The alumni of the Ignite programme, managed and delivered by Cambridge Judge Business School’s Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning (CfEL), have created significant value in the last two years according to the results of a recent survey. The technology ventures founded or co-founded by those who have participated in the Ignite programme have created £120m in revenue and over 2,000 jobs, and have raised £35m in investments. In addition, a figure of £50m was achieved through company exits.
Yupar Myint, Ignite Programme Director, said:
These figures are exciting and confirm the value of the programme. Despite tough conditions, these entrepreneurs have managed to create highly successful ventures which have had a tangible impact on the local economy.
It’s certainly gratifying for us as educators to see the way the skills and confidence gained by participants through Ignite has enabled them to make great strides with their business ideas and, in many cases, achieve great commercial success.”
Ignite attracts a diverse range of projects which can be broadly categorised as being from the high-tech or life sciences sectors. Chris Muktar attended Ignite in 2009 and is the co-founder of WikiJob.co.uk, the largest graduate careers site in the UK. WikiJob.co.uk uses social media to break down barriers between candidates and employers. He said:
I had no previous business training and needed a more rigorous grounding to develop my first enterprise. Ignite was instrumental in developing my venture successfully. The experience taught me to develop realistic business goals that can be implemented and to plan ahead with cashflow and capital forecasts. I came away with a much better grasp of business planning, particularly in terms of building a quantified picture of future aims and outcomes.”
Rob Walden is Business Development director of POD Point, an innovative company based in the UK that specialises in all aspects of electric vehicle charging. He commented:
I was lucky enough to attend Ignite in 2005 as a delegate sponsored by Marshall Aerospace, my then employer. What I learned was of great value to me in establishing new business streams at Marshall and in doing a wide range of international business development within the company. In late 2010, I joined POD Point as their fifth team member. POD Point was founded by two Ignite alumni and I was the third to join. Many of the skills that I acquired at Ignite were really useful in building POD Point and have remained useful as we’ve grown and entered our fourth year of business.”