SETsquared company Blu Wireless wins Cambridge start-up prize
Innovative Bristol business bucks the trend for fabless semiconductor start-ups
The company was selected from 20 start-ups invited to pitch their innovative wireless technologies and business plans to 25 leading venture capitalists, angels and industry investors. Senior representatives from companies including Microsoft, RIM, Nokia, Qualcomm Ventures, Innovacom, Broadcom, Orange, O2 Telefonica and ARM were there to judge the finalists and provide expert advice.
The winners receive £2,000 each along with free business and consultancy services, and have the opportunity to present their new technologies and business visions to over 300 leading wireless industry delegates from more than 20 countries at the 2012 Future of Wireless International Conference next June.
“The quality of entrants shows that innovation and entrepreneurship is clearly very much alive,” said Clennell Collingwood, investment director at TTP Ventures. “It was difficult for us to pick out five winners and we are confident that all the Discovering Start-Up winners and many of the other finalists will go on to make important contributions to the wireless industry.”
Mark Barrett, CEO of Blu Wireless commented: “We are very pleased to win this award, as this provides further validation that our approach for delivering best–in-class 60GHz WiFi product has been recognised by leading investors and industry experts. Moreover, it also demonstrates that our capital-efficient approach is changing the investment paradigm for UK fabless semiconductor companies.”
Nick Sturge, centre director at SETsquared, says this highlights the exciting opportunities arising out of the highly innovative technology, and specifically the micro-electronics cluster in the Bristol and Bath area. “Traditional VC investors are struggling to understand the opportunities around early stage, silicon-based technology businesses,” said Sturge. “But we can see that the good businesses – and we only support ones we believe in – are managing to gain the recognition and the funding they need, albeit at a slower speed than we would like. It is great – but not surprising – that Bristol companies are winning awards wherever they go.”
Blu Wireless Technology has already raised seed funding and is now actively discussing Round-A funding for the business.
Blu-Wireless Technology Ltd
Blu-Wireless Technology is a fabless semiconductor company developing low cost multi-Gigabit WiFi products set to become a core component of tomorrow’s consumer electronics devices. The unique single chip 60 GHz transceiver being developed will be of significantly reduced cost and power with emphasis on manufacturability when compared to the anticipated competing products. The product will allow mobile operators to offload cloud based video data from their networks by the near instantaneous syncing to portable platforms with very low battery usage. Demonstrations of >2Gbps data transfers have already been made to Japanese customers.
For further details see www.bluwirelesstechnology.com
The SETsquared Partnership
The SETsquared Partnership is the enterprise collaboration of the Universities of Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey. Together, the universities employ 7,400 academic staff; and earn nearly 10 per cent of the UK’s higher education research budget.
The partnership has a 10 year track record of supporting companies through its business acceleration centres, which provide access to industry specialists, investors and experienced entrepreneurs. SETsquared currently supports over 250 early stage high-tech, high growth potential businesses, and 90 per cent of its incubated companies are still in business three years on. In the past five years, nearly £0.75bn in investment funding has been raised by spin outs and incubated companies.
SETsquared supports student enterprise including an annual showcase and a global scholars program. It provides opportunities for industry to access academic ideas with commercial potential and seeks to promote the impact, economically and socially, of its institutions’ research and enterprise activities.
For further details see www.setsquared.co.uk / http://www.twitter.com/setsquared
Cambridge Wireless is a leading industry forum and vibrant community with a rapidly expanding network of companies actively involved in the development and application of wireless technologies. In addition to high level networking dinners and events, a strong educational programme and business development activities, Cambridge Wireless runs the annual Future of Wireless International Conference along with the prestigious Discovering Start-Ups programme and competition to support emerging, innovative wireless companies. Over 15 Special Interest Groups focused on specific technologies and market sectors, also provide opportunities for members to meet, form partnerships to exploit new commercial opportunities, and share knowledge and information about the latest industry trends and hot topics.
Cambridge Wireless has partnerships with other leading industry clusters and organisations around the world to extend its international reach and to keep members up to date with the latest global developments and business opportunities. For further details see www.cambridgewireless.co.uk