Succesful Cambridge companies include names such as Acorn Computing, Sinclair Research, Aveva, ARM and Autonomy. According to a recent WIRED article Cambridge has produced not less than 12 firms whose market capitalisation exceed $1bn. Probably most prominent is ARM. Founded in 1990, the semiconductor and software design company grew to become a multibillion valued competitor of Intel. Actually, by today its processors quasi dominate the markets for mobile phones, smartphones and tablets.
The University of Cambridge recently announced that it had pulled together partners to set up a £50 million fund called Cambridge Innovation Capital (CIC) for financing university spin-outs. Despite the impressive investment sum, the interesting aspect of the concept is that the fund intents to support entrepreneurial ventures with a long term return perspective so that young firms can hold the breath long enough to pass the „valley of death“.
I recently learned that three Cambridge graduates (St. John’s) invented the Smoothie and started Innocent in 1999. Well done! Although, the multi-million dollar sale to Coca Cola made the founders rich, it might not give you real credits for being a healthy business.
This is a great video summarizing in less than 25min her excellent book on Biomimicry illustrating twelve design principles that we can learn from life in order to make our economy and the products we create sustainable, thus ensuring the world remains a good place to life for future generations.