture funding, with success stories including Google, Paypal and Logitech. Saeed Amidi is leading the delegation to Cambridge for two days of seminars and meetings on January 20 and 21.

Long term, it is hoped to place exciting Cambridge start-ups within Plug and Play’s three-month ‘hothousing’ programme in the Valley where they may not only earn substantial seed funding but also gain access to the Valley’s elite technology companies and their CEOs together with the top Venture Capital firms.

Plug and Play is also seeking to engage with the University of Cambridge, Anglia Ruskin University, and various entrepreneurship and enterprise bodies in the region to build long-term collaborations.

Leading figures from the two Universities, including Professor Alan Barrell, Dr Shai Vyakarnam, Director of the Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning (CfEL), Professor Stuart Wall and Professor Terry Mughan, both of Ashcroft International Business School, have been helping to organise the visit which they believe opens up exciting possibilities for Cambridge technology businesses.

Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge and the Ashcroft International Business School at Anglia Ruskin University are working together to host a series of events during the visit.

Speaking about the event, Professor Terry Mughan, Ashcroft International Business School said:

“This is an exciting opportunity giving entrepreneurs from Cambridge the chance to put their ideas forward to a worldwide forum. Through this visit, some hi-tech start-ups could find their business proposals being accelerated with the help of backing from Silicon Valley investors.”

“The aim of the delegation is to find the next big breakthrough business - like Google -somewhere in Europe. And it could very easily come from Cambridge.”

Entrepreneurs are being invited to attend the seminar event, on 20 January, which runs from 12.15-2.30pm and includes a buffet lunch.

The rest of the programme will include engagements with Cambridge Business Angels as well as with University organisations such as the Judge Business School, the Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning, Cambridge Enterprise Ltd, Cambridge University Entrepreneurs student society and St John’s Innovation Centre.

If any Cambridge start-ups win the attention of the delegation, they could benefit from Plug and Play’s unique programme, which includes:-

  • Funding, by co-investing with more than 100 angels and 25 Top Tier VC firms in the Valley (monthly deal review sessions with Sequoia, Northwest Ventures, DFJ, Foundation Capital,etc)
  • Networking and funding events: 10 events each month with cutting edge speakers and resources (VC, CEOs
  • Corporate partners: Business development opportunities with the top 30 corporations in Silicon Valley (Microsoft, E-Bay, Oracle, Symantec, etc)
  • Flexible, full service and short term leases on office space
  • Support from IT services, Data Center and the Talent Acquisition and Events division
  • Access to a full range of other service providers: including lawyers, accountants, HR specialists.

International governments and universities already have strong relationships with the Plug and Play Tech Center campuses. Plug and Play works closely with top US academic and research hubs, including Cornell, Harvard, Stanford and Berkeley.

Plug and Play’s goal is to work closely with about 1,000 start-ups by 2010 of which up to 40 per cent will be international.

For more information on the seminar, contact Hoi Lei Chan from the Ashcroft International Business School on 0845 196 2344 or by emailing