Dr Sithamparanathan Sabesan, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder
Sithamparanathan Sabesan read a BEng (Hons) Electronic Engineering at Sheffield University in 2004, where he scored the highest marks in his year, and was awarded the Sir William Siemens Medal for being among the UK’s top 18 science and technology students. Sabesan worked on RFID since beginning his PhD on the subject of ‘Passive RFID real time sensing system for intelligent infrastructure’ at Cambridge University in 2007 and was elected to a Research Fellowship at Girton College, Cambridge University in 2011. Prior to his PhD, he worked at ARM as an Electronic Engineer.
Sabesan is a recipient of the 2011 Royal Academy of Engineering ERA Entrepreneurs Award and the 2011 UK ICT Pioneers of Connected World award. In 2014 he was awarded a Royal Academy of Engineering Enterprise Fellowship, and most recently he was awarded the Royal Academy of Engineering Engineers Trust Young Engineer of the Year award, as well as the Sir George Macfarlane Medal 2016 for excellence in the early stage of the career. He is a Fellow of the ERA Foundation.
Ian McEwan, Chief Operating Officer and Company Secretary
Ian McEwan has spent the past twenty years as CFO / COO of a variety of hardware and software businesses and various charities. As a qualified Accountant, with a degree and PhD in engineering, Ian spent ten years with Unilever after completing their internal MBA programme. Ian has consulted for businesses across Europe, run businesses in over 20 countries, and has lived in the Netherlands and Japan.
Neil Matthews, VP Sales
Neil Matthews has over 30 years experience of commercial and business development leadership on a global basis, with the last 15 Years spent at Checkpoint Systems where he was Global VP-Product Management, which included the responsibility for their “Go to market plans” within their retail technology, security & RFID business.
Board of Directors
Bob Pettigrew, Chairman
Bob Pettigrew is an active technology investor and has served/serves on the board of a number of technology companies including Sphere Medical Devices Plc., ACAL Energy Ltd., and British Small Companies VCT2 Plc.
Dr Sithamparanathan Sabesan (see above)
Ian McEwan (see above)
Professor Ian White, Non Executive Director and Co-Founder
Ian White is currently Master of Jesus College, Cambridge, Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University, van Eck Professor of Engineering, and Head of the Photonic Research Group, comprising CMMPE, CPS and Photonics and Sensors, in the Engineering Department at the University of Cambridge. He currently chairs the channel model sub-task force of the IEEE 10 GbE LRM standard.
Ian’s research activity in optoelectronics and optical communications includes managing a team of 45 people publishing on average 60 papers a year. In terms of research output, the group is one of the largest in the field of optoelectronic systems in the UK.
The Institution of Electrical Engineers awarded Ian the Blumlein-Browne-Willans Prize and the Ambrose Fleming Premium Award.He is a Member of the Board of Governors of the IEEE Photonics Society and Editor-in-Chief of Electronics Letters.
Elaine Loukes, Non Executive Director
Elaine joined the Cambridge University Seed Funds team in 2015 and focuses on physical sciences investments. She has worked as an early-stage tech investment manager since 2001. At Dresdner Kleinwort Capital, she sourced new investment opportunities and managed the direct-investment portfolio for early-stage tech deals. At PUK Ventures she focused on early-stage tech opportunities emerging from the public sector and UK universities. She has extensive experience in all stages of the investment process including due diligence, financial modelling, deal negotiation and investment management.
Elaine has BSc in Laser Physics and Optoelectronics (University of Strathclyde), a PhD in Physics (Optoelectronics Research Centre, University of Southampton) and qualified as a Chartered Accountant (ICAEW) in 2000.
Non-Executive Chairman of Relex Solutions and Non Exec Director of other software companies with 20 years’ experience in major retailers – Boots and Iceland Foods Group. 15 years running international solutions companies – E3, JDA International, Argility and Manthan Systems.
Andrew Williamson, Board Observer
Andrew Williamson has hands on experience of building technology businesses, coupled with a venture investing background and an understanding of Cambridge and its academic institutes.
