Our People

Management Team

Dr Sithamparanathan Sabesan, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder

Sabesan Sithamparanathan founded PervasID Ltd. in 2011, based on his PhD research, begun in 2007, into ‘Passive RFID real time sensing system for intelligent infrastructure’ at Cambridge University.

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He was awarded the 2011 Royal Academy of Engineering ERA Entrepreneurs Award and the 2011 UK ICT Pioneers of Connected World award for his RFID breakthroughs. Subsequently he was elected to a Research Fellowship at Girton College, Cambridge, and in 2014 was awarded a Royal Academy of Engineering Enterprise Fellowship (funding and money-can’t-buy mentoring) as part of the Academy’s Enterprise Fellowships scheme to help turn his technology into a viable business. Since then he has been awarded the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Young Engineer of the Year award, as well as the Sir George Macfarlane Medal 2016 for Excellence, while ramping up PervasID's sales revenues, raising over $4m in investment and launching a complete line of superior RFID reader products. Earlier in his career he worked at ARM as an electronics engineer. Sabesan also holds a BEng (Hons) Electronic Engineering at Sheffield University in 2004, where he graduated with the highest performance in his year, and was among the UK’s top 18 science and technology students to be awarded the Sir William Siemens Medal. He is a Fellow of the ERA Foundation, and has completed management leadership training at the Harvard Business School.
Dr Ian McEwan, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer

Ian McEwan has spent the past twenty years as CFO / COO of a variety of hardware and software businesses and various charities including Zeus and Zinwave that have had successful trade sales.

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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.  Ian managed several large supply chain improvement projects that resulted in multi £ million saving. He has run businesses at various stages of development and turnover and is a trustee of various educational charities.
Neil Matthews, VP Sales and Business Development

Neil Matthews graduated from Leeds University in 1982 with a 1st Class Honours Degree in Chemical Engineering, and joined Alfa Laval as a graduate engineer in their Food & Dairy Division.

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He progressed through engineering and product management roles, and became Sales Manager in 1990. Alfa-Laval was taken over by Tetra Pak, the largest primary packaging company in the Food & Drink Industry, in 1992 and Neil became UK Soft Drinks Director in 1996 and then UK Commercial Director in 1999. In 2001, he left the Tetra Pak Group to become UK Managing Director of Checkpoint Systems Inc, a global retail technology and security business.

In 2004 he became European GM for their Retail Security Business, with the main achievement being the $150million acquisition of Alpha High Theft Solutions in 2007. In 2008 he became VP for Northern, Central & Eastern Europe where he was P&L responsible for the total Checkpoint business in this region. In 2012 he became Global VP for Product Management, where he was responsible for all the retail technology, inventory management (RFID) and security solutions. This included the management of the existing product portfolio and for developing and bringing to market all new solutions. From 2009 until 2016 Neil sat on the ECR Shrinkage & OSA Industry Working Group, which helped retailers and manufacturers to reduce shrinkage and increase on-shelf availability.

Martin Neuhaus, Chief Engineer

Martin Neuhaus has 30 years of R&D experience developing mainly radio frequency products for the telecommunications sector for major telecommunications companies such as Ericsson, Sony-Ericsson, Alcatel and Nokia.

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Designs are wide ranging from the discrete design of high power RF amplification (300watt) to low noise base-station mast head amplification, mobile phones and also include most of the other peripheral parts used in transmitter and receiver circuitry. Other skills are system design and integration. He's recently developed an RF system (including micro + embedded 'c') to enhance the performance of our first generation R2000 reader.

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.

 

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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.

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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.

Moray Wright, Non-Executive Director

Moray co-founded Parkwalk, a leading early-stage technology EIS fund manager with c.£200m of assets under management in 2009.

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Before Parkwalk, he spent over 20 years working for Hoare Govett, JP Morgan, Lazard and Mirabaud. He has helped advise companies on acquisitions, fund-raising, restructuring and strategy.

Moray is the CEO of Parkwalk, sits on the Parkwalk Investment Committee and various portfolio company Boards.

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.

 

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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.

Peter Cowley, Board Observer

Peter Cowley, a Cambridge university technology graduate, founded and ran a dozen businesses in technology and property over the last 35+ years.  He has a portfolio of over 65 angel investments with 4 good exits and several failures, and was UK Angel of the Year in 2014.

 

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He is chair of the Cambridge Angels and President of the European Business Angel Network.  He has mentored hundreds of entrepreneurs and is on the board of eight startups.

He formed and runs Martlet - a Corporate Angel, investing (currently £7M) from the balance sheet of Marshall, a £2.5bn revenue Cambridge engineering company.  He is a fellow in Entrepreneurship at the Judge Management School in Cambridge and has been a chair and treasurer of seven charities.

With his son, Alan, Peter is sharing his and others’ experience and anecdotes in order to educate angels and entrepreneurs by publishing The Invested Investor.

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).

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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.

Advisory Board

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.

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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

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).

 

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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 Muir

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.

 

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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 Sugarbroad

Ian is an experienced serial entrepreneur as well as having been a Global Telecom Senior Executive earlier in his 40-year career.

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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.

PervasID systems outperform other passive solutions and provide highly cost effective, scalable and easy to install solutions

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