The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, gave the welcome speech on the first day of the 17th Ignite programme which takes place from 5-10 July 2015 at Cambridge Judge Business School.
Sir Leszek said:
Ignite is a great example of how the University of Cambridge fosters innovation and entrepreneurship both locally and globally by nurturing entrepreneurial ambition and translating ideas into real enterprises. The impact of this programme through the development of numerous technology startups by those who have participated has been extensive and wide-reaching. In this way, it is not only assisting the expansion of the Cambridge Cluster but also entrepreneurship across the UK and other countries such as Spain, India, Mexico and Hong Kong.
It is estimated that approximately 250 business ventures were created by Ignite alumni in the last four years. According to alumni surveys conducted since 2013, more than £200 million in funding was raised and around 4,300 jobs were created by Ignite alumni ventures in the period from 2011 to 2015.
This year the programme has attracted almost 100 applications and over 75 delegates are participating. The novice technology entrepreneurs and innovators come from across the world and many are funded by institutions and organisations with a long association with Ignite. La Caixa venture bank which is part of a public-private partnership running the Spanish EmprendedorXXI awards, the benchmark prize for start-ups in Spain, has been sending regional winners of this national competition to Ignite since 2007. Informatics Ventures, which supports technology entrepreneurs from Scottish Universities and the wider business community, has been funding places on Ignite since 2009. The Royal Academy of Engineering has sent winners of their Launchpad competition, ERA Foundation Award and UK Enterprise Fellows to Ignite annually since 2009. Other regular partners include Cinvestav (2011), BIRAC (2013), Shanghai Art & Design Academy (2014) and Shenzhen/Innovation Nanshan (2015).