Prior to joining Cambridge Innovation Capital he was at True North Venture Partners in Chicago where he was a partner in its $300 million venture fund. Before this Andrew spent ten years leading materials science and semiconductor research in US government research laboratories, followed by managing director positions at venture capital funds Physic Ventures in San Francisco and MalibuIQ in Los Angeles.
Andrew studied at the University of Cambridge as both an undergraduate and a graduate, receiving an MA in Natural Sciences and a PhD in Physics. He also holds an MBA from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley.
Michael Crisp, Board Observer and Co-Founder
Michael Crisp completed a MEng at Downing College, Cambridge in 2005. His PhD research on radio over fibre systems and distributed antenna systems was carried out at the Centre for Photonics Systems (CPS). Since finishing his PhD in 2009 he has continued to work in the CPS as a postdoctoral research associate. His research interests include passive UHF RFID systems, distributed antenna systems and radio over fibre systems. He has over 30 peer reviewed journal and international conference publications and two patents pending.
In 2011 he was jointly awarded the £40,000 ERA Foundation Young Entrepreneurs’ Award for research applying ideas from distributed antenna systems to passive UHF RFID systems during his PhD and Post Doc. The new RFID system developed greatly enhances the probability of detecting very low cost RFID tags.
Professor Richard Penty, Co-Founder
Professor Richard Penty graduated from the University of Cambridge with a degree in Engineering and Electrical Sciences in 1986 and a PhD for research into nonlinear optical fibre devices in 1990. Richard was an SERC IT research fellow at Cambridge until taking up lectureships at the University of Bath and then the University of Bristol, where he became Professor of Photonics. In 2001 he moved to the Cambridge University Engineering Department and is a Fellow of Sidney Sussex College.
Richard’s research interests include optical data communications, MMF systems (digital and analogue), high-speed optical communications systems, wavelength conversion and WDM networks, optical amplifiers, optical non-linearities for switching and routing applications, RF over fibre and high power semiconductor lasers.
Richard is the co-author of in excess of 300 refereed journal and conference papers. He manages the semiconductor laser workpackage of the PHOTON project and is one of the UK representatives on the EU COST 267 management committee.
He is a co-founder of Zinwave Ltd and PervasID.
David Gill is Managing Director of St John’s Innovation Centre in Cambridge. He previously set up and ran the Innovation & Technology Unit at HSBC Bank in London (1997-2004), then served as an executive director of a venture fund focused on early-stage, technology investments (2005-08).
Educated at Cambridge, he was called to the Bar by the Middle Temple before working in corporate finance for US and UK banks. A Sloan Fellow at the Stanford Graduate School of Business in California, David is currently a non-executive director of several start-up companies, a board member of the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership, and chair of the steering committee of ideaSpace, the University of Cambridge pre-incubator.
David is the co-author of numerous publications on innovation, incubation and finance, one of which is currently being translated into simplified Chinese.
Andrew is a serial entrepreneur with more than 25 years of executive and general management experience. He is a specialist in building high-growth technology companies, both in the UK and internationally, where he has a track record of delivering rapid profitable growth and successful exits including a very successful Nasdaq float.
He has particular interests in science and technology and their application. Andrew has established a number of successful businesses during his career and continues to coach and help others as a Non-Executive Director and Chairman.
Ian is an experienced serial entrepreneur as well as having been a Global Telecom Senior Executive earlier in his 40-year career.
Since 1998 Ian has managed three successful exits of venture backed start-ups as either CEO or COO, two in the Silicon Valley (interWave Int’l and LGC Wireless, Inc.) and the latest one in Cambridge, UK (ZinWave Ltd.).
Prior to 1998 Ian was a senior executive at Nortel Networks where he was one of a small founder group of executives who built Nortel’s Wireless Group from scratch to a $4.5B business in 10 years. As part of his responsibilities there Ian ran global business planning, strategic investment in VC start-ups and long- term investment in emerging technologies.
Ian’s strong strategic and technology skills coupled with his extensive international experience allow him to build an organization with tactical alignment to common objectives, enabling a rapid transition from a start-up’s early revenue to strong revenue growth and profitability in multiple markets.
Ian holds an MBA and an MSc. in Physics from Western University, Canada and a BSc. Hons. in Physics from London University, England